Just over the Welsh border, Chester is a contemporary city with a rich heritage.
Immerse yourself in 2,000 years of history, sample the shops, cafes and restaurants, relax on the river or spend a day at the races. Chester has something for the whole family. Arrive by train and it’s just a ten minute walk from the railway station to the city walls.
Christmas in Chester
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Chester Christmas Market returns from 18 November to 21 December. With 70 huts filled with local, independent and artisan traders all set around Chester’s magnificent Christmas tree, the markets are a national favourite. This year visitors can expect unique, locally made produce, handmade crafts, jewellery, accessories and stocking fillers alongside delicious food and drink.
Christmas Shopping in Chester
As well as all the local and independent traders in the Christmas market, Chester’s cobbled streets and mysterious Medieval Rows are home to all kinds of independents to find a unique gift for that special someone. The city is home to boutique fashion, homewares, crafts, gifts, eco-friendly toys, antiques, jewellery, local produce, and more; and perusing Chester’s historic streets at Christmas makes for a particularly festive experience.
A firm festive favourite in Chester for young and old alike, The Lanterns are back for 2022 at Chester Zoo. The Lanterns take guests to all corners of the globe with illuminated displays like the Norwegian fairy-tale land, Japanese inspired garden (complete with giant lotus flowers and dragonflies), and a UV Bornean jungle with life sized orangutan puppets. The Zoo’s Christmas Market will also return, with festive treats on offer including Yorkshire pudding wraps, festive burgers, fresh pizza and bratwurst.
There are few better ways to get into the festive spirit than with a Christmas show. Storyhouse’s festive productions are a staple of the season and after previous successes with Oliver Twist! and A Christmas Carol present The Snow Queen for Christmas 2022. The show, which runs from 10 December to 15 January, tells the tale of Gerda on her epic journey through the seasons to save her best friend Cei from the Snow Queen.
For more inspiration for your Christmas trip to Chester go to visitchester.com/christmas
- Cathedral at Height, tour behind the scenes of gothic Chester Cathedral and get the best views in the city from the top of the tower.
- The Rows, delve into shopping heaven in these 700 year old medieval galleries - two tiers of shops from household names to tiny independents.
- River cruises, get a completely different view of the sights on a city cruise or afternoon tea cruise along the River Dee with ChesterBoat.
- Chester Races, experience the thrill of raceday, or take in a polo match at Britain’s oldest racecourse - 25 minutes’ walk from the station.
- Chester Zoo, explore 125 acres of habitats and over 21,000 exotic and endangered animals, a couple of miles north of the city.
A weekend in Chester
Chester has been voted one of Europe’s prettiest cities, and it’s not hard to see why. Rain or shine, there’s plenty to keep you busy.
Discover Chester’s Roman history on a walk around the oldest, longest and most complete city walls in Britain. Download the Chester Walls Quest app for challenges, interesting facts and stories along the way, or take a guided Roman Tour with your own Centurion. Visit the country’s largest Roman Amphitheatre - it’s free to enter - then lose yourself amongst the archaeological relics at the Grosvenor Museum.
Go animal crazy by getting up close to amazing birds of prey with a falconry experience for the whole family in the grounds of the cathedral. There are daily flying displays, reptiles, beautiful grounds and children’s nature trails.
Shop for treasures and bargains - Chester is bursting with boutiques, independent shops and high street stores. From the covered timber walkways of The Rows to the Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet mall just north of the city, you’re sure to find something special whatever your budget. Or head to Chester Indoor Market for everything from fresh local produce, books and music, to fancy dress, garden and homewares.
Enjoy festivals and shows with a year round programme of events for all the family. There’s open air theatre by the river in the summer, a varied series of festivals: food, music, film and literature, and the Storyhouse theatre, library, restaurant and cinema.
Plan your trip - find out what’s on in Chester
Travel to Chester in first-class on our Premier Service
Our Premier Service between Cardiff and Holyhead stops in Chester. Why not spoil yourself a little on your adventure? Our first-class dining service includes classic dishes served with charm and warmth.