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
Lion Salt Works
Anderton Boat Lift
Weaver Hall Museum
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.
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
“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
To plan and book your group’s
visit call the dedicated group visits
officer on 01244 409113 or email
Find out more at
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, 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
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.
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.
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.
We’re just 10 minutes
30 minutes from
45 minutes from
Manchester with free
Enjoy delicious meals
at our new additions
Leon and Wagamama.
With so many
(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
“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:
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
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
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
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
“A big thank you to
all of the staff at Tatton
for making our day out
such a wonderful memory
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.
INSPIRED? READ MORE HERE:
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
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
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
has to offer
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
01625 374416 • email@example.com
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
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?
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
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
The car park is open 24 hours; vehicles may be
parked overnight but should be moved by 9am the
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
Q. Where are the public toilets located in Chester?
A. Public toilets can be found in the
• 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
Alternatively, visit our travel trade website
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,
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
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
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
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?
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
Alternatively, you can contact us on 01244 405600
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com for
information or advice.