5 best things to do in Chester

Famous for its encompassing medieval walls and historic architecture, Chester is one of the great hidden treasures of the UK. The city is the epitome of ancient Britain, surviving and thriving through the Roman, Viking and Norman invasions.

Uncover Chester’s rich and vivid past when you stroll the city walls, explore Chester Cathedral and watch a live performance in the Roman Amphitheatre. Hire a car with Hertz to see it all with ease.

If you’re not sure where to start, read our guide on the five best things to do in Chester.

1. The Rows

Watergate Street, Chester, CH 2LA

A visit to Chester offers some of the most beautiful and historic architectural landmarks in the country. The Rows are one of the many heritage jewels to be discovered.

These magnificent galleries, dating back to the medieval era, are impressively spread across two tiers. Step inside to explore an assortment of Chester’s most unique independent shops and delicious eateries.

Many aspects of The Rows were built during the 13th century, including the iconic Three Old Arches on Bridge Street. The gangways, which are tiered seating blocks, are distributed between the levels and were inserted 200 years after the site first came to life.

Spread across four of the city’s streets within glorious half-timbered black and white buildings, the Rows demonstrate distinct Victorian and Edwardian characteristics. Due to regular adaptations across the centuries, The Rows give a wonderful glimpse of many eras across one historic site.

Visit The Rows while exploring Chester to give yourself a chance to admire a unique blend of history and modern shopping. While browsing the shops on the lower tier, make sure to take a look around the stone crypts.

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2. Chester City Walls

Northgate Street, Chester, CH1 2HX

The City Walls are notable landmarks that put Chester on the map as a place of historic importance. As well as being an impressive sight to behold, the walls offer a different way to explore and admire the city.

Originally constructed as a defensive shield during the age of the Roman Empire, the walls have since evolved into the prime tourist attraction of Chester. They encompass almost the whole of medieval Chester in its entirety, circling more than two miles in length.

Along the circumference you’ll discover other local landmarks, like the Phoenix Tower and Morgan’s Mount. Bonewaldesthorne’s Tower is another iconic feature, a Grade I listed building that was built in 1249 and redeveloped in the 14th century. Follow the walls into the modern part of town and you’ll see the celebrated Eastgate Clock.

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3. Chester Cathedral

St Werburgh Street, Chester, CH1 2DY

Chester Cathedral is an ideal first stop for those looking to dive straight into local history while on their trip. This powerful structures dates back to the 11th century, which much of the original Romanesque architectural features surviving to the present day.

Explore everything across this 900-year-old building, from the ancient Roman barracks to the Tower. If you’re travelling with Children, they’ll love the birds of prey in the Falconry and Nature Gardens.

A guided tour allows you to make the most out of your visit to the Cathedral. Follow resident experts around to site to uncover its history and delve deep into Chester’s rich past. The Tower Tour is highly recommended, including spectacular panoramic views across the city, over Cheshire’s neighbouring five counties and as far as Wales.

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4. Roman Amphitheatre

Little St John Street, Chester, CH1 1RE

Chester’s Roman Amphitheatre is the largest of its kind, surviving through the centuries while being used for an array of entertainment purposes.

The northern side of the arena is instantly visible, while the majority of the southern side still lays deep underground. Originally used for gladiatorial fighting and military training between 70 and 350AD, the amphitheatre now plays host for safer forms of entertainment.

Plays and gladiator re-enactments are regularly performed here, offering visitors an enjoyable dramatic and comedic experience in the open air. There are also regular music concerts organised throughout the year.

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5. Chester Castle

Grosvenor Street, Chester, CH1 2DN

The final historic site on our best-of list is Chester Castle, which was founded back in 1090 by William the Conqueror. The castle later became the earldom of the city’s administrative centre and is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

Explore the castle grounds to take in Napier House in the inner bailey, which was constructed to serve as a barracks and armoury. Another essential stop is the Guardroom, which hosts a detailed exhibition on Chester Castle’s long and fascinating history.

You can explore the holy St Mary de Castro’s chapel on the first floor, which boasts beautiful 13th century paintings across its walls. Chester Castle is a wonderful piece of English history which can be visited an enjoyed all-year-round.

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Ready to uncover Chester’s rich past? Book car hire in Chester online today with Hertz.