We know our guests are always curious to explore the neighbourhood that they’re staying in. In Chester, you’re in one of the most exciting and historic neighbourhoods imaginable.
That’s why we’ve been out and about finding our most favourite things to do in Chester to give you some ideas before you travel to our wonderful city.
As long as it’s not pouring it down, there’s no better way to see this great city than to walk round the iconic city walls.
These ancient defence walls form a complete circuit of the city and give some stunning views and a unique insight into Chester’s fascinating history. Built by the Romans to protect the city, they are the oldest, longest and most complete walls in Britain with some sections around 2,000 years old.
Did you know that the Eastgate Clock is the second most photographed clock in England? No prizes for guessing what the first is…! But if that’s not prime selfie territory, we don’t know what is.
The clock was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and has become arguably the most prominent landmark in the city. It’s located right in the city centre so is perfect to see when ambling around looking at the sights.
There’s a unique beauty everywhere you look in Chester, but none more so than the Chester Rows.
They date back to the medieval era and were more than likely built on top of Roman ruins. The Rows consist of two-storey medieval-style buildings that are home to the best shops in the city. While there’s generally the usual larger chain outlets on the ground floor, we recommend popping up to the second floor where you’ll find the smaller, unique boutiques and maybe a hidden gem or two!
All great cities have great cathedrals and Chester is no different. Whatever your reason for visiting a Cathedral – maybe as a place of worship, to experience a musical performance, to see the unique blend of medieval and modern history, or just to admire its architectural beauty – then Chester Cathedral won’t disappoint.
If you’re not afraid of heights, then a tower tour is highly recommended. The view at the top – some 125 feet up – gives an amazing view of one city, five different counties and two countries. Most importantly, Chester looks stunning from this viewpoint.
And that’s not it… located within the beautiful Cathedral gardens is a Falconry with a range of birds, reptiles and other animals on displays. It’s best to check out their very handy website before visiting for details and times of the daily flying displays.
There’s no hiding that Chester was built by the Romans. Firstly, it’s surrounded by a Roman wall. Although, only part of the wall were built by the Romans. They were extended in the 12th century following the Norman conquest to form the complete circuit we see today.
Away from the walls, the Romans have certainly left their mark. Parts of the city were most definitely built on Roman ruins and the Roman Gardens, visible from the south side of the wall are a classic example of this.
Not far from the Roman Gardens is the Amphitheatre. This was the largest amphitheatre in Britain and was used for a variety of entertainment as well as military training.
Chester In Lego
At Hotel Indigo, we love the quirky and it doesn’t get more quirky than a Lego recreation of Chester.
All the landmarks, including the famous walls, the rows and Eastgate clock, have all been built in miniature format. It’s on display in the Market Hall on Princess Street and looks superb!
In such a historic city like Chester, it’s sometimes brave taking an old building and modernising it. However, the £37million Storyhouse has been a welcome addition after a 10-year absence.
The Grade II listed building and former derelict cinema has been converted into a mixed-use cultural building that includes a theatre, cinema, restaurant and library. With some great acts – from plays to comedy – performing regularly, it’s definitely worth checking the schedule before visiting.
Chester Zoo and Chester Racecourse
Finally, we couldn’t not include these… possibly what Chester is known for as well as anything is the Zoo and the Racecourse.
‘Been to one zoo, been to them all!’ we hear people say all the time. That is until they’ve been to Chester Zoo – it’s one of the largest zoos in the UK with more than 21,000 animals, 500 different species and 1.9 million visitors each year.
Meanwhile, Chester Racecourse is the oldest racecourse still in use in England, dating back to the 16th century. We’d also argue it’s one of the most beautiful too with views of and from the ancient city walls.
Obviously, there’s a whole lot more to do in Chester and we’ve just scratched the surface. Our concierge and front of house teams will be able to talk passionately about everything Chester has to offer and help you find the perfect places to explore on your stay at Hotel Indigo Chester.