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24 Hours in Chester

Over 2,000 years old, the historic city of Chester makes for an ideal day trip or city escape. While often overlooked, the former market town boasts a number of terrific sites and attractions, as well as a thriving culinary scene. See a castle, take in a show and eat an excellent meal or two with our guide to the best of Chester.

Morning
 
Get your caffeine fix at Jaunty Goat Coffee. Using their own house-blend, and guest roasts from around the UK and abroad, the café serves some of the city’s best freshly roasted coffee, including a killer flat white. There is also a small breakfast menu featuring avocado on toast and granola pots, as well as copious quantities of cake for those after something sweet.


Image credit: Tom Parnell/ via Flickr
 
Step back in time at the Chester Roman Amphitheatre, one of the city’s great claims to fame. Once the largest stone-built Roman Amphitheatre in Britain, the historic site was primarily used for entertainment and military training and now hosts various events and outdoor theatre productions throughout the year.
 
Only a short walk away, Chester Castle is another must-visit. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1090, the historic site overlooks the enchanting River Dee and boasts spectacular views of the city. While you are free to walk around the castle yourself, for a more comprehensive overview take a guided tour which includes a visit to the Castle and the Agricola Tower.
 

Image credit: Chester Cathedral/ via Facebook
 
Visit Chester Cathedral. Free to enter, the 1,000-year-old Cathedral is truly breathtaking and hosts regular musical events and exhibitions. For behind the scenes access, book into one of the Cathedral at Heights Tours, where you’ll have the chance to explore the bell-ringing chamber and high galleries, and climb over 200 steps up the tower to take in the incredible, panoramic view of the city.
 
 
Midday
 
Something of a Chester institution, Moules a Go-Go is a great option for a delicious, inexpensive lunch. Naturally, the mussels are the restaurant’s speciality. Served with fries or crusty bread, they are cooked to perfection and available in show stopping kilo pots. If mussels don’t take your fancy, there are plenty of other delicious dishes to choose from, as well as a terrific “Mini Moules Menu” for the under-12s.
 

Image credit: Bacon on the Beech/ via Facebook
 
Another standout among the city’s fantastic eateries is Sticky Walnut. The intimate restaurant specialises in innovative Modern European dishes ranging from hand cut pappardelle pasta and pan fried seam bream to a decadent sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream. For lunch, Sticky Walnut offers diners the choice of ordering one, two or three courses at an excellent price.
 

Image credit: Chester Zoo/ via Facebook
 
A short bus or car ride from the city centre the Chester Zoo is a must-visit. With over 15,000 animals and 500 different species, the UK’s number 1 Zoo is the perfect family-friendly attraction. Guided tours are available, while the Zoo also holds daily animal talks and a number of shows throughout the year.
 
 
Afternoon


Image credit: Robert Cutts/ via Flickr
 
Treat yourself with a spot of retail therapy at The Rows. One of Chester’s most distinctive architectural features, the unique, covered walkways of half-timbered galleries form a row of shops, giving visitors stores at street level with steps to another tier of shops above. Better still, many of the retailers can’t be found anywhere else in the country.
 

Image credit: The Brewery Tap Chester/ via Facebook
 
Having walked all over the city, sit back and relax at The Brewery Tap House. Offering the widest selection of cask ales in the city, including a choice of award-winning beers from Chester’s own brewery – Spitting Feathers – the historic pub is considered Chester’s best spot for a pint. The Brewery also has a traditional hand-pull cider for cider enthusiasts.
 
 
Evening


Image credit: The Chef’s Table/ via Facebook
 
Hidden away in Music Hall Passage, The Chef’s Table is an excellent spot for a final meal. Using only the highest quality produce, sourced largely from local suppliers, the restaurant’s menu changes weekly to capture the taste of the season. Vegan and vegetarian friendly, the Chef’s Table is guaranteed to impress even the fussiest of diners.
 
Alternatively, for an incredible fine dining experience, reserve a table at Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor. As the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Cheshire, having proudly retained its Michelin star for twenty-eight consecutive years, the restaurant takes its dishes to another level, offering versatile a la carte and tasting menus. The Chester Grosvenor is also home to one of the most extensive wine cellars in the country with over 1,000 wines to choose from.
 

Image credit: The Chester Grosvenor/ via Facebook
 
Round off your night with a show at Alexander's Live. The café-bar hosts a range of live entertainment from music and theatre to burlesque and cabaret, as well as weekly open mic and comedy nights.

 
 
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