As we welcome in the new year, it’s time to embrace all things new: new experiences, events, food and drink, places to explore, and much more. Although the chilly winter months can keep us inside, all the goings-on across Cheshire are a real incentive to explore what’s on offer and kickstart your new year. This could be experiencing brand-new openings in Cheshire, or simply trying out something new to you. Whether getting out and about this January or planning for the year ahead, we’re bringing you some of our top picks for what to look out for this year.


1. New year, new market

After opening in November to much excitement, Chester’s new market has quickly become a staple of the city, attracting thousands of visitors each week. It’s an exciting, vibrant space which blends the traditional and modern with both produce and retail vendors alongside independent (and extremely tasty) food and drink outlets. The market can only get bigger and better as more traders open, and the surrounding Exchange Square is filled with new prospects including craft beer stalwarts Brewdog - which is set to open soon.

Interior of New Chester Market


2. Become lord or lady of The Manor

Cheshire hotel and restaurant family Nelson Hotels, whose properties include The Pheasant Inn, The Grosvenor Pulford Hotel & Spa, The Bear’s Paw, and the Fishpool Inn will be adding a fifth venue to their already exquisite portfolio. The Manor at Greasby, the Wirral, is set to become a charming gastropub that can accommodate up to 160 diners. The site also boasts a luxurious wedding barn for celebrations of up to 80 guests. It’s an ambitious project that has seen the luxurious renovation of a 17th century building that combines local heritage with contemporary hospitality, quality dining and a lush events space.


3. (Re)discover The Rows

Chester’s historic and mysterious Rows are experiencing a renaissance. The unique structures are part of Historic England’s ambitious Heritage Action Zones project, which seeks to breathe new life into Britain’s historic high streets. This year, until 30 April, the Grosvenor Museum is hosting On Another Level: Exploring the Unique Rows of Chester: a fascinating exhibition which explores the development, appearance and use of the Rows from their first mention to the present day, drawing heavily on historical and archaeological research as well as art. Plus, there are new ways to explore the Rows like the free family-friendly Rows Time Travelling Treasure Hunt trail that encourages kids to find hidden clues on the Rows and is a perfect compliment to the Discover the Rows walking audio tour. To find out more go to visitchester.com/rows

The Rows, Chester


4. 2023: A Space Carnival

The ever-iconic Jodrell Bank will be the place to be in 2023. Their beloved family friendly music, art and science festival, bluedot, returns from 20-23 July with a brand new theme and brand new attractions. This year’s bluedot promises to be a ‘Space Carnival’ with creativity, learning and partying at its heart. The festival will be opened by a live orchestral performance from Max Richter beneath the Lovell Telescope, with the full line-up to be announced soon. To add to the excitement, this year marks the first anniversary of the First Light Pavilion, so expect a stellar celebration of this fascinating project.

Woman and child at bluedot festival


5. See the North Light

Visitors and residents in Chester may be curious as to what’s happening at the entrance to the new Exchange Square. This huge site has been confirmed as the location for the New World Trading Company’s latest, Chester-specific venture: The North Light. This restaurant and bar concept is designed around Chester and promises to support the local creative scene by showcasing up-and-coming artists as well as spotlighting the city’s rich heritage.

Artists impression of The North Light


6. Celebrate 180 years of Cheshire railway history

Crewe Heritage Centre are marking a major milestone this year celebrating the 180th anniversary of the Railway Engineering Works. Once the national centre for railway engineering, Crewe remains a major player in the field with manufacturers like Alstom. The exhibition, which will run from July through September will look back through Crewe’s key role in the nation’s transport and industrial heritage.

Aerial shot of Crewe Heritage Centre


7. Silky skills in Macclesfield

A new year is always a time to try something new. Luckily Macclesfield’s Silk Museum is seizing 2023 as the year to get creative. The museum and heritage centre are presenting a wide range of creative workshops this month for anyone to try including poetry, sustainable gift wrapping, concertina book making, and painting. Find out more at macclesfieldmuseums.co.uk/whats-on

Silk Museum, Macclesfield


8. Celebrate all things Cheshire

On 30th March it will once again be time to celebrate all things Cheshire with Cheshire Day. Last year saw residents and businesses across the county sharing what they love about Cheshire. This year promises to be an even bigger and better celebration and a real opportunity to embrace everything we love about our county. You can find out about this year’s celebration at visitcheshire.com/cheshire-day


9. See the ponies for less than a pony

From 10 May the racing season at Chester’s historic Roodee will begin again. The oldest functioning racecourse in the world will host the Boodles May Festival, which is always a firm favourite. The racecourse has also announced a new pricing structure with entry starting at just £10. This will apply to all 2023 fixtures, giving guests a great value day out.

Chester Races


10. Embrace Warrington’s cultural scene

Warrington is providing plenty to look forward to this year with a stellar line-up of culture courtesy of Culture Warrington. At both Pyramid and Parr Hall there’s an exciting calendar of performances from big names including Vinnie Jones and Paul Gascoigne, Dara O’Briain, and astronaut Tim Peake. These events compliment the town’s thriving arts calendar with exhibitions at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery and Pyramid from artists like Jasmir Creed, John Mcleod, and Sarah Harris. You can find out more at culturewarrington.org/whats-on

Pyramid sign. Credit We Are Warrington BID


11. Experience the sounds of the forest

Returning from 15-18 June, Forest Live is a unique experience for music lovers and certainly one to try if you haven’t already. The forest becomes a stadium as world-class acts come to Delamere to perform under the stars. This year singer songwriter Jack Savoretti will be joined by Natalie Imbruglia on Saturday 17 June, ska legends Madness are confirmed for Thursday 15 June, chart-topper Tom Grennan will be performing on Friday 16 June, and The Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft is set to play onSunday 18 June. These concerts sell out fast and tickets are on sale now at forestryengland.uk/music

Forest Live. Credit Paul Dulac


12. Hope for more than nil poi

The world will be watching as the 67th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest comes to Liverpool in May. Chester and Cheshire are in prime position to join in the festivities with our easy transport links to the host city. And it won’t just be Liverpool celebrating; businesses across the county are already preparing for the occasion and there is sure to be a host of events surrounding the contest in Cheshire.


13. Enjoy a celebration fit for a king

Cheshire has a long regal history, and with the upcoming King’s Coronation on 6 May, Cheshire will be taking part in the national celebration. Although details are yet to be revealed, visitors and residents can expect a host of events and activities throughout the county to mark the occasion.


14. Embrace the written word in Frodsham

The picturesque town of Frodsham will be welcoming back the much-loved Weaver Words Festival from 3-7 May. This will be the first full edition of the literary festival since the pandemic and guest performers and speakers include Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and Mersey TV drama legend, Sir Phil Redmond (creator of Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks). The festival will include a host of creative writing workshops, a literary cruise, a seminar on the Poet R.S. Thomas, an audience with Calendar Girls writer Tim Firth and much more. You can keep up to date with the festival at weaverwords.org.uk/


15. See the best stories on stage

Chester’s cultural hub Storyhouse have an exciting year ahead. The stage calendar is already full of exciting events including a new original production: FAUSTUS: That Damned Woman, which is an exciting reimagining of the legend of Faust. Other highlights include performances of the Laurence Olivier Award winning, Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of), shows from the English Touring Opera, and a 50th anniversary celebration of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells with a live band performing the seminal record. You can explore the full calendar at storyhouse.com/guide/whats-on

The Time Traveller's Wife at Storyhouse


16. Party in the pews

Cheshire music mecca Macclesfield is playing host to a number of concerts and festivals in 2023. Amongst the town’s exciting events this year is the return of Party in the Pews at the Grade II-listed Christ Church. This year there are some big names on the bill including The Futureheads, Badly Drawn Boy, and local legend Mark Radcliffe presenting his electronic project UNE.

Party in the Pews


17. Find a luxury hideaway in Blakemere

Opening their doors late last year, Blakemere Hideaways is a brand-new luxury 5* glamping retreat nestled within a hidden clearing, consisting of 9 small and 3 larger lodges all with ensuite bathrooms and private hot tubs on their decked gardens. For those who want to get out into the great outdoors but still retain a lot of luxury, these lodges could be a perfect escape this year.

Women and hot tub at Blakemere Hideaways


18. Find your Happy Place

The new year is a good time to take stock and focus on health and wellbeing, both physical and mental. With this in mind, Tatton Park will be welcoming back Fearne Cotton’s hugely popular Happy Place wellness festival from 2-3 September. The festival promises to help you unwind and unlock your inner happiness with a weekend of inspiring and uplifting experiences involving immersive workshops, enriching talks, food and drink, and a schedule of top-tier guests and speakers.

Fearne Cotton


19. Get married in the Zoo (!?)

Chester Zoo is always embracing the new, whether this is new species, new arrivals, or new events and experiences. This spring will see the opening of The Square: a brand-new wedding and events space. Situated at the Grade II listed stable block that was once home to some of the zoo’s first animals such as lions, bears and chimpanzees, this could be the perfectly unique venue for your event this year.

The Square at Chester Zoo


20. Beat the January blues by walking an Alpaca!

Walton Hall and Gardens are offering a unique remedy to the January blues with their beloved alpaca walks. Alpacas are popular as therapy animals and a walk with these furry South Americans can be a great way to relax. Take in the beautiful Cheshire estate while enjoying the company of Walton’s resident alpacas Mally, Jim and Topaz.

Alpacas at Walton Hall. Credit Andy Gilbert


21. Say hello (again) to Chef’s Table

One of Chester’s best restaurants is making a welcome return to the city. Chef’s Table, who are currently running a pop up on Music Hall Passage, will be opening their much larger new premises on Pepper Street this year. The AA Rosette and Michelin Guide accoladed restaurant will be once again serving their local produce focussed, seasonal menus to residents and visitors alike. Stay up to date with the new site’s progress at chefstablechester.co.uk

Food from Chef's Table


22. Start the new year right with a spa day

After the stresses and strains of the festive season, you may need to refresh. 2023 is a perfect opportunity to do some much-needed self-care and indulge in a spa day or stay. Cheshire is luckily home to some of the best spas in the country including Carden Park, Champneys Mottram Hall, The Chester Grosvenor, and many more. Explore Cheshire’s spas here

Carden Park


23. Get outdoors and enjoy the Cheshire countryside

We here in Cheshire are lucky to have some of the best countryside and forestry around. This year it’s time to get out and explore the beauty on your doorstep. From the outstandingly beautiful Sandstone Ridge and Delamere Forest to the Cheshire Peaks and the sprawling plain, make some time this year to embrace Cheshire’s gorgeous outdoors.

Credit @j0ann3001


There’s much more than 23 things to do this year, so make sure to come back for all your Chester and Cheshire inspiration for 2023 and beyond.

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