Local information - history
The historic city of Chester was founded by the Romans in AD79, and still shows many signs of its long and fascinating history. Built on the banks of the River Dee, the city now attracts visitors from around the world. In 2007 Chester Council announced a 10-year plan to see Chester become a ‘must see European destination’. At a cost of £1.3 billion it was named 'Chester Renaissance'.
The more unusual landmarks in the city are the city walls, the Rows and the black-and-white architecture. The walls encircle the bounds of the medieval city and constitute the most complete city walls in Britain with the full circuit measuring nearly 2 miles. The Rows are unique in Britain and consist of buildings with shops or dwellings on the lowest two storeys.
Roman remains can still be found in the city, particularly in the basements of some of the buildings and in the lower parts of the northern section of the city walls. The most important Roman feature is the amphitheatre just outside the walls which is undergoing archaeological investigation.
Places to visit
Chester, being one of Britain’s great heritage cities, is just waiting to be discovered!
The Roodee, one of the oldest active racecourses in the country, is now a glamorous venue that plays host to a thriving horse racing and international polo season year on year.
The Roman Amphitheatre, where 7,000 spectators once enjoyed circuses, festivals and gladiator fights, has been brought to life and now hosts Family Saturdays throughout the summer for all the family to enjoy.
The 1,000 year old Chester Cathedral hosts regular musical events and exhibitions.
The Eastgate Clock is one of the most photographed in the world; built to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and restored in the summer of 2015, stands proudly in the City Centre. A cruise on the River Dee is perhaps one of the most relaxing things to do in Chester ranging from half-hour City Cruises, Afternoon Tea and Themed Party Nights.
Opened in May 2017 in the heart of the City is “Storyhouse”, Chester’s new £37M theatre, cinema and library. In the City Centre you will find a plethora of high street and boutique style stores sitting amongst many cafes, bars and restaurants catering for all culinary tastes.
On the outskirts of the City is Chester Zoo, the perfect day out for animal lovers, with over 15,000 animals in 125 acres of award-winning zoological gardens.
The City is a hub for major roads, including the M53 motorway towards the Wirral Peninsula and Liverpool and the M56 motorway towards Manchester. The A55 North Wales Expressway links Chester to the North Wales coast and the A483 links the city to nearby Wrexham and ultimately to South Wales. There is a direct rail service to London Euston in 2 hours, whilst Liverpool and Manchester Airports are easily accessible being just 25 miles and 33 miles distant respectively by road.
Local schools and colleges
Local state primary and secondary schooling is well-provided for in the area at Belgrave, Upton Heath and Overleigh St Mary’s Primary Schools and Queen’s Park, Bishops’ Blue Coat and Christleton High Schools. Independent schooling is provided for at both King’s and Queen’s Schools in Chester, and Abbey Gate College in nearby Saighton.
Higher education is available at the University of Chester, one of the oldest higher education institutions in the country, together with West Cheshire College offering a variety of vocational study programmes.