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Overall Experience

Chester Visitor information


Chester is located in Cheshire, in the heart of the UK about 197 Miles from London. It lies on the River Dee, close to the border with Wales. Chester has a number of medieval buildings, but some of the black-and-white buildings within the city centre are actually Victorian restorations. Chester is one of the best preserved walled cities in the British Isles. Apart from a 100-metre (330 ft) section, the listed Grade I walls are almost intact.

Activities of Interest

From a visit to the Cathedral to a River Cruise to Chester Zoo, there is a wealth of activities to keep visitors to Chester occupied. The zoo is home to thousands of rare and exotic species from all over the world, including elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers and monkeys. Take a cruise along the River Dee, an historic tour with a Roman soldier or a culinary journey through 2000 years of local produce. The Grosvenor Shopping Centre and the Chester Market Hall offer something for shoppers and there are many bars and restaurants catering for all tastes and budgets. Stephen Shakeshaft also offers guided tours of the city.

Getting to Chester

By Road: Chester is connected directly to the national motorway system via the M53 and London and all the major regions of the UK are easily accessible from the City. It lies 188 miles from London.

By Rail: Chester is well served by the British Rail Intercity network and enjoys fast, frequent rail links to London (under 3 hours) and major cities in the UK.

By Coach: All National Express services in Chester now depart from Chester Visitor Centre by the Roman Amphitheatre.

Chester Visitor Centre is the main ticket agency for National Express in Chester.
Main Ticket line 08705 808080

By Air: Chester is well served by airports with Liverpool (30 minutes) and Manchester (40 minutes) from Chester offering both national and international flights.



Chester History


Chester was founded as a "castrum", or Roman fort, with the name Deva Victrix in 79AD by the Roman Legio II Adiutrix during the reign of the Emperor Vespasian. Chester's four main roads, Eastgate, Northgate, Watergate and Bridge, follow routes laid out at this time – almost 2,000 years ago. One of the three main Roman army bases, Deva later became a major settlement in the Roman province of Britannia. After the Romans left in the 5th century, the Saxons fortified the town against the Danes and gave Chester its name. The patron saint of Chester, Werburgh, is buried in the Cathedral.

Chester was one of the last towns in England to fall to the Normans during the Norman conquest of England. William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a castle, to dominate the town and the nearby Welsh border. In 1071, he created Hugh d'Avranches, the 1st Earl of Chester.

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Universities in Chester

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