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Chester's history is incredible, and visitors aren't limited to hearing stories or reading descriptions in a museum - you can see so much of Chester's history in its architecture. Elegant and graceful, Chester now has a reputation as a mini-break mecca - with lots to see as well as lots to shop for, and all in a walkable area. For this reason, there is plenty of accommodation to choose from and the best places to stay in Chester range from budget B&Bs to chic boutique hotels.
Chester's city walls are a prime example of this city's living history. They encircle a collection of beautiful Tudor and Victorian buildings, but were originally built by the Romans as a fortress. The Vikings tore them down but the Saxons and Normans rebuilt them, only to be ruined again during the Civil War.
It's a two-mile circuit around the ruins, passing Eastgate with its second most famous clock in Britain. At Bridgegate you'll see the Bear & Billet pub, an impressive timber framed building built in 1664.
Most of Chester's other attractions are within the walls. There's the cathedral, which Henry VIII famously spared dissolution because he liked the architecture, and the 'Rows'. These are double storied, gallery arcades which fan off from the town centre, and where Chester gets its great reputation for Tudor and Victorian architecture. Some of it's real, but some of it is mock, and most of the Rows house shops and boutiques.
Is it worth popping outside the walls though, for The Groves, Chester's 'riverside promenade', and the Roman Amphitheatre. This seven thousand seat arena lay buried under the city until 1929, and it's been partly excavated. In its time it would have been the largest Roman amphitheatre in Britain - Chester was an important Roman stronghold, they needed a large number of troops here to keep an eye on the Welsh.
If you're interested in Wales, you're only a short drive north away.
What Not To Miss
- If you fancy learning more about Chester's Roman history visit the Dewa Roman Experience, a reconstructed Roman street, just off modern Bridge St.
- You may also appreciate the Grosvenor Museum, which has the UK's best collection of Roman tombstones. Plus, it's completely free!
- Chester Zoo has a reputation for being one of Europe's finest and is just a short trip out of town. Home to over 500 species of extremely well looked-after animals, it's a great place for a family day out.
- If that doesn't quite strike the right tone for your kind of break, how about spending the day at The Spa Chester, a world class pampering experience.
- Enjoy an afternoon picnic in Grosvenor Park as you enjoy views of the River Dee or head around the place on a miniature railway for something completely different!
- Book your break to coincide with a meeting at the Chester Race course (it's the oldest that's still in operation in the England, and dates back to the 16th century) and have a great day at the races.
Use our guide to the best places to stay in Chester, and start to plan a break to remember.
The best places to stay in Chester
- The Chester Grosvenor offers the ultimate traditional, luxury hotel experience. Firstly it looks the part, with a half timbered facade. Added to that you have over twenty years of Michelin starred cooking, a comprehensive spa and modern, yet elegant interiors. It's also right in the centre of town, so it's one of the best places to stay in Chester if you're just here for a short break.
- Right next to Chester Racecourse, ABode Chester's modern, round, glass-fronted building was originally the headquarters of Chester Constabulary.
For a Romantic Getaway
- Edgar House is set in a lovely Georgian property overlooking the river. Providing stylish accommodation with contemporary interiors, there are also lovely gardens, a mini cinema, a library and you can enjoy afternoon tea by the fire.
- Oddfellows is a quirky spot - their eclectic suites and apartments feature round beds, boutique furnishings and all the mod cons. To top it all off, there's also a Michelin-starred chef as well as a rooftop bar.
For An Apartment Or Holiday Home
- If you think a self-catering option would best suit your needs then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.
- The weather is nicest in the summer months, with the average temperature reaching 16°C in July and August.
- However this is peak season, so you can expect more tourists than at other times of the year and accommodation to be more expensive.
- The nearest airport is Liverpool John Lennon Airport, located 26 miles north of Chester, and served daily by a number of both domestic and mainland European routes.
- From here, you can hop on a train towards Liverpool Central and then on to Chester.
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Holiday Autos.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Chester
Oddfellows 16 rooms from $125Chester
A quirky hotel well positioned for sightseeing in Chester. An eclectic mix of decoration throughout cosy suites and apartments; round beds, boutique furnishings, mezzanine levels, and all the mod cons. Michelin star chef, Mediterranean fare, and a trendy rooftop bar in the garden. Pretty cool!Bar - Fabulous potting shed bar in the secret garden.Foodies - Michelin star chef.LuxuryCity StyleRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Edgar House 4 rooms from $207Chester (Cheshire)
A lovely Georgian house overlooking the River Dee with clean, contemporary interiors and stylish bedrooms. Lovely feature baths and views of the river and garden. Boasts a mini cinema, library and sitting room. Enjoy English afternoon tea at this stylish guest house hotel.Sights nearby - See the City Wall, visit the Amphitheatre, the Racecourse, Castle and Roman GardensViews - Situated on top of the city walls overlooking the river DeeGreat walks - Walk along the River DeeFull of characterRecommended by - Sawdays
ABode Chester 84 rooms from 195Chester
Strikingly modern property with 84 well equipped bedrooms converted from Chester Constabulary's former HQ, right next to the racecourse. Brasserie Abode Bar for dining and drinks, which occupies the entire 5th floor and features a rooftop terrace with great views!Sights nearby - Well located for major sights.
The Chester Grosvenor 80 rooms from $300Chester
Traditional luxury hotel in Chester town centre. Elegant modern interiors. Restaurant with 20 years of Michelin Stars, bars, spa and gym.SpaSights nearby - Well located for major sights.Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection, Small Luxury Hotels