Chester is blessed with bewitching beauty and unique atmosphere. The city is famous for a lot of things and attracts tourists by the numbers. From one of the oldest racecourse centres in the world to magnificent city walls, to a 1000-year old cathedral, an amazing zoo and marine centre, Chester City has it all.
What’s more is that the people in Chester are warm and welcoming. If you are looking for a weekend break, Chester might just be the perfect place for you or together as a family. You can take a ride in one of the heritage or open-top buses that allow you to explore the city, or take a guided tour of the city, or you can sail up the river in one of the pleasure cruises.
Chester City has been a conservation City for over 50 years now and still retains some half-timbered houses as well as the famous Rows. To add to that, it houses breath-taking parks, riversides, bridges, gleamy shopping centres, as well as the numerous musical festivals. All these make Chester to be ranked so highly on England’s best places to visit.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of your town, then a Chester weekend trip will do you good. Here are some of the best places you can visit in just a weekend...
These were the first walls to be built by the Romans back when Chester was still a fortress under the name Deva Victrix. The City Walls run for approximately two miles around the city. Interestingly, the walls still have gates with medieval designs. While touring the walls, you won’t miss having a glimpse at the Eastgate Clock, the second-most-photographed clock in the country. It was built to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
Some of the other City Wall highlights include the Pemberton’s Parlour – a hemispherical tower that has a great view of the river, the Morgan’s Mount watchtower, the Bonewalesthorne’s Watchtower, as well as the Grosvenor Bridge. Also, ensure that you visit the Wishing Steps. Anyone who runs up and down twice without drawing any breaths will have a wish come true.
Next, you can head to the most imposing building in the city – the Cathedral. It was instituted into being a cathedral back in 1541 after serving as an abbey for many years. You can have one of the best views of the whole city from the Cathedral’s tower. Note that Saturday would be the best day to visit the Cathedral since it does not open on Sundays.
One of the best things about the Cathedral is the Early Decorated Choir. A Cathedral’s trip is never complete until you listen to the earliest volunteer choir in the country. This was the first place to perform the Handel’s Messiah and is still being performed during the Christmas season.
The Chester Rows
Chester’s galleried walkways are possibly the most distinctive feature of the city. The Chester Rows evolved from shops and houses dating as far as the 14th Century. They are found in all the four main streets in the city meeting at right angles at the market cross. In the Watergate, Eastgate, and Bridge Streets, the galleries are at first-floor level. In the Northgate Street, however, they are found at the ground level.
A Sunday morning boat ride on the great River Dee is just to die for. The boat trip will take you upstream to the Queen’s Park Bridge, across the meadow to the Grosvenor Park. You will gain some useful insights and have a better understanding of the city’s history after this trip.
Chester Zoo is one of the largest and most popular zoological parks in the UK. This 125-acre site is home to over 400 different species of animals. The most popular spots in the park include the penguin pool, the Chimpanzee Island, as well as the largest tropical house in Europe.
The Blue Planet Aquarium
This is another wildlife-theme attraction site in Chester. It houses over 50 species of fish and other marine life. The Caribbean Reef is possibly the most popular spot in the marine centre. You will be able to see a lot of different types of fish, including moray eels, southern stingrays, as well as some really huge sharks.