Chester, Cheshire and Beyond for Groups

MarketingCheshire

for groups

visitcheshire.com/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

Ness Gardens

National Waterways

Museum

Chester Zoo

Storyhouse

Cheshire Oaks

A56

Cathedral

Grosvenor Museum

A54

Runcorn

Tarporley

A49

Lion Salt Works

Northwich

Anderton Boat Lift

Weaver Hall Museum

Tatton Park

Knutsford

Jodrell Bank

A34

Macclesfield

The Peak

District

A54

A483

A41

A51

A50

Crewe

Stretton Watermill

Cheshire

A49

Nantwich


CHESTER IN A NUTSHELL

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

contemporary culture, this easy-to-explore 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.

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.

DAY 1

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 walking and coach tours, tailored

to the interests and mobility of the group, and bookable

at any time. It’s a great introduction to the city, covering

all the key sights with a sprinkling of hidden gems thrown

in for measure. Don’t miss the chance to walk The Rows;

two-tiered medieval shopping galleries finished in black and

white timber.

“Visitors are amazed at how much we

can pack into our guided tours -

the highlight for me is to see their

reactions when we take them into the

shops to discover the remains of a

Roman Hypocaust or Principia Building,

or maybe a medieval cellar...”

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

tree-lined promenade along the banks of the River Dee.

This is a perennially popular mooching spot with cafes and icecream

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.


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.atkinson@storyhouse.com

Find out more at

storyhouse.com

group

discounts

available

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, discover must-have brands at McArthurGlen

Designer Outlet Cheshire Oaks. From high-street favourites

including Nike, Adidas, Pandora and Diesel to iconic

designer labels such as Coach, Kate Spade, Hugo Boss and

many more - always up to 60% less than RRP. With over

150 luxurious brands, tempting cafés and restaurants, a

children’s playground and a dedicated coach car park, we’re

the region’s must-visit fashion destination.

5 reasons to love

McArthurGlen Designer Outlet

Cheshire Oaks

1

The iconic brands

With over 140 stores, there is so much for visitors

to discover at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet

Cheshire Oaks. Our range of designer brands

includes Coach, Michael Kors and Mint Velvet,

for up to 60% less.

2

There’s always

something exciting

happening at

McArthurGlen

Designer Outlet

Cheshire Oaks.

Go online to find

out about our latest

offers and events.

An extra 10% off for groups

Groups of 10 or more can enjoy an extra 10%

off outlet prices. Simply book your visit online

in advance to receive your Fashion Passports

at Guest Services.

3

The

great services

Our centre is about so much more than shopping.

Everything is taken care of, from free Wi-Fi to

portable phone chargers and even tailoring services.

4

The

fabulous

location

We’re just 10 minutes

from Chester,

30 minutes from

Liverpool and

45 minutes from

Manchester with free

coach parking.

5

The

delicious

food options

Enjoy delicious meals

at our new additions

Comptoir Libanais,

Leon and Wagamama.

With so many

restaurants to

choose from,

there’s something

for everyone.

cheshireoaksdesigneroutlet.com


(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%

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

chesterboat.co.uk

storyhouse.com

macdonaldhotels.co.uk/our-hotels/

macdonald-new-blossoms-hotel

chesterzoo.org

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


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.

EXPERIENCE THE ICONS

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.


SEE HISTORY COME ALIVE

Cheshire’s multi award-winning Lion Salt Works Museum

tells the fascinating 2000-year-old story of Cheshire’s

salt industry. The ‘Secret of Salt’ tour is an unmissable

experience for groups who can also enjoy discounts on

general admission (12 or more people only).

The Museum has recently unveiled its newly restored

‘Nodding Donkey’ pump; an incredible 10-metre brine

extraction train showing how the brine is pumped from

beneath the earth - a crucial part in the open-pan,

salt making story.


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

RELAX BY THE WATER

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

EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jodrell Bank is a worldfamous

deep space Observatory in the heart of Cheshire,

famous for its almighty 90m high Lovell Telescope, which is

simply incredible up close. Daily Telescope Walking Tours

are a popular choice for groups and there are always friendly

Explainers on hand to help you understand how it works.

Refuel at the Planet Café which has a fresh take on local and

sustainable produce.

In recognition of its internationally

significant heritage, science and cultural

impact, Jodrell Bank Observatory has

been awarded UNESCO World Heritage

Site status. Jodrell Bank now joins a

unique group of sites across the

globe recognised by UNESCO’s

international community as sites of

Outstanding Universal Value.


STEP BACK IN TIME

With acres of Parkland and Gardens, an impressive 18th

century Mansion, historic working Farm, new visitor

welcome centre and range of speciality shops and dining,

groups won’t be stuck for inspiration at Tatton Park. Expert

guided tours offer a range of unique experiences including

the chance to join in brand new cookery demonstrations

down at the Farm, meet costumed characters from bygone

years and discover treasured artefacts usually hidden from

public view.

“A big thank you to

all of the staff at Tatton

for making our day out

such a wonderful memory

to treasure.”

Phillip Vernon, 2019

CHESHIRE ON THE SCREEN

Cheshire has become a top choice for filmmakers and

TV producers looking for stunning locations for their

programmes and movies.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Grade II listed Arley Hall & Gardens near Northwich

featured as the Shelby family dwellings in the popular

TV series Peaky Blinders. Scenes were also filmed at the

historic National Waterways Museum and in the utopian,

picturesque village of Port Sunlight on the Wirral.

visitcheshire.com/ideas-and-inspiration/film-and-tv-locations

INSPIRED? READ MORE HERE:

visitcheshire.com/cheshire

andertonboatlift.co.uk

westcheshiremuseums.co.uk

nessgardens.org.uk

nwm.org.uk

jodrellbank.net

tattonpark.org.uk


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

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


DISCOVER THE UK’S NEWEST

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE

Open Monday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm

EXPLORE THE WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE AT

JODRELL BANK DISCOVERY CENTRE

Including: Interactive exhibits and displays,

arboretum and grounds, picnic areas and

daily Telescope Walking Tours. Plus, don’t miss

The Planet Cafe and Jodrell Bank gift shop!

Image: Craig Strong

Gather your herd

and see what

Tatton Park

has to offer

in 2020

Book in advance and

save over 20%

Enjoy wonderful days out and create

special memories for your Group at the beautiful

18th century Mansion, Gardens, Farm and Parkland

tattonpark.org.uk/groups

01625 374416 • tattongroups@cheshireeast.gov.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

group-friendly 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

hallmarkhotels.co.uk/hotels/hallmark-hotel-chester-the-queen

CHESHIRE

cottonshotel.co.uk

theparkroyal.co.uk

devere.co.uk/cranage-estate


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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)

• 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 park my coach in Chester?

A. The Little Roodee coach and car park

Prices are as follows:

• 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:

• 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. 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

visitcheshire.com/groups

visitcheshire.com/groups


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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

disabledgo.com

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

A. For information head to 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. 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:

chestertours.org.uk

ghostcity.co.uk

romantoursuk.com

Q. Who can I contact for more information?

A. 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

visitcheshire.com/groups

Alternatively, you can contact us on 01244 405600

or email groups@marketingcheshire.co.uk

visitcheshire.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 Amie Piper on

01244 405600 or email a.piper@marketingcheshire.co.uk for

information or advice.

visitcheshire.com/groups

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