A weekend in Chester & Cheshire

Check into Chester’s The Queen Hotel, set in a grand Victorian hotel building – just opposite Chester’s historic railway station. With a fabulous 2AA Rosette star restaurant, this upscale hotel provides a perfect mix of contemporary and classical style.

Drop off your bags and head off to explore Roman Chester. Either book a tour with a real Roman soldier or head off around the most complete Roman walls in the country – offering a perfect introduction to one of England’s most historic and beautiful cities.

Make sure you don’t miss Eastgate Clock on your walk. It is the second most photographed clock in Britain after Big Ben and one of Chester’s most prized landmarks.

Take a detour off the walls to check out the amphitheatre (England’s largest) and explore the Roman Gardens. Grosvenor Park situated on the river and just past the amphitheatre provides another beautiful walk, with yet more ancient ruins and stones.

In the summertime, Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre delights audiences with Shakespearian comedies and brilliant family adaptations of classic children’s stories. After dark, the Roman Gardens plays host to Moonlight Flicks, a boutique outdoor cinema, showing classic and popular films.

Lunch should be enjoyed somewhere local and Chester is full of independent neighbourhood eateries. Try The Chef’s Table, but be mindful as booking will be necessary at this popular bijoux restaurant. Ranked within OpenTable’s top 100 restaurants in the UK, the restaurant boasts its love for Chester through art and food supplied from the local area.

After lunch, potter down to the River Dee, where a quintessential English riverbank awaits, from a Victorian bandstand to old-fashioned rowing boats. Walk along the bank for a while, mess about on boats and then head up to the Rows where Chester’s unique shopping experience awaits. The city’s medieval rows house two tiers of independent boutiques, high street shops and art galleries in beautiful black and white timbered buildings.

For dinner, treat yourself. The city is home to one of the only Michelin star restaurants in the region. Situated in the famous Chester Grosvenor Hotel, ‘Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor’ has held a Michelin star for over 26 years, something only four other English restaurants can hold testament to. His delicious menu comes with an accompanying fleet of wines from their extensive cellars and also has a delicious vegetarian option – all served in a timeless and elegant restaurant discreetly tucked away in this 150-year-old hotel.

Just outside Chester, the attractions offer a myriad of opportunities for fun and excitement. Chester Zoo is the countries most visited paid-for attraction outside of London for good reason. Not just a zoo, but a very active conservation centre, Chester Zoo offers a beautiful setting and an authentic experience in which you can enjoy animals, including many endangered species – which, for this summer only, include dinosaurs too!

Blue Planet Aquarium, just a short drive from Chester, also offers a magical experience for all ages. From their shark tank (where you can book a dive with the sharks) to their many tanks of rare and beautiful fish and sea-life, it is a captivating experience.

Cheshire’s gardens are renowned and a trip to at least one of them is definitely recommended!

Tatton Park is a good place to start – where the historic stately home, miles of wonderful walks and an exceptional playground is a favourite. This summer they celebrate the Tremendous Adventures of Roald Dahl at Tatton, where you can investigate the most imaginative trails for children. Until the end of September, you’ll be invited to join Danny The Champion Of The World in the gardens, Fantastic Mr Fox at the farm and Matilda in the mansion….and out in the parkland the enormous crocodile will be lurking.

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