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Chester - a modern city with a sense of history

Back to 'Things to see and do'

Chester is a great place to explore - it's packed with shops (including a big new Marks and Spencer at Cheshire Oaks), cafés and restaurants, yet it's got history all around.

Historical Chester

It was the major Roman centre in the north of Britain, and was a major garrison during the Civil War. The city walls make a great walk around the city, and  the River Dee makes a picturesque setting for a stroll or a riverboat ride – or the more energetic can hire a rowing boat of their own!

Many people's image of Chester is black-and-white buildings. The world-famous ‘Rows’ – tiered shops which date from the 14th century - house a wonderful range of shops. You can happily wander from  shop to shop, under cover and looking down on the street below, just as people have done for hundreds of years.

Chester Cathedral – recently refurbished, Chester cathedral has to be on your list. It’s in the centre of the city, along with one of its unusual points - its separate bell-tower. But it's not the first cathedral Chester had - recent work associated with the amphitheatre excavations has shown that St John's church was the original cathedral. So it's not just Liverpool that's 'got one to spare'!

Shopping – as well as The Rows, the city centre has its own large shopping mall in The Forum. Cheshire Oaks is a large outlet and entertainment centre on the edge of Chester, including a brand new Marks & Spencer store - the 'Marble Arch' of the north!

To find out what events are on in Chester over the next few months, please click here:

Guided Walks – daily throughout the year. Choose from a host of different subjects and themes!

Chester Farmers’ Market – first Wednesday in every month, Town Hall  Square, Chester.

Roman Chester

  • the Roman amphitheatre at Chester has been known about since 1920’s, but a major excavation project by English Heritage has revealed amazing details about the amphitheatre.
  • Grosvenor Museum in the city has excellent exhibits of Roman finds – and makes a great place to learn about the history of Chester
  • there are many remnants of the Roman walls to see around Chester
  • the Dewa Roman Experience in the city centre is a museum with a difference – it’s ‘hands-on’ displays help you really understand what life was like in Roman times!