Your ultimate guide to Chester and Cheshire in a nutshell

MarketingCheshire

visitcheshire.com/groups

for groups


Chester, Cheshire and beyond

offers group organisers and coach

operators a fabulous choice of

places to stay and visit.

Let this be your ultimate

guide to exploring the classic,

contemporary city of Chester and

the beautiful rural county

of Cheshire.

Cheshire

visitcheshire.com/groups

Chester

Cheshire

London

GETTING HERE:

Located in the North West of

England, Cheshire is easily

accessible by road, rail and air.

Cheshire

The M6 motorway runs directly

through the county, linking

the north and south. Chester

is accessible from London by

rail in just over 2 hours, whilst

overseas travellers can board

direct flights to Manchester

and Liverpool, both within 45

minutes journey from Cheshire.

Chester

Cheshire

The Lake District

Manchester

Liverpool

London

Virgin Trains offer direct

rail services to and from

London Euston.

London


Manchester

Liverpool

Widnes

Warrington

Stockport

A50

Wirral

River Dee

Port Sunlight

Ness Gardens

National Waterways

Museum

Chester Zoo

Chester

Storyhouse

Cheshire Oaks

A56

Cathedral

A54

Runcorn

Tarporley

A49

Anderton Boat Lift

Northwich

Tatton Park

Knutsford

A34

Macclesfield

The Peak

District

A54

A483

A41

A51

A50

Crewe

Cheshire

A49

Nantwich


DAY 1

YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO

CHESTER IN A NUTSHELL

It’s time to discover Chester… From ancient heritage to

contemporary culture, this compact Roman city is the

hidden gem in a north west England itinerary. Liverpool

and Manchester are both less than 45 minutes away and

train connections run to and from London in just two hours.

Chester, on the other hand offers an easy-to-explore,

city-based alternative. Roman legions founded the city as

‘Deva’, the largest Roman fortress in Britain in 70AD. Today,

it wears its heritage with pride but also celebrates a more

cultural outlook.

SOAK UP THE HISTORY

Start with a tour of Chester Cathedral, founded as a

Benedictine abbey in 1092. More adventurous visitors can

take the ‘Cathedral at Height’ tour, climbing the 216 spiral

stairs of the central tower for sweeping cityscape views

across Cheshire and North Wales.

GO BEHIND THE SCENES

Chester Tour provides small-group and bespoke tours

tailored to various themes and bookable at any time. Explore

The Rows (two-tiered medieval shopping galleries finished in

black and white timber) or collect the keys to Chester Castle

as part of the ‘Secret Chester’ walking tour (on the first

Tuesday and third Thursday of the month). The castle opens

for special events during summer months.

“The castle formed part of Edward I’s

ring of stone against the Welsh

rebellion. Visiting the chapel,

located on the first floor with priceless

paintings from the 1200s, is my

personal highlight of the tour.”

Liz Roberts, Guild of Chester Tour Guides

TAKE A BREAK

Grab some lunch at one of Chester’s great coffee shops and

browse the independent boutiques around Rufus Court and

Watergate Street. Or pop into Booth Mansion, which has been

home to wealthy merchants over the centuries and now hosts

afternoon teas in the former ballroom. Alternatively, afternoon

tea at the Chester Grosvenor offers a haven of luxury at the

heart of the city. You could even combine it with a treatment

at the day spa.


TAKE A STROLL

Take a walk through Grosvenor Park to The Groves, the treelined

promenade along the banks of the River Dee. This is a

perennially popular mooching spot with cafes and ice-cream

kiosks. Or jump aboard a river cruise with ChesterBoat,

including options for sightseeing with afternoon tea.

Take the chance to marvel at Eastgate Clock, Chester’s

answer to Big Ben. It was designed for Queen Victoria’s

Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and today towers above Eastgate

Street, the main shopping thoroughfare.

CATCH DINNER AND A SHOW

Storyhouse, Chester’s flagship arts centre combining a

theatre, cinema and library, hosts shows from musical

theatre to stand-up comedy. Plus, there’s a restaurant with

a Lebanese-motif menu and late bar. The Storyhouse team

is also behind the Moonlight Flicks open-air cinema in the

Roman Gardens and the Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre,

both running over the summer months.

GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

The Macdonald New Blossoms is Chester’s oldest hotel,

dating from 1650, which combines a sense of heritage charm

with contemporary furnishings, plus all of the city-centre

attractions are right on the doorstep. Make sure you ask for

room 216 which offers a view of Chester’s famous

Eastgate Clock.


DAY 2

HEAD BEYOND THE WALLS

The next morning, we recommend a trip to Chester Zoo, the

UK’s original zoo without walls and home to 500 species of

exotic and endangered animals. Groups can enjoy guided

tours (maximum 20 people), pre-ordered picnic boxes and

pre-purchased monorail tickets. The Zoo recently unveiled

a new nature reserve, located outside the boundary of the

main zoo, to provide a protected habitat for threatened

British wildlife.

Alternatively, head out of Chester to the Cheshire Oaks

Designer Outlet to stock up on bargains. A recent extension

brings 30 new premium and luxury brands including

Boss and Ralph Lauren to the retail park, catering to an

international clientele.

INSIDER TIP:

Chester is always

popular for a short

break and Chester Zoo

is amongst our top

attractions. For me,

admiring the city from a

ChesterBoat river cruise

on the River Dee is a nice

way to relax.”

INSPIRED? READ MORE HERE:

visitcheshire.com/chester

chestercathedral.com

chestertours.org.uk

boothmansion.uk

chestergrosvenor.com

storyhouse.com

macdonaldhotels.co.uk/our-hotels/

macdonald-new-blossoms-hotel

chesterzoo.org

outlets.mcarthurglen.com/en/uk/designeroutlet-cheshire-oaks/

chesterboat.co.uk

Gary Gillespie, National Sales Manager, SuperBreak


Chester’s multi-award-winning theatre, cinema, library and restaurant

Chester’s theatre, cinema and library

• Year-round programme of theatre,

film, festivals and events

• A bustling restaurant and loft

bar, range of spaces to hire for

conferences, AGMs and events

• Dedicated Group Sales Officer

• Reserve tickets now and pay later

• Group discounts available

Group bookings

To plan and book your group’s

visit call the dedicated group visits

officer on 01244 409113 or email

alex.chapman@storyhouse.com

Find out more at

storyhouse.com

group

discounts

available

(R)OUND UP YOU(R) TROOP (A)ND (S)TART

YOU(R) ADV(E)NTURE (A)T

Discover over 21,000 amazing animals based in

125 acres of beautiful, award-winning gardens

chesterzoo.org/groups

Book

in advance

and SAVE

30%


HERITAGE & HORTICULTURE

Next stop why not head North West of the city and enjoy the

amazing horticulture and heritage attractions of Ness Gardens,

National Waterways Museum and Port Sunlight Museum and

Village Trust.

GET BACK TO NATURE

Ness Botanic Gardens offers 64 acres of beautiful landscaped

gardens overlooking the Dee Estuary to North Wales. The

gardens are home to a fine collection of interesting and unusual

plants, from the Himalayan to Chinese. Plus, there’s a plant

sales area for take-home souvenirs. They form part of a wider

trail of Cheshire’s Glorious Gardens (see links).

“We offer bespoke tours for groups visiting us, so

would suggest taking advantage of the historic,

horticultural and botanic expertise of our garden

guides — book ahead.”

Zoë Chapman, Business Manager, Ness Botanic Gardens


STEP BACK IN TIME

The National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port, located

some 20 minutes from Chester, brings 200 years of industrial

history to life with its range of displays and popular boat trips.

Take the guided tour and then, after admiring the brightly

painted, restored canal boats bobbing in the marina, catch the

boat trip with live commentary.

“The 45-minute boat trip on the Shropshire Union Canal is a great way

to get a sense of the industrial heritage of the region, seeing how the

canal was used during its working life.

Some sections of the canal today form part of the landscape but they are

integral to understanding the powerhouse story of the Northwest in the

Industrial Revolution,”

Michelle Kozomara,

Marketing and Communications Manager, Canal & River Trust.


TAKE THE VILLAGE TRAIL

Finally, it’s just a short drive on to Port Sunlight Village to

continue the history motif. The utopian-style village, founded

in 1888 by the soap magnate William Hesketh Lever for

the workers at his factory, is today managed by the Port

Sunlight Village Trust and maintains a series of tours, trails

and a museum.

The Port Sunlight Museum traces the development of the

village from the site for Lever’s fledgling soap works through

to its current status as a Conservation Area with a host of

Grade II-listed buildings set amongst 130 acres of parkland.

The village trail leads from the striking Leverhulme Memorial

statue to the War Memorial which remembers the 4,000

Lever Brothers’ employees who fought in WWI. Finally,

don’t miss the Lady Lever Art Gallery, opened in 1922 by

Lord Lever to house his personal collection. The gallery is

today considered to house one of the finest decorative arts

collections in Europe.

Both Port Sunlight and the National Waterways Museum

recently featured as the backdrop to scenes in the popular

TV series Peaky Blinders. From here, it’s a short hop onto

Liverpool, crossing the River Mersey en route, to continue

your Northwest odyssey.

INSPIRED? READ MORE HERE:

Visitcheshire.com/cheshire

cheshiresgardens.com

Canalrivertrust.org.uk/nwm

Nessgardens.org.uk

Portsunlightvillage.com


Welcoming all

ages and interests

Discounted admission

for groups of

10 or more

Make Ness Gardens the

next stop on your group tour

• Open 7 days a week

• Pre-bookable garden tours including the history of the

Gardens and plants of interest

• Free all day coach parking and free admission for coach drivers

• Cafe open daily with seated, take away and picnic options available

• Free garden map

• Tours tailored to season or interest

Winner of ‘Sustainable Tourism Award’ at the 2017 Wirral Tourism Awards

*All members of the group must arrive together and pay under the same transaction.

For more information go to liverpool.ac.uk/ness-gardens.

BOOK NOW

Don’t miss

springtime at Ness

Prices from £4.25 per person*

liverpool.ac.uk/ness-gardens

Email: nessgdns@liverpool.ac.uk

Call: 0151 795 6300

EXPLORE THE WONDERS OF THE

UNIVERSE AT THE WORLD-FAMOUS

JODRELL BANK OBSERVATORY

Open Monday - Sunday 10am - 5pm

Perfect for Groups!

Save up to 15% on admission prices

Free coach parking

Choice of exclusive talks and tours

Great value food and drink packages

Complimentary guide books


STAY LONGER AND

EXPLORE CHESHIRE

Anchored by the city of Chester, Cheshire makes for a

fascinating stop as part of a wider itinerary exploring the

lush, rolling landscape towards Manchester, less than one

hour away, and Liverpool and North Wales less than 45

minutes away. Cheshire has played a vital role in innovation

throughout history, from industry to dairy farming, amongst

its postcard picture villages. This itinerary explores both

with groundbreaking attractions on a science and ruralheritage

theme.

SEE HISTORY COME ALIVE

The next stop after exploring the city culture of Chester is

the Anderton Boat Lift, affectionately known as ‘Cathedral of

the Canals’, which lifts barges 50 foot from the River Weaver

to the Trent and Mersey Canal. It’s a marvel of Victorian

engineering, offering a living-history insight into our inland

waterways and the Northwich salt industry. While the canal

network was a hub of industry in the Victorian era, it’s a

haven for wildlife today.

“We have themed events throughout the season, including

beer festivals and concerts, but the biggest night of the

year is our fireworks event against the backdrop of the

magnificent boat lift.”

Rachael Matzen, Canal & River Trust

BESPOKE GROUP TRIPS

The first and last trips of the day are bespoke group trips only.

Three trip options are a lift excursion, river cruise or a walking

tour to the top of the lift, the latter particularly compelling for

people with an interest in engineering. Head to the cafe for

afternoon tea to round off your visit.


EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS

The Lovell Telescope has been dominating the Cheshire countryside

since 1957. However, the world’s first fully steerable radio

telescope, the centrepiece of the Jodrell Bank Observatory, was

only recently nominated for UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

The Observatory, which is part of The University of Manchester,

has also secured funding for its ‘First Light’ project to create a new

building, separate to the current visitor centre, to celebrate Jodrell

Bank’s pioneering role in British scientific and cultural history. The

new facility will house an exhibition space, an immersive projection

area to stream international science events and a new café.

“We will be extending the visitor

experience by 2021 to highlight

our connection to live science,

the data collected by the Lovell

Telescope continues to enhance

our perception of the universe to

this day.”

Lorna Harper, Deputy Director at Jodrell Bank

FIELD TO FORK ON THE FARM

Finally, the 1,000-acre estate of Tatton Park, the former deer

park and country pile of Cheshire’s wealthy Egerton family,

offers a flexible visit with the neo-classical mansion house,

working farm and award-winning gardens to explore. Groups

benefit from some exclusive new tours not open to individual

day visitors, such as access to the Japanese Garden, which is

spectacular in autumn with its red and orange-hued leaves.

“Everyone can find something at Tatton — from historians to

garden lovers,” says Christina Yardley, Marketing Manager

at Tatton Park. “Following investment in the working farm,

we recently restored the historic mill to working order. We

now offer guided group tours to share the heritage story of

Cheshire farming through the ages.”

From here, it’s just 30 minutes onto Manchester, swapping

country charms for city culture, to continue your Northwest

odyssey.

INSPIRED? READ MORE HERE:

Visitcheshire.com/cheshire

Canalrivertrust.org.uk/anderton

Jodrellbank.net

Tattonpark.org.uk


A Taste of Tatton

FARM • GARDENS • MANSION • PARKLAND

Group visits to Tatton Park

are special - whatever your

interests, we’ll build you an

itinerary to make the most

of your time.

• DISCOUNTED RATES

• EXPERTLY LED TOURS

• SPECIALITY SHOPPING & DINING

• FREE PRIORITY COACH PARKING

• CARERS GO FREE

tattonpark.org.uk | E: tattongroups@cheshireeast.gov.uk | T: 01625 374416

Great for Groups

Discount on lift and river trips for groups of 12 or more

FREE admission and refreshment voucher for coach drivers

Discounted catering packages (when booked in advance)

FREE coach parking

Only 5 miles from M56

For more information call 01606 786 777 or

email groups@andertonboatlift.co.uk

andertonboatlift.co.uk


EAT & DRINK...

Cheshire is well established as a foodie favourite and it’s easy

to see why. Whether you are looking for fine dining, lunch in a

beautiful country pub, a delicious afternoon tea or the best street

food at a bustling market, Cheshire has it all.

There are so many places to eat out in Chester and Cheshire,

let your taste buds lead the way!

visitcheshire.com/food-and-drink

...STAY

In Chester and Cheshire, you’ll find a super selection of groupfriendly

hotels. If it’s the city life you are after, Chester offers

the perfect city accommodation in a variety of styles; there’s

a range of stylish hotels that cater for all tastes and budgets

from boutique hotels to luxury 5* you will be assured of the

highest standards. We recommend The Chester Grosvenor,

The Mill Hotel and The Queen Hotel. In Cheshire stay at one

of our stunning rural hotels, we recommend the

Cottons Hotel, Park Royal and Cranage Hotel for groups.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

visitcheshire.com/accommodation

CHESTER

chestergrosvenor.com

millhotel.com

hallmarkqueenchester.guestreservations.com

CHESHIRE

cottonshotel.co.uk

theparkroyal.co.uk

devere.co.uk/cranage-estate


FAQ’S

Q. Where can I drop off my passengers in Chester?

A. There are new drop-off restrictions in Chester city centre, please

note drop-offs are limited to 10 minutes. Current drop-off points

are:

• Vicar’s Lane (westbound, CH1 1QU)

• Grosvenor Street (southbound, CH1 2DD)

• Pepper Street (eastbound, CH1 1DW)

• Little Roodee Car Park (Castle Drive, CH1 1SL)

• Foregate Street (eastbound, CH1 1HE)

• *Hunter Street (CH1 2AR)

* Coaches can use the space in the old bus station (Hunter Street)

until further notice however they are not permitted to enter the

new bus station on Gorse Stacks

Q. Where can I find out more information about accessibility

in Chester?

A. Cheshire West and Chester Council produce a booklet – Chester

City Centre Access. Here, you will find information about the

Shopmobility Scheme, gaining access to the Rows, parking, and

toilets. Copies of this leaflet can be obtained from the Visitor

Information Centre.

Alternatively, contact DIAL House Chester

Tel: 01244 345655,

Textphone: 01244 315122

Email: contactus@dialhousechester.org.uk

Address: DIAL House Chester, Hamilton Place, Chester, CH1 2BH

You will find more information online at www.disabledgo.com

Q. Where can I park my coach in Chester?

A. The Little Roodee coach and car park

Up to three hours - £5.50 Three to six hours - £8 Over six hours -

£10 Arrivals after 5pm - £5 *Multiple Access - £10

*If you wish to obtain a multiple access ticket, you must first take a

ticket from the entry machine, this can then be discarded and you

should collect a ‘Coach Ticket’ from the payment machine (£10).

You will also be issued with another ticket allowing you to enter

and exit the Roodee for the remainder of the day.

Large vehicles which exceed the size of a standard marked bay

should pay for the number of spaces occupied.

The car park is open 24 hours; vehicles may be parked overnight

but should be moved by 9am the following morning.

There are on site toilet facilities for passengers and coach drivers.

There is a radar key toilet situated outside of the building.

When the fair arrives in May, alternative coach parking is available

at the Park & Ride on Wrexham Road.

Q. Where are the public toilets located in Chester?

A. Public toilets can be found in the following locations:

• Grosvenor Shopping Centre (accessed by Pepper St)

• Princess Street (under the market) 8am – 6pm

• Frodsham Street 8am – 6pm

• The Groves (Near Suspension Bridge)

• Little Roodee (on the coach/car park)

Q. Where can I buy souvenirs?

A. Chester Visitor Information Centre - they sell maps, publications,

and souvenirs.

Address: Chester VIC, Town Hall, Northgate St, Chester, CH1 2HJ

Q. What events are taking place in Chester/Cheshire?

For information on Chester and Cheshire go to

www.visitcheshire.com

Major events in Chester and Cheshire include:

May – September – Chester Races

July – RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

November – December – Christmas in Chester & Cheshire

Q. Where can I book a private guided tour and how much are they?

A guided tour of Chester is the best way of seeing the city. Tours

generally last for approximately 1.5 hours so even if you are in

Chester for a few hours make the most of your time here and let

one of our experienced guides show you all the highlights of this

beautiful city.

All tours are led by fully qualified Blue and Green Badge Guides.

Private guided tours can booked by emailing:

chesterwalkingtours@gmail.com

A variety of public sightseeing and themed tours depart regularly

from Chester Visitor Information Centre on a daily basis for both

groups and individual visitors. For more info visit:

www.chestertours.org.uk

www.ghostcity.co.uk www.romantoursuk.com

Q. Who can I contact for more information?

Groups are very important to us in Chester and Cheshire and we

want to make planning your visit as easily as possible.

For more information, refer to our groups guide and dedicated

groups website www.visitchester.com/groups

Alternatively, you can contact us on 01244 405600 or email

groups@marketingcheshire.co.uk

Q. Which venues can cater for large groups – for accommodation

and eating out?

A. Please contact Marketing Cheshire, we provide a FREE service

which searches appropriate venues for availability and rates.

Call 01244 405606 or email a.shacklady@marketingcheshire.co.uk

Alternatively, visit our travel trade website:

http://www.visitchester.com/groups


FURTHER

INFORMATION

and contact details

Groups are really important to us and we look forward to welcoming you to

Chester, Cheshire and beyond soon.

For more help planning your visit, please contact Rebecca Wainwright on

01244 405600 or email groups@marketingcheshire.co.uk for

information or advice.

visitcheshire.com/groups

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