Itinerary Planner

Rainy Day Alternatives in Chester

Rainy Day Alternatives in Chester

Don’t let a rainy or windy day spoil your time in Chester, there are plenty of things to see and do without getting drenched. No need to stay indoors, make the most of wet and windy weather with our list of undercover alternatives…

Duck for cover at Chester Zoo

As the number one zoo in the UK, it’s no surprise that you are promised a fantastic and fun-filled day out, even when it’s raining! The Zoo have put together a wet weather walk which is free to download so that you can take full advantage of all of the exhibits including favourites like the Asian Elephants, Monkey Island and Realm of the Red Ape plus loads more!

Admire the view at Chester Cathedral

In the heart of the city centre, Chester Cathedral is a staple and a must-see for all visitors, regardless of the weather. Tower tours unleash 900 years of history as you climb to thrilling heights and marvel over the breath-taking views. Complete your experience with afternoon tea in the café which also has a range of delicious sandwiches, cakes and pastries.

Get well acquainted with The Rows

Find shelter from the rain amongst the Medieval and Victorian architecture of Chester – where a day of retail therapy doubles as a fascinating historic experience. Nobody should leave without exploring the second level galleries of the half-timbered rows which are totally unique to Chester! The Rows host a variety of shops from quirky boutiques to big branded names so there is something to suit everyone.

Relax and unwind at The Chester Grosvenor Spa

From the bustling streets of historic Chester, delve into a boutique haven of relaxation and tranquillity. Located at the epicentre of the city, the Chester Grosvenor Spa has been an iconic statement of understated style, glamour and elegance integral to the city since 1866. Enter a state of total serenity as you dip into the Herb Sauna, Crystal Steam Room and Salt Grotto.

Learn more at The Grosvenor Museum

Find out more about the Roman occupation of the city and be inspired by the historic artefacts, collections of hallmarked silverware and captivating artwork on display. A trip to The Grosvenor Museum is the perfect way to learn about the city of Chester all under one roof. At a stone’s throw from fabulous pubs and restaurants you can avoid getting caught in the wet weather!

Shop ‘til you drop at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet

If you are partial to indulging in a spot of retail therapy, Chester has all you could ever want and more. For your fashion fix, head to the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cheshire Oaks, home to 145 luxury and high street brands – it’s the largest of its kind in the UK. Stay dry and make the most of your visit with 60% off must have labels like Armani, Burberry, Michael Korrs, Mulberry and Polo Ralph Lauren.

Dive in at Blue Planet Aquarium

With over 50 different exhibits and one of the largest collections of sharks in Europe, Blue Planet Aquarium is a great representation of life under the sea. Caves and undersea walkways grant access to fascinating fish, amphibians and creepy crawlies from all over the world! If you’re feeling brave, you can even dive into the shark tank… So don’t let a rainy day ruin your time in Cheshire – the family will love Blue Planet!

Product Information

  1. Chester Zoo

    Chester

    A visit to Cheshire isn’t complete without a trip to the UK’s number one zoo. Chester Zoo is home to over 27,000 endangered and exotic animals based in beautiful, award-winning zoological gardens.

    Add Chester Zoo to your Itinerary

    Giraffes, Chester Zoo
    Anoa, Chester Zoo
    Lemur, Chester Zoo
    Spider Monkey, Chester Zoo
    Lion Experience, Chester Zoo
    Giraffes, Chester Zoo
    Anoa, Chester Zoo
    Lemur, Chester Zoo
    Spider Monkey, Chester Zoo
    Lion Experience, Chester Zoo

    Chester Zoo is home to over 27,000 endangered and unusual animals based in beautiful, award-winning zoological gardens. With over 500 different animal species in our 128 acres of award-winning gardens, you’re sure to have great day out full of adventure where you’ll feel empowered and inspired to create a better world for wildlife.

    Bring your pride to see ours and visit our incredible Asiatic lions in their savannah habitat. Take a trip to Madagascar and wander through our lemur walkthrough habitat, then explore the dense jungles of South-East Asia by boat, and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of the Monsoon Forest.

    Come and see some of our newest and cutest arrivals, with many making their very first appearances, from the critically endangered cotton-top tamarin to the incredibly rare dusky pademelon.

    Stop for a bite at one of the many restaurants, cafes and kiosks located throughout the zoo! From classic family friendly dishes to tasty street food.

    If you’re looking for something extra special, our contemporary British pub The Oakfield, serves freshly prepared locally sourced food and hand-picked beers, wines and spirits – the perfect accompaniment to your zoo visit.

    Join our Zoo Rangers for a jam-packed programme of talks and family-fun events to top up your knowledge of incredible animals across the globe! What’s more, we have plenty of playgrounds and activities to keep the kids (and the kids at heart) happy all day long!

    Why not turn your zoo visit into an adventure and book one of our unique Experiences that give you the opportunity to get even closer to our animals and plants with exclusive access and feeding activities? You’ll also gain behind the scenes knowledge from our expert keepers.

    Contact Details:

    Upton by Chester, Chester, Cheshire, CH2 1EU

    Tel:

    01244 380280

    Website

    Web Site

  2. Chester Cathedral

    Chester

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

    Add Chester Cathedral to your Itinerary

    Stunning exterior of Chester Cathedral
    Breathtaking interior of Chester Cathedral
    Delicious Afternoon tea at the Chester Cathedral Refectory
    Inside the Chester Cathedral Refectory
    The Nave inside Chester Cathedral
    Stunning exterior of Chester Cathedral
    Breathtaking interior of Chester Cathedral
    Delicious Afternoon tea at the Chester Cathedral Refectory
    Inside the Chester Cathedral Refectory
    The Nave inside Chester Cathedral

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

    Come and spend the day

    Book on to one of the Tower Tours & Ground Floor Tours and explore the magnificent building which is a national treasure within the heart of Chester. 

    Enjoy and indulge in delicious food in the 13th Century Monks Hall Refectory Café or book a Traditional Afternoon Tea and take in the stunning surroundings.

    Visit the beautiful and unique Gift Shop which has a wonderful range of music, jewellery, books, cards, toys, confectionery, gifts and souvenirs for all seasons and occasions.

    Entry is FREE to the Cathedral but donations are welcome.

    Groups are welcome by appointment and tours can be specially tailored to include coffee, tea or lunch to make a great day out for your organisation. Disabled access and facilities including toilets and induction loop. For more information, regular service times and details of forthcoming events and concerts and online booking, please see the Chester Cathedral website.

    Chester Cathedral is also a unique venue for business meetings, corporate hospitality, pre and post concert receptions, gala dinners and much more.

     

    Contact Details:

    12 Abbey Square, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2HU

    Tel:

    01244 324756

    Website

    Web Site

  3. Chester Rows

    Chester

    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!

    Add Chester Rows to your Itinerary

    Woman looking out over black and white buildings on Bridge Street Chester from the Rows
    Chester Rows
    Chester Rows
    Woman looking out over black and white buildings on Bridge Street Chester from the Rows
    Chester Rows
    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, and nobody is quite sure why they were built in this way. Some original 13th century buildings, including the Three Old Arches in Bridge Street, have survived the ravages of time, but many of the impressive facades are Victorian copies. Nevertheless, they are still magnificent and greatly contribute to the beauty and character of Chester.

    Contact Details:

    Bridge St, Watergate St, Eastgate Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1NG

    Tel:

    01244 402110

    Website

    Web Site

  4. The Spa at The Chester Grosvenor

    Chester

    The Spa at The Chester Grosvenor invites you to experience a luxurious and tranquil haven in the heart of the historic city of Chester.

    Add The Spa at The Chester Grosvenor to your Itinerary

    Treatment rooms at The Spa at The Chester Grosvenor
    A range of treatments available at The Spa at The Chester Grosvenor
    The Spa at The Chester Grosvenor the perfect place for a spa break or spa day treat
    Treatment rooms at The Spa at The Chester Grosvenor
    A range of treatments available at The Spa at The Chester Grosvenor
    The Spa at The Chester Grosvenor the perfect place for a spa break or spa day treat

    Soothe your mind. Pamper your body. Lift your spirit.

    The Spa at The Chester Grosvenor invites you to experience a luxurious and tranquil haven in the heart of the historic city of Chester.

    Immerse yourself in the serenity of our boutique sanctuary in which every detail has been designed to evoke a state of relaxation, vitality and total wellbeing.

    A menu of rituals and treatments is designed to balance mind, body and spirit. Delivered by the skilful hands of our experienced therapists using the finest lotions and potions from our chosen product house, ELEMIS, your unique spa experience will exceed all your expectations.

    Contact Details:

    Eastgate, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1LT

    Tel:

    01244 895687

    Website

    Web Site

  5. Grosvenor Museum

    Chester

    The Grosvenor Museum is full of surprises which tell the stories of Cheshire from pre-history to the 20th century.

    Add Grosvenor Museum to your Itinerary

    Grosvenor Museum, Art Gallery
    Grosvenor Museum, Silver Gallery
    Grosvenor Museum, Chester
    Grosvenor Museum, Victorian Kitchen
    Grosvenor Museum, Stories in Stone
    Grosvenor Museum, Art Gallery
    Grosvenor Museum, Silver Gallery
    Grosvenor Museum, Chester
    Grosvenor Museum, Victorian Kitchen
    Grosvenor Museum, Stories in Stone

    Bring the family, dial your curiosity all the way up to eleven, and come and find out about the history, places and people of West Cheshire.

    To find our opening times please visit our website.

    If you need any assistance ahead of your visit, please ring us on  01244 972197 above or email us and we will be happy to help. Please do not email us unless you need assistance and are unable to ring us.

    Information on our other museums can be found on the West Cheshire Museums' homepage.

    Following current restrictions please note that face coverings must be worn in our museums at all times, unless you are exempt.  

    The Grosvenor Museum is full of surprises which tell the stories of Cheshire from pre-history to the 20th century.  Some of the surprises of the collections and displays are:

    - Trace fossils of a Chirotherium which wasn’t a dinosaur, but one of their ancestors. No skeletons have ever been found and these trace fossil footprints and tail marks are the only remains we have of this animal.

    - The kermadec petrel is a tropical seabird of the southern oceans. This was the first recorded kermadec petrel in Cheshire. It was found dead at Tarporley on April 1 1908. Nobody knows if this bird flew from the tropics by itself, or if it escaped or was released from captivity in this country.

    - A skeleton was discovered in the well of a Roman mansio just behind the museum. He was between 18 and 25 years old when he died signs on his upper arm bones show that he engaged in extreme physical activity from an early age, possibly as young as 12, which was the start of working life for Romans.

    - The Roman tombstones of the Sarmation horseman who wears a tall conical helmet with his cloak streaming behind him. He holds up a dragon standard which would have caught the wind in the dragon’s mouth and made a terrifying shrieking sound.

    - The Roman galleries explore Roman life  and death in the Roman fortress of Deva and display the largest group of Roman memorial stones from a single site in Britain.  The Museum contains 2 artistic references to the Ancient Greek myth of Actaeon – come & see if you can find both.

    - Nine room-sets illustrate changing fashions in domestic interiors from the 17th century to the 1920s.  One of our staff members says:  I love the Edwardian shower because every time I look at it I just imagine what it would have been like to use it.

    - Natural Cheshire has been designed with younger visitors in mind to explore area’s rich natural history. The Museum geology collection contains over 4,000 specimens including rocks, minerals & fossils!

    - The paintings and sculpture in the Art Gallery span half a millennium of art in Cheshire. ‘By a Mountain Stream, North Wales’ by William Huggins 1880. This painting contains a number of sheep... but how many? Staff and visitors alike are undecided!

    - Silver Gallery presents the definitive collection of Chester silver.  The bowl from this silver ‘coconut cup’ is made from a polished coconut shell… Amazing!

    The galleries have a range of interactive models, screens, dressing up and activities to make the visit enjoyable for all interests.

    There is an active programme of special exhibitions and events. See website for more information.

    Wheelchair access to the ground floor, including Exhibition Gallery One, Lecture Theatre and accessible toilet.  No lift to Art Gallery, Costume Gallery or Exhibition Gallery Two on first floor.

    There is a small café at the museum offering hot and cold drinks, and small snacks. For something more substantial there are many cafes, restaurants and pubs nearby. You are welcome to eat your packed lunch in the Kings Arms Kitchen, however please note there is no disabled access. The Kings Arms Kitchen is used by schools over lunch periods during term time.

    The Grosvenor Museum is a stone’s throw from the heart of the city and en route to the city walls.

    Contact Details:

    27 Grosvenor Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2DD

    Tel:

    01244 972197

    Website

    Web Site

  6. Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet

    Ellesmere Port

    Trendsetters, foodies, label lovers, it’s time to make some noise for the infamous McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, Cheshire Oaks.

    Add Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet to your Itinerary

    Cath Kidston at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
    Kate Spade at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
    25 new designer and premium brands at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
    Burberry at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
    The new and improved McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cheshire Oaks
    Cath Kidston at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
    Kate Spade at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
    25 new designer and premium brands at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
    Burberry at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
    The new and improved McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cheshire Oaks

    Discover a host of premium services at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet.

    Make your day even easier: from booking appointments at your favourite brands so you can shop at the most convenient time for you, shop handsfree with Dropit who can collect and safely store your shopping bags and you can also reserve your own parking space, discover your new favourite services to brighten your day.

    Trendsetters, foodies, label lovers, it’s time to make some noise for the infamous McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, Cheshire Oaks. So what’s the latest? Well, MORE. There are more stores, more choice and much more to discover. The open air shopping centre is home to over 140 designer and premium brands, offering up to 60% off RRP. Not to mention, they’ve made your day out even easier with free parking, handsfree shopping and extended opening hours. It doesn’t stop there. The new facilities also include a brand new play area and Under the Oak festival, including a rooftop terrace just in time for the summer months, ready to unwind with a cocktail and street food.

    Fashion lovers, rejoice! There’s hundreds of brands to shop at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cheshire Oaks. From iconic designer brands such as Burberry and Polo Ralph Lauren to everyday leisurewear from Nike and Adidas. Get a taste for luxury at PINKO, or stock up on signature underwear and more at Calvin Klein. Check out Jigsaw for this season’s trends, must-have footwear at Kurt Geiger, Tommy Hilfiger jeans, Mulberry for all your accessories and elevated basics at Levi’s too. And if all that wasn’t enough, the coolest high-end streetwear waits for you at one of the centre’s newest brand’s, Champion.

    Stay connected and fully charged with complimentary wi-fi and portable phone chargers, plus if you’re shopping in a group of 10 or more, receive an additional 10% off through the McArthurGlen Club. Visit Guest Services to activate before shopping.

     

    Contact Details:

    Kinsey Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 9JJ

    Tel:

    0151 348 5600

    Website

    Web Site

  7. Blue Planet Aquarium

    Ellesmere Port

    Get up close to Awesome Sharks at Blue Planet Aquarium and see real scuba divers in our daily feed shows in the Aquatheatre.

    Add Blue Planet Aquarium to your Itinerary

    Get up close to Awesome Sharks at Blue Planet Aquarium and see real scuba divers in our daily feed shows in the Aquatheatre. With one of the best collections of Sharks, Fish, Frogs, Spiders and Dalmatian Pelicans – Blue Planet Aquarium  is a must see attraction for all the family.

    Watch the dive team feed the fish - all in front of the sharks at the awesome Aquatheatre window. Get an up close view of the giant Sand Tiger sharks, or nurse sharks, zebra sharks and the smallest sharks the Black Tips. View them from the 70m-long underwater tunnel.

    You’ll see the Giant Pacific Octopus in the Octopus lighthouse, see the clownfish and tangs in the coral Cave, and search for the deadliest Stonefish in the Venom section. With over 50 different exhibits from around the world there's something for everyone.

    Contact Details:

    Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 9LF

    Tel:

    0151 357 8804

    Website

    Web Site

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
Chester Zoo (53.22551,-2.87758)Chester Cathedral (53.19166,-2.89121)3.49
Chester Cathedral (53.19166,-2.89121)Chester Rows (53.18865,-2.89191)0.3
Chester Rows (53.18865,-2.89191)The Spa at The Chester Grosvenor (53.19056,-2.88911)0.25
The Spa at The Chester Grosvenor (53.19056,-2.88911)Grosvenor Museum (53.18776,-2.89191)0.33
Grosvenor Museum (53.18776,-2.89191)Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet (53.26362,-2.88124)7.63
Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet (53.26362,-2.88124)Blue Planet Aquarium (53.26204,-2.88702)0.38
Total Distance *12.38 miles
Estimated Journey Time24 minutes

* Approximate distance by road

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