Picturesque Chester attracts visitors with its Roman-era architecture, centuries-old pubs, lively shopping streets and horse racing. Founded 2,000 years ago, it was once Great Britain’s largest Roman settlement and today remains one of its best-preserved medieval cities. Chester is in northwest England, bordering North Wales.
Much of the interest to visitors lies in Chester’s distinctive city center, a pleasant area to explore on foot. Start your visit with a walk around the City Walls, built by the Romans in the first century. The walls enclose a splendid assortment of elegant and historic landmarks.
Spot towers and gates such as the Eastgate Clock, the traditional city entrance. Admire the intricate architecture and sculptures of Chester Cathedral. Go to Chester High Cross, where a town crier makes midday announcements during the summer. Explore the unique Chester Rows shops, a collection of half-timbered Victorian and Tudor buildings set on two galleried levels.
Chester’s museums expertly showcase the city’s long history and culture. Experience Roman life at the Dewa Roman Experience. See Viking-era artifacts, costumes and period furniture at the Grosvenor Museum. Learn about the city’s military past at the Cheshire Military Museum, housed in Chester Castle.
Step outside the city walls and stroll along The Groves, a scenic promenade that flanks the River Dee. For an alternative view of the city, take a boat tour along the river. Relax with a picnic or watch summer concerts and theater productions at Grosvenor Park. Discover more of Chester’s Roman heritage at the Roman Amphitheatre.
Revel in the atmosphere of Chester’s many 17th-century pubs, including the photogenic Bear and Billet. The pubs become notably active from May to September when visitors come to attend horse racing events at Chester Racecourse.
Reach Chester easily via direct bus and train from destinations such as London, Liverpool and Manchester. The city is also the gateway to the beaches and national parks of North Wales. Rent a car to visit the seaside resort of Llandudno or explore striking mountains and lakes in Snowdonia National Park.