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
Located in the North West of
England, Cheshire is easily
accessible by road, rail and air.
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.
The Lake District
Virgin Trains offer direct
rail services to and from
Anderton Boat Lift
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
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
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
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
“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:
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
To plan and book your group’s
visit call the dedicated group visits
officer on 01244 409113 or email
Find out more at
(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
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
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
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:
ages and interests
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.
springtime at Ness
Prices from £4.25 per person*
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
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
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
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
INSPIRED? READ MORE HERE:
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: email@example.com | 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
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!
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?
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
• 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
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
Alternatively, contact DIAL House Chester
Tel: 01244 345655,
Textphone: 01244 315122
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,
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
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
All tours are led by fully qualified Blue and Green Badge Guides.
Private guided tours can booked by emailing:
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:
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, visit our travel trade website:
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 email@example.com for
information or advice.