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

Geronimo Festival 2022
Families 27–29 August 2022, from £20.00

Geronimo Festival at Arley Hall

Head to the Geronimo Festival 2022 to experience children’s entertainment & activities, music, food stalls, camping, and loads of fun!

Exhibitions Until 25 November 2022, FREE

Gathering Downstream at Quarry Bank

The former cotton mill of Quarry Bank is currently home to ‘Gathering Downstream’, an exhibition exploring the site’s legacy of the industrial revolution alongside environmental change and disruption.

The Time Traveller's Wife
Theatre 30 September–15 October 2022, from £22.50

The Time Traveller’s Wife: a new musical at Storyhouse

A brand new musical adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s international best-seller is set to receive its world premiere at Storyhouse before moving to the West End.

Romeo and Juliet at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Families 1 July–28 August 2022, from £28.00

Romeo and Juliet at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

Don’t miss one of the greatest love stories ever told when it comes to Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre this summer. Theatre and fresh air. Perfect.

Music 22–24 July 2022, from £59.75

Bluedot 2022 at Jodrell Bank

Bluedot is a festival of discovery located in the shadow of the world-renowned Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank.

Cinema 25 June–24 July 2022, from £9.50

Film Feels Curious: My Forgotten Favourites at Storyhouse

A celebration of the distinctively kitsch and colourful cult films of the late 90s/early 00’s at Storyhouse Cinema this summer.

Families at Bluedot
Families 21–24 July 2022, from £59.75

Families at Bluedot Festival 2022

Space-loving families are invited to the Bluedot Festival 2022, returning on 21-24 July for its fifth year of awe-inspiring, inter-planetary fun.

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.

Just So Festival, Rode Hall Cheshire
Families 19–21 August 2022, from £20

Just So Festival 2022

Just So, the best family festival in the UK, returns in August. Expect woodland adventures, magical storytelling and outdoor arts and creative activities for families.

Activity Until 31 August 2022, from £0.00

Tours in Chester

Roman Soldiers, blue badge holders and Medieval Longbowman walk the streets of Chester sharing their passion for history with a wide selection of tours in Chester.

Cheshire District Guides

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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.

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