Chester

Things to Do in Chester

Vicky Andrews

Chester feels like it’s taken the best bits of Britain and packed them all together. Roman walls, medieval streets and olde-world taverns sit alongside award-winning restaurants and master mixologists that keep the party going all night. With a unique character, history and style, Chester Cathedral was founded in 1541 and now stands as a contemporary cultural hub for this magnificent medieval city. As well as providing the atmospheric backdrop for public art exhibitions and cutting-edge installations, the Cathedral also hosts the Chester Mystery Plays, which are performed in the city every five years.

That sense of ‘modern tradition’ sums up Chester, really. Just take a short walk down Northgate Street and you can be at Storyhouse, the city’s brand new £37m arts centre. The cultural scene here is thriving and there are some brilliant people doing brilliant things; world-class exhibitions curated by Chester Visual Arts and internationally renowned music acts brought here by Roman Candle Promotions. You’ll also find top-quality performance on offer at The Little Theatre too, an authentic and intimate venue sitting just outside the city walls.

There are loads of festivals taking place throughout the year too: the family-friendly Folk Festival and summer performances at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre; Chester Pride celebrating the LGBT+ community, and the popular Literary Festival, which takes place in the autumn.

The restaurant scene is better now than ever before and Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor has recently been awarded Michelin Star status for the 30th consecutive year. The city is also home to Hypha, one of the best plant-based restaurants in the country, and the award-winning Chester Market with its buzzing street food vibe and local craft ales.

For shopping, you’ll find independent shops and family-run businesses packing a punch alongside High Street stores and big-name boutiques. Be sure to browse The Rows, a charming shopping arcade housed in a unique collection of 13th century buildings.

From the old to the new, everything comes together in perfect balance. That’s what makes Chester different.

Discover our top picks

Families 12 November–23 December 2021, from £5

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo

Adventure around nine new magical, illuminated worlds after dark including an Ice Kingdom and meet Father Christmas.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Try your hand at candle making with the experts at Cheshire Workshops, this fun and creative skill is suitable for all ages.

Lumen Festival of Lights
Visual Arts 26 November–11 December 2021, FREE

Lumen Festival of Lights

Lumen is returning to Crewe on Friday 26 November to Saturday 11 December 2021. The colourful light-art trail will visit the town centre and give audiences the chance to be immersed in art, light and sound.

Cheshire District Guides

Crewe

Things to do in Crewe

A selection of cultural venues, rural sights, bars, pubs and eateries, gathered to showcase the highlights of Crewe’s budding local scene.

Things to do in Macclesfield: Macclesfield Treacle Market

Things to do in Macclesfield

Sat on the edge of the Peak District National Park, this former silk town combines contemporary culture, food, and drink with spectacular landscapes.

Chester Townhouse hotel

Hotels in Chester

To make life easy when it comes to booking your stay, here’s our guide to hotels in Chester.

Restaurants in Chester

One of the most beautiful city’s in the North, Chester is a wonderful historic city, with a wealth of high-end restaurants.

Things to do right now

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Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Literature Until 31 October 2021, FREE

Raw Milk online

Little Play Squad Sessions at Legoland
Education Until 17 December 2021, from £15

Little Play Squad at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

Music Until 19 September 2021, FREE

Sheba Arts Festival

Glee & Me at the Royal Exchange
Theatre Until 30 October 2021, from £10.00

Glee & Me at the Royal Exchange