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. Visions of the night Sky Jodrell Bank
 

Visions of the Night Sky is a new photographic exhibition in the new Light Pavilion at Jodrell Bank, which traverses the universe through the work of Dr Anthony Holloway, Jodrell Bank’s Head of Computing. Anthony brings his technical skill in photography and an eye for composition together with his professional understanding of astronomy. These qualities make him a superb astro-photographer and have resulted in the collection of breathtaking images in this exhibition.

They are as inspiring and beautiful as the scientific work of the Observatory, and Jodrell Bank Centre for Engagement is delighted to present it against the backdrop of the Lovell Telescope. No visit to Jodrell Bank is complete without a visit to this new display, and entry is included in the price of admission.

c. Anthony Holloway



2. The Coral - Making of an album, Storyhouse
 

The Coral are celebrating the 21st anniversary of their eponymous debut album. The record was described by NME as being the funniest and most refreshing British debut in years. In this intimate evening at Storyhouse, singer and songwriter James Skelly will be joined by keyboardist Nick Power for an evening of conversation, audience questions and acoustic songs.



3. Fantastic festivals and events 


Where the flowers bloom & the foodies flock. Where the dogs go wild & the vintage cars are admired. Chester & Cheshire, with the cinema under the stars & the theatre in the park, boast a vivid year-round calendar with exceptional events for all! Look out for our annual favourites like DogFest, the RHS Tatton, Rewind at Capesthorne Hall, Deva Fest, Just So to name a few. We've also got some newer festivals returning, Womanifest, an empowerment and wellbeing festival for women and teen girls, Cheshire Balloon Fiesta at Bolesworth and Dubbed Out in July at the Cheshire Showground. Keep an eye on our ever evolving list of Festivals here. 

Deva Fest, Chester


4. Explore Macclesfield 


Macclesfield grew as one of the main silk centres of the country, renowned for the skill of its designers and for its richly patterned woven fabrics. Fashionistas will love discovering the story of Macclesfield’s textile heritage as told at the Silk Museum and the Heritage Centre. 

These days Macclesfield boasts bijoux art galleries, great shops and an award winning brass band. The perennially popular Treacle Market takes place on the last Sunday of every month and showcase the finest local produce, contemporary art, vintage clothing and much more. Look out for the fantastic mural of one of Macclesfield’s finest musicians, Ian Curtis.

Macclesfield is perfectly placed to enjoy a weekend break in the Peak District. Within minutes of the town centre you can escape to the Peak District National Park and enjoy spectacular views across Cheshire. Find out more about Macclesfield here.

Macclesfield Silk Museum



5. Get on your Soapbox 


In July, the Soapbox Derby comes to Crewe! This free to attend event will bring all manner of fun, exciting races and activities to Crewe whilst raising substantial funds for local charities at the same time. The award-winning Krazy Races aim to deliver accessible, enjoyable and experiential events that create unique moments in time for audiences that last a lifetime. 



6. Discovery of Luxmuralis, Chester Cathedral
 

Discovery is a spectacular immersive journey for people to walk through and explore the Cathedral in a new light. It invites you to fully immerse yourself in the artwork, and consider what humans have achieved in our place in the world.

The installation will give you the opportunity to ponder our relationship with the planet Earth and beyond. Installations of sound and light art that will take you on a journey through space, see galaxies emerge above you and to explore humanities ambition to adventure beyond.

Discovery by Luxmuralis


7. Picturehouse
 

The highly anticipated Picturehouse cinema at Chester Northgate is now open! A treat of a cinema boasting six screens and a cafe bar, not to mention a stunning mural created exclusively by artist Murugiah that'll greet you when you arrive. You will be dazzled by the interior design, in enviable shades of pink and blue, inspired by the great Wes Anderson. 

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city, relax into a comfortable seat, grab a barista-made coffee or a slice of fresh pizza and enjoy in the cosy spaces.



8. Native at the Zoo


Native is a breath-taking 360° immersive experience at Chester Zoo, showcasing some of the most iconic species in the British Isles. 

From the film-makers behind BBC and ITV documentaries comes a stunning new wildlife short film that will take you on an inspiring journey across Britain’s coasts, woodlands, grasslands and wetlands.

Discover the UK’s most ICONIC native species in the gallery of giant screens and interactive floor! BOOK NOW. Entry is FREE with zoo admission and for members!


Native at Chester Zoo


9. Discover Chester’s history and heritage 

There are more ways than ever to discover the 2000 years of history and heritage in Chester. Walk along the walls, go exploring up on the rows, take one of the many themed walking tours, go on a heritage cruise along the river or even hop on an open top bus. 

Discover Chester's dark side on a ghost tour, Dark Chester tour or with a visit to Sick to Death, a museum not for the faint hearted! Not forgetting the newly re-opened Deva Roman Experience where you will be taken on a voyage back through time 2000 years ago to Roman Britannia, with 7 actor led shows, special effects, cutting edge projection mapping and REAL archaeology on site. And if that's not enough, Chester celebrates with the annual Heritage Festival in June with walks, talks, exhibitions, family friendly events and more.

Deva Roman Experience



10. Britfest 2024

For the first time Great British Festivals presents Britfest at Ashley Hall Showground featuring a plethora of big names such as Kim Wilde, Scouting for Girls, Heather Small, The Feeling, Toploader, Hot Chocolate, Reef to name a few. Hosted by Mike Toolan and Jenny Powell in July, celebrating the very best of British music.



11. Discover a Land of Lights at Gulliver’s World Resort
 

See Gulliver's World Resort in a whole new light until 25th February 2024! Land of Lights Warrington has been lighting up the Cheshire sky since November 2023 and if you didn't have a chance to visit over Christmas, now is the time. Discover gigantic lanterns, mesmerizing light installations and festival vibes.

Inspired by animal kingdoms, mega monuments, and seasonal celebrations. Each dreamworld is bursting with colour, energy, and illumination. The jurassic zone even features our roarsome, 'living' dinosaurs!

Land of Lights, Warrington



12. (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. 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

Chester Rows


13. 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


14. See the ponies for less than a pony – Chester races for £10


From 8 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 2024 fixtures, giving guests a great value day out.

Chester Races



15. 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 comedy performances from big names including Sarah Millican, Rhod Gilbert and Ed Byrne and musical performances from Jake Bugg, Starsailor, Peter Hook and the Light and more. These events compliment the town’s thriving arts calendar with exhibitions at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery and Pyramid from artists like Tony Green, Pete Regan and LĀSMA POIŠA . You can find out more at culturewarrington.org/whats-on

Culture Warrington


16. Experience the sounds of the forest (Forest live)


Returning from 13-16 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 Becky Hill will perform on Thursday 13 June, Police frontman Sting is confirmed for Friday 14 June, Grammy Award winning songwriter, composer, producer, arranger, and guitarist Nile Rogers will take the stage on Saturday 15 June and chart-topper Bryan Adams will be performing on Sunday 16 June. These concerts sell out fast and tickets are on sale now at forestryengland.uk/music



17. See the best stories on stage 


Some of the best West End and Broadway musicals are coming to Cheshire's theatres this year as are some of comedy's top performers. Check out what's on at Cheshire's theatres for an unmissable evening of entertainment: Crewe Lyceum, Storyhouse, Parr Hall and Pyramid and The Brindley.



18. Find a luxury hideaway 


Cheshire's newest glamping site is Blakemere Hideaways, a luxury 5* 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, one of Cheshire's luxury glamping sites could be a perfect escape this year.

Glamping in Cheshire



19. 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 31 August - 1 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



20. 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, Chester Zoo



21. Beat the January blues by walking an Alpaca! (Walton Gardens)
 

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.

c. Andy Gilbert



22. Say hello (again) to Chef’s Table


One of Chester’s best restaurants has made a welcome return to the city. Chef’s Table, has opened a much larger new premises on Pepper Street, The AA Rosette and Michelin Guide accoladed restaurant is 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

The Chef's Table


23. Start the new year right with a spa day


After the stresses and strains of the festive season, you may need to refresh. 2024 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, The Mere and many more. Explore Cheshire’s spas here

Cheshire Spas


24. Get outdoors and enjoy the Cheshire countryside


Here in Cheshire we 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.



There’s much more than 24 things to do this year, so make sure to come back for all your Chester and Cheshire inspiration for 2024 and beyond.

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