What better way to get to know Chester than to walk around it? These walks in Chester are a great way to soak up the history that drips from the city streets. When the weather is right, you can also jump in the car or on your bike to take a hike in the amazing countryside, like Delamere Forest, just a short trip from the city centre. And for those keen historians, walking in and around Chester is made all the better by knowing you’re following in the footsteps of Roman Legionnaires, Vikings and Normans – Chester really is drenched in history!
The most popular walk, and one of our top choices, is around the remarkably complete city walls which wrap themselves around the characterful city streets. Why not take a picnic up with you and make a day of it? Or for those interested in the stories of Chester’s past, take a walk to take in the largest Roman amphitheatre in Britain, Chester’s very own castle, or the Roman gardens just outside the city walls. But Chester isn’t all about its past – its shops and restaurants are worth a visit, too!
Just a stone’s throw from Wales, a keen walker may wish to leave the more built-up areas for the expanse of the great outdoors. From Chester, it is possible to walk along part of the Welsh border—not many walks can offer you two countries in one route. The Sandstone Trail can also be picked up in nearby Frodsham, offering one of the finest and most popular long distance walks in North West England – but at 55km long its quite the commitment! If it’s the expanse of the great outdoors you’re after, Chester is a great base.
So, whether you want to steep yourself in the history or ramble in near-endless countryside, taking a walk in and around Chester can deliver. Here, we’ve gathered together our choice of walks, taking in our favourite sights that Chester has to offer.
Here are our picks
Chester Rows, Bridge St, Watergate St, Eastgate Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1NG - Visit now
These charming shopping arcades of yesteryear must be one of Britain’s most prized ancient treasures. Many of the buildings are listed and The Three Old Arches in Bridge Street is believed to be the oldest surviving shop face in Britain, with sections of the building dating back to 1274. Some are Victorian copies of the original black and white frontage, but still attractive to look at and awash with plenty of old-fashioned character. Take a walk around and soak up the architecture – and maybe pick up a treat or too!
Chester City Walls, Vicar's Lane,, Chester,, Cheshire,, CH1 1QX - Visit now
Among everything Chester has to offer, the Chester City Walls are perhaps the most remarkable. Some two miles long, Chester boasts the oldest, longest and most complete city walls in all of Britain. Today, visitors to Chester can walk the length of the city walls, and feel themselves walking back in time. The main access onto the walls is at each of the four main gateways – Northgate, Eastgate, Watergate and Bridgegate. Once on top of the walls, you’ll be rewarded with the spectacular views over the city and its waterways which have so much charm and character. To circumvent the walls takes on average 40 minutes.
Sandstone Trail, Main Street, Frodsham, WA6 7DJ - Visit now
The Sandstone Trail is one of the most well-loved and well-worn walks in this corner of England. Easily accessible from Chester by train, car or bike, there are plenty of starting points to choice from. The most common is to join the Sandstone Trail at the ancient market town of Frodsham, where you can pick it up on the tree-lined Main Street. To walk the full length of the Sandstone Trail is quite a commitment – at 55km long it would take around two to three days but plenty of smaller walks are possible. No matter how much of the trail you see, you’ll be charmed by its amazing geology and views.
Wales Coast Path from Chester to Flint, City Rd, Chester, CH1 3NS - Visit now
The Wales Coastal Path holds the remarkable title of being the first path in the world to follow a country’s coastline in its entirety and stretches for a whopping 870 miles. Although technically starting on the border with England near Saltney in Flintshire, the route unofficially starts in Chester’s historic city centre, making Chester a great base for a walking holiday. The North Wales section of the Wales Coastal Path can be divided into six manageable sections, and is 154km in length, and its way-markings and clear maps make it a great way to design a walk to suit your walking desires
Delamere Forest, Linmere, Delamere,, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 2HZ - Visit now
Delamere Forest draws walkers from far and wide to enjoy the prehistoric feel of its walking routes. The forest can be explored along 3 different walking trails: the Blakemere trail, the Linmere trail, and the Old Pale trail. Delamere Forest’s walks are perfect for families with children or for those with different mobility needs not served by long walks. There are also a host of activities, from orienteering to bike and Segway hire, so make sure to check out all of Delamere Forest’s facilities before you go. Work has been completed on a brand new visitor centre, will a great little café and facilities to accommodate the 750,000 people that visit the forest each year.
Roman Gardens, Pepper Street, Chester, CH1 1QQ - Visit now
Just south east of Chester city centre, and just outside the city walls, is the Chester Roman Garden. These elegant gardens were built in 1949 in a Roman style in order to display the fragments of Roman legionary fortress of Deva that had been excavated at the end of the nineteenth century. Nowadays, the Roman Garden is a quaint little green space, perfect for a picnic or simply to bear witness to Chester’s historic roots. In the Roman Garden, join the path which runs right through it and out to the water to continue your walk along the bank of the River Dee.
Sticky Walnut, 11 Charles St, Chester, Cheshire, CH2 3AZ - Visit now
Hoole is a suburb in the east of Chester with a village feel and plenty going on. Only a 30 minute walk from Chester itself, its community spirit is clear and you’ll be sure of a warm welcome alongside plenty of independent shops and restaurants to wonder around. Sticky Walnut is the jewel in the crown of its restaurant scene, an award winning bistro serving humble dishes using the best possible ingredients. Why not finish your walk from Chester to Hoole with a delicious meal at the Sticky Walnut – you deserve it!
Chester Cathedral, St Werburgh St, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2DY - Visit now
A walk round Chester’s city centre would not be complete without a trip to the Medieval cathedral, and maybe even a climb of its 216-step tower! Chester Cathedral is a snapshot through the centuries where you can follow in the footsteps of Benedictine monks, Roman soldiers and even Georgian gentry. And don’t forget to look up – there’s a hidden gem round every corner, from the vaulted ceiling of the Lady Chapel to grimacing gargoyles peeking out of window arches and walls. It’s also worth seeking out some of the modern art here, including the late Ros Grimshaw’s Millennium Window, a dramatic stained-glass work in the west wall of the refectory.
Chester Castle, Grosvenor Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2DN - Visit now
Chester Castle sits a short 15-minute walk from the city centre, nestled next to the famous Chester Racecourse in a bend in the River Dee. In fact, the castle strategically looks out over the river, providing a vital viewpoint for its early residents, and beautiful views for today’s walkers. What remains today is the some of the Medieval castle complex, along with the newer Neoclassical buildings built between 1788 and 1813. The castle’s history stretches all the way back to 1070 when it was built by Hugh d’Avranches, the second Earl of Chester. A vital stop on a history-lovers walking tour of Chester!
Grey n Pink Records, 57 Brook Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 3DZ - Visit now
Vinyl is back on track and UK record sales in 2020 hit their highest figure for 30 years, as locked down gig-goers rushed to spend their money on physical music. Ask any vinyl head for their favourite record shop and Grey n Pink will always get a mention. Driven by a love for music and digging through second-hand crates of records, Michael Moran launched his record store on Brook Street more than 30 years ago. There’s plenty of shops to check out while you’re in this part of the city, which is only a short walk from the station on the way to the banks of the River Dee. Why not make the stop en-route and see what classic record you can pick up?