In Chester

Chester will style itself as an “open-air city” as lockdown restrictions ease – and locals are being asked to encourage friends and family to reconnect in its historic streets.

Chester has some formidable outdoor assets, including Britain’s most complete Roman and medieval walls and the unique Tudor open-air galleries, the Rows. But the city also plans to open up more outdoor dining terraces, expand pedestrianised areas, and host special al fresco events this summer. Plus, walkers and cyclists can take advantage of a new scenic route between the city centre, Chester Zoo and Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet along the recently revamped canal towpath.

And who best to advocate for Chester than the people who know the city best? That’s why Destination Chester, the new economic network led by leading local attractions, is asking its 100,000 residents to become “travel agents” for their home town by encouraging friends and family to visit once the restrictions end. Here are some of the new things visitors will be able to do and see in Chester in 2021…

Chester Zoo Celebrates 90 Years with Exotic Birds – And Utter Rubbish

One of England’s top three paid-for attractions, Chester Zoo, celebrates its 90th birthday in 2021 and special anniversary events include the opening of the new Latin American Wetland Aviary this spring. Visitors will be able to see some of the region’s most precious birds, from Caribbean flamingos to saffron finches, and learn about the species and efforts to conserve them. 

Caribbean flamingos

Chester Zoo has set itself the ambitious target of being a zero-waste zoo by 2030. That quest has inspired Love It For Longer, a sustainability spectacular that’s 100 per cent utter rubbish, exploring the world of waste, from plastic and technology to water – and even poo.

All The City’s a Stage this Summer

Britain’s biggest and best open-air theatre returns this summer in Chester’s Grosvenor Park with three productions in an extended season, including The Jungle Book, Pride and Prejudice, and a Shakespearean comedy to be announced. Grosvenor Park Open-Air Theatre is produced by Storyhouse, the city’s award-winning arts hub and home to the largest repertory theatre in the country after the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre. The theatre performances will be among more than 200 outdoor events that Storyhouse is planning this summer, including its popular outdoor cinema, Moonlight Flicks, with family favourites, cult classics and contemporary blockbuster movies screened against the backdrop of Chester Cathedral and the city walls. 

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

Stay in the Forest on a City Break

Now it’s possible to take a city break with a rural twist by staying with Forest Holidays in Delamere Forest. The luxury holiday cabins, including treehouses, open this spring less than 20 minutes from the city by direct train from the forest’s own station. There are 67 light-footprint dwellings to choose from at the northern end of this former hunting ground of medieval lords, making it possible to stay beneath Delamere’s canopy for the very first time.

Cabin at Forest Holidays

Take the Dog for a Sightseeing Run 

Visitors holidaying with their four-legged friend can now limber up for a new 5K Dog Run Tour of the city with Tours Around Chester. The pace will be set to suit man/woman and beast – it’s a run, not a race – and the tour guide will give a full history of Chester and the landmarks on the route, including the Cathedral, Racecourse and Castle. Humans will be rewarded with a reviving coffee, while Fido will get a bowl of refreshing water and a tasty treat.

Pack a Picnic or Make a Splash on the River Dee

White-water kayaking on the Chester Weir in the heart of the city and paddleboarding with a view of the Chester Meadows, Old Dee Bridge and Roman Walls are two new waterborne tours now being offered by Dee River Kayaking. Alternatively, Chester Boat will be skippering new private picnic trips. The perfect socially distanced day out, Picnic Boat Hire is for up to six passengers and the special sailing comes with optional afternoon tea and fizz (with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menus available).




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