Chester, the county capital of Cheshire in the north west of England is a beautiful, quaint city which has a fascinating history and heritage. And unlike many other cities in the UK, Chester’s compact size means it is easy to explore on foot.
It’s also possible to take a short drive out of the city centre to many of the attractions dotted around the surrounding areas – so if you are planning on spending some time in Chester in the coming weeks or months, here are five things you should make sure you do.
Walk to walls
Chester is now one of the only cities in the country to have a wall surrounding its centre. Forming a virtually complete square around the city, visitors can walk around the 2 miles in around 35-40 minutes and take in some spectacular views, particularly on its southern edge by the River Dee and on the western side by the famous racecourse. The walls were originally built by the Romans between 70-80 AD to protect the city from intruders, and they provide a great insight to Chester’s past.
Go to the Zoo
Chester is home to one of the biggest and most famous zoos in the country. Just a short drive north of the city and you will find Chester Zoo, spread over 110 acres of gardens and containing no less than 11,000 animals including tigers, giraffes, penguins and elephants. Kids both big and small will be fascinated as they explore all of the themed areas, and when you need to relax a bit there are restaurants and cafes where you can grab some food or a drink.
Do some shopping
Chester and its surrounding areas are brilliant for those who like to shop until they drop. The city centre itself is a mecca for high-street lovers. You’ll find all of the usual chains along Westgate street, whilst you can also explore the alleyways and rows to find more boutique and independent offerings. Outside of the city there is a giant designer outlet, Cheshire Oaks, which contains big brands at hugely discounted prices. It’s likely you’ll want to spend quite a bit of time here, so make sure you check out the hotels Cheshire Oaks has to offer if you want somewhere to stay.
Go underwater – if you dare!
Also situated near Cheshire Oaks is the Blue Planet Aquarium. Here you’ll be able to witness a vast number of tropical fish and species as you walk through the tunnels in their tanks. Those who are particularly brave also have the opportunity to take to the water themselves and dive in with the sharks! Guaranteed to be the experience of a lifetime, this offering has won the Gold Award for Tourism Experience of the Year, amongst others, so what are you waiting for?
Explore the countryside
For those who don’t want so much adrenaline on their trip away will be please to know that Chester and the county of Cheshire contains some of the most beautiful countryside in the country. You can also find the imposing hills and valleys of North Wales a short drive to the west, and the Pennines towards Manchester and Macclesfield in the east. There’s plenty of trails for walkers and bikers – Delamere Forest just 10 miles away from Chester is well worth exploring if you want a nice, easy day out in the country.