The Royal party visited Chester to officially open Storyhouse, a new integrated arts centre that is home to a theatre, cinema, public library and the largest repertory company in the UK after the RSC and National Theatre. After a civic reception at Chester’s magnificent Victorian Gothic town hall, the royal duo moved on to open the Mersey Gateway Bridge at Runcorn. But what else could they have seen in this historic city if there had been more time in their schedule? Here are some of Chester’s highlights for visitors:

• The UK’s most complete city walls: The mile-long circuit of Roman and medieval walls provides a perfect overview of the city’s historic heart, with landmarks along the way including the tower from which Charles I watched his army’s defeat at nearby Rowton Heath.

• The home of the ‘gee-gee’: In 1539, Sir Henry Gee approved the first horse races on the silted up former Roman harbour. Racegoers today still cheer on the ‘gee-gees’ at Britain’s oldest working racecourse.

• Unique medieval shopping galleries: The first-floor walkways of Chester’s medieval galleries, The Rows, overlook the city’s four main shopping streets. There are ancient relics to discover hidden inside some shops, too, such as a Tudor plasterwork trail that hints at a visit to Chester by Catherine of Aragon.

• Britain’s largest Roman amphitheatre: The part-excavated amphitheatre is thought to be the largest in Britain and indicates that Chester was the Romans’ original choice for the capital of Britannia. Nearby, the Roman Gardens feature remnants of buildings from that time that have been found around the city.

• Not one but two cathedrals: St John the Baptist, the city’s original cathedral, is a must-see for its fine Norman interiors. Meanwhile, the church that superseded it in 1541, Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a mighty edifice within which is evidence of its medieval origins and former abbey.

• A powerbase for William the Conqueror: The formidable Norman Earls of Chester consolidated their power at the castle here on the banks of the Dee. Today’s visitor can see a 19th-century version, which encloses a medieval chapel. The Earldom of Chester became one of the most powerful in the land and is held by the heir-apparent to the English throne, the Prince of Wales, to this day.

• England’s top attraction outside London: Chester Zoo, second only to the Tower of London as the favourite place to visit in England, is also the country’s favourite zoo and one of the most important centres of conservation work in the world.

• Chester’s vibrant shops and eateries: Independent boutiques and high-street names are the stars of the Rows, while Cheshire Oaks is the place for designer labels. Plus Chester has an enviable collection of innovative restaurants, including The Chef’s Table, Sticky Walnut, Joseph Benjamin, Porta and the Michelin-star Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor.

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Chester City Walls
Historic Site
Chester City Walls

The city walls are the oldest, longest and most complete in Britain, parts of which are almost 2000 years old.

Storyhouse
Library
The Art Deco exterior of Storyhouse

Storyhouse is Chester’s multi award-winning £37m theatre, library, restaurant and cinema. The restored and revitalised 1930s Odeon building houses an 800-seat auditorium, a 150-seat studio theatre, a restaurant and two bars plus a 100-seat boutique, independent cinema.

Chester Racecourse
Event Venue
Race fixtures throughout the year at Chester Racecourse

Chester Racecourse is the oldest Racecourse in Britain.

Chester Rows
Shop / Shopping Centre
Chester Rows

The Rows are continuous half-timbered galleries, reached by steps, which form a second row of shops above those at street level along Watergate Street, Northgate Street, Eastgate Street and Bridge Street. The Rows are unique in the world to Chester!

Roman Amphitheatre - Chester
Historic Site
Roman Amphitheatre - Chester

Chester Amphitheatre is the largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain.

Chester Cathedral
Cathedral / Minister
Stunning exterior of Chester Cathedral

Chester Cathedral is many things to many people: a vibrant community of worship, an ancient abbey, an archaeological treasure, a cultural hub and a centre of musical excellence.

Views from Chester Castle
Castle / Fort
Chester Castle now open to the public

This summer, for three days per week, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Chester Castle will be open from 10.30am to 4pm. Visitors will pay £2, unless members of English Heritage, to visit the Agricola Tower.

Chester Zoo
Animal Collection
Chester Zoo

There’s always something new to do at Chester Zoo. Whether you’re greeting new arrivals, such as a baby black lemur, or finding out how many bones there are in a giraffe’s neck at one of the daily animal talks, hands-on fun is guaranteed.

The Chef's Table
Gluten Free
The Chef's Table Chester - Interior, Is a multi award winning independent restaurant in the heart of Chester city centre

The Chef’s Table is a small multi award winning independent restaurant in the heart of Chester city centre, offering the best local produce available to them in their seasonal and constantly changing menus.

Joseph Benjamin
Restaurant
Tasty food at Joseph Benjamin restaurant at Chester

Joseph Benjamin is busy independent restaurant located next to Chester's historic City Walls. Owned and run by brother Ben and Joe Wright, Joseph Benjamin offers an eclectic, seasonally focussed mix of British-European fare.

Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor
Restaurant
Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor offers contemporany dining

Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor offers contemporary dining in an atmosphere of chic sophistication.

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