Chester

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50 things to do

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The Groves

The Groves is Chester's own riverside promenade running alongside the River Dee from the Grosvenor Park to the Old Handbridge (which gave it's name to one of the suburbs on the other bank).<p>:The Groves is one of Chester’s premier open spaces, running along the city bank of the River Dee. It became a promenade in the early 1700s and is now part of a longer Riverside Promenade.<p>:In 1726, the area was leased to Charles Croughton who secured the river bank and planted an avenue of trees. By the late 18th century it had become known as The Groves. The City Walls also became a fashionable place and during the 18th century, the circuit was modified and the Groves and the walls were connected through the construction of Recorder’s Steps. In Roman times, this section of riverside was a series of quarries where stone was extracted for building the fortress. In Saxon times, The Groves was probably the main port area and may have had a concentration of leatherworking.<p>:The Groves is also the best place to go to take a trip down the river itself through all manner of vessels from motorised tour-boats to row boats and, in warm weather, even pedaloes.

DO   —  riverside

Grosvenor Park

Grosvenor Park is a classical, 19th century designed park with a typical Victorian layout that includes formal avenues lined with trees, large sweeping lawns surrounded with ornamental shrub beds and bedding plants, which provide a colourful display throughout the spring and summer months. The park is located near the River Dee and with views across the river to the meadows and Queen’s Park and out towards the south of Chester. :Grosvenor Park was one of the first public parks in Britain outside of the big industrial cities and was given to the city of Chester in 1867 by Richard Grosvenor, the Second Marquess of Westminster.

DO   —  Map


Chester Racecourse

Located on the Roodee, originally the site of the Roman port. If you're really keen on horseracing, find out the dates of the 'races days' Chester hosts a few times a year. You may have to book/ will have to book tickets in advance, check with Chester racecourse, and there is quite a range of prices. If you just want to see a bit of the race atmosphere for free, the walls walk you right past a view of the action down below. City centre bars are best avoided before and after the races, unless you wish to be very sociable because they are usually full and difficult to get a drink.

DO   —  +44 1244 304600 —  Map

Chester Zoo

Well worth a visit, the zoo is absolutely superb and reportedly one of the best in Europe. The elephant collection is world class and it has a unique bat cave where they fly freely around visitors. It's best to leave 3-5 hours to do it properly. It's a little way out of the city centre, so either catch a bus from the bus station, or take the train from Chester Station to Bache on the Wirral Line. The latter option is extremely quick (under five minutes) and correspondingly cheap.



Watergates

For late night drinks in a superb setting, you have to visit Watergates. An old church crypt under The Rows that is deceptively large with long barrels rooms and a hidden snug. Attracts a lively crowd in the evening with great music and a wide range of cocktails, beers, shooters, spirits and bottles. Open until 02:00 on Friday's and Saturday's


The Marlbororough Arms

When it needed its sign painting, the artist stopped to quench his thirst half-way through, and the rest is history. Very close to the city centre, outside it offers a 'husband-creche', where women can deposit their hapless other halves for an afternoon's shopping in peace.

DRINK   —  Map


Boating

Along the river. Rowing boats can be hired, or if you don't want to exert yourself, there are many boat trips that go from the river bank on the city centre side between Handbridge Suspension bridge and the walls, and they show you everything you will want to see!

DO   —  Map

The Watergates Bar

A great setting in an old church crypt under The Rows. Generally relaxed by daytime with a stunning rooftop garden with outside bar. Attracts a lively crowd in the evening with good music and a wide range of cocktails, beers, shooters, spirits and bottles.



Siam

A well-converted canal-side building (above Harkers Arms).Upstairs is good-quality Thai menu. Downstairs is Teppan-yaki style Japanese food, prepared in front of you with all the performance of juggling utensils, fire etc.

EAT   —  City Road

The Spa Chester

A world-class day spa offering an exhilarating sensory journey with an extensive treatment menu. Definitely worth a visit when in Chester, but lots to do so need to set aside enough time to make full use of the facilities.


Marco Pierre White's Steakhouse, Bar & Grill

Set on the outskirts of Chester at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, the menu comprises everything you would expect from a traditional Steakhouse with the superior quality you would expect from Marco Pierre White.


Grosvenor Pulford Hotel

Ciro’s Brasserie at the Grosvenor Pulford Hotel & Spa is a magnificent Mediterranean style restaurant offering modern European cuisine and an excellent selection of fine wines from around the world.


Amphitheatre

Believed to have been the site of the largest wooden structure amphitheatre in the Roman Empire outside of Rome for its time, with a larger stone amphitheatre later built on-top of the foundations

SEE   —  Vicars Lane, Chester

Ye Olde Cottage Inn

Good local pub, serving a selection of beers, wines and spirits. Real log fires in winter, excellent beer garden at rear. Traditional English pub, oak beamed and bar, with pool and darts.

DRINK   —  Brook Street

Christmas Lights

Chester is the prettiest city in the run up to Christmas when the streets are tastefully decorated with lights. The shops are hectic but try a walk round the walls after 17:00.

DO   —  city center

Walls

The city centre is enclosed by the walls, which offer a pleasant strolling route for visitors and locals alike. Walk around the top of Roman walls that surround the city.

SEE   —  Map

The Watergates Bar

A historic Norman crypt dating from the 11th Century on the main cobbled streets just under The Rows. An extensive menu with loads of choice all at a reasonable price.


The Falcon

An old tavern situated at the top of Lower Bridge Street - allegedly haunted in its basement - it serves an excellent range of beer from the Sam Smith's brewery.

DRINK   —  Lower Bridge Street

Dewa Roman Experience

Interactive museum about Chester's Roman history, with hands-on exhibits. If visiting in term time worth waiting until after 3pm to avoid parties of schoolkids.


Open-top Bus Tour

Will get you round all the main tourist sites in 30 minutes. Several bus operators run tours: ''Heritage Tours'' [http://www.chesterheritagetours.co.uk].

DO   —  Map

The Albion Inn

Defiantly traditional, 'family-hostile' pub with walls covered in First World War memorabilia. Excellent beer and good home cooking.


Cruise

New club with four bars in six distinct themed areas, specific rooms for different persuasions. Classy and always a good night out.


Grosvenor Park

The main ornamental park in Chester and includes a pond, [http://www.gpmr.co.uk/ miniature railway] and children's play area.

SEE   —  Map

The Chester Grosvenor Hotel and Spa

For the seriously moneyed, there is only one choice. The Grosvenor is the height of luxury and is in the centre of town.


The Bear and Billet

Recently renovated seventeenth century tavern features a wide selection of beers in convivial surroundings. Decent food.

DRINK   —  Lower Bridge Street

The Eastgate Clock

is claimed to be the second most photographed clock in the UK. Gatehouse from 1768-9 and clock dating from 1899.

SEE   —  Map

The Red Lion

A traditional pub of character, reknowned for its eclectic range of real ales and its good quality pub food.


RB's (Rosie's)

Ground floor is a 90's Bar, Babylon. Two more floors playing different music. Good security, lively venue.

DRINK   —  Map

Pastarazzi

Situated in a beautiful old building near the racecourse. Offers fine dining at expensive prices.

EAT   —  29 Grosvenor Street

The Cheshire Military Museum

Museum remembering the county's military past, with archives, a shop and changing exhibitions.


Blackstocks Fish & Chips

Very high quality fish and chips at a decent price. Delicious northern fare!


Piccolino

Italian restaurant with a large selection of dishes and good service.


Grovesnor Museum

Small but informative museum majoring on the city's Roman heritage.


Spud u Like

The basement of this shop gives access to an original hypocaust.

SEE   —  Bridge Street

Northern Ferrari Hire

Self-drive supercar hire. Drive around Chester in style!

OTHER   —  +44 845 260 8 360 —  Deeside Lane

Chester Taxi Services

Taxis, minibuses and airport transfers available.

OTHER   —  +44 1244 421024 —  Map

Telford's Warehouse

One of the best clubs, alongside the canal.

DRINK   —  Map

Roman Gardens

With reconstructed hypocaust.

SEE   —  Map

Abbey Taxis

Taxis & private hire vehicles


Bar 69

Chester's main gay bar

DRINK   —  1 Boughton

Amber Lounge

DRINK   —  Map

Bar Lounge

DRINK   —  Map


Source: wikivoyage