An ancient city with a unique atmosphere, Chester is a picturesque area on the River Dee in Cheshire in the Northwest of England. Founded by the Romans over 2,000 years ago as a fortress, each chapter of Chester’s history is etched into the very fabric of the city.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the city is a hub for visitors and deemed a great place to live – have you considered relocating or perhaps investing in property there?
Sold prices over the last year are down 2% on the previous year (according to Rightmove), so it is a fantastic time to either make the big move or invest in the city.
With its magnificent medieval city walls, 1,000-year-old cathedral, medieval half-timbered buildings and largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain, Chester is renowned for its array of historic monuments – hardly surprising with history around every corner.
Explore the straight Roman streets and experience the unique covered ‘Rows’ for yourself, Medieval timber buildings with raised galleries that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Alongside its heritage, Chester boasts a vibrant, dynamic city with an abundance of shops and restaurants and offers a wide range of activities – with so much to discover, there is something for everyone.
What’s even better is the city’s central location within the UK. With great connections to major cities such as Liverpool and Manchester and direct rail links to London – access to the rest of the country is easy.
If we haven’t already piqued your interest with this short exploration of the beautiful city, here are some of the things we think should be on your must-see itinerary…
Built over a period of nearly 500 years, Chester Cathedral was founded as an Abbey in 1092 and stands within the heart of the city.
With traces of every Medieval English architectural style, from Normal Romanesque to Perpendicular Gothic, the building is an archaeological and cultural hub boasting a unique blend of modern and medieval history.
Spend the day wandering around and soaking up the history, before treating yourself to some delicious food in the 13th century Monks Hall Refectory Café.
Take a stroll along the city walls
Chester is the only city in Britain still retaining its full circuit of ancient defensive walls, parts of which are almost 2,000 years old.
Strolling along the three-kilometre walkway allows you to experience magnificent views down into the city, as well as giving you a fantastic insight into the city’s history.
Along the walkway you can marvel at the historic skyline and half-timbered houses, as well as leading you to four Medieval sandstone structures.
The Roman Amphitheatre
The largest uncovered in Britain, these stone amphitheatre ruins date back to the 1st century when many other buildings were being constructed throughout the Roman Empire.
An English Heritage site, the Grade I listed building laid undiscovered for almost 1,700 years. Two different amphitheatres stood on the site, the latter dating to the 3rd century and able to seat at least 8,000 people.
Used for entertainment and military training once upon a time, around two-fifths of the oval amphitheatre is visible with two entrances exposed.
Found in the old centre of Chester, The Rows are a set of timber-framed galleries forming a second row of shops above those at street level.
Not to be found anywhere else in the world, these covered walkways are believed to have been built to increase the amount of shopping space in the middle of the city.
Thought to date back to 1293, The Rows include some original 13th century buildings, including the Three Old Arches, which is believed to be the oldest shop front in England.
Renowned as one of the best zoo’s, in not only the UK but the whole world, Chester Zoo has over 128 acres of zoological gardens to explore and more than 20,000 animals.
Not only are they the most visited zoo in the UK with two million visitors per year, but they are a conservation and education charity, committed to preventing extinction.
The founder wanted to build a zoo without bars and calls on natural barriers such as ditches and moats to contain the animals and boasts dedicated habitats and environments.