Chester Zoo is reputed to be one of the best in Europe. The zoo is home to more than 11,000 animals and 400 species, including Asian elephants and black rhinos. Chester Zoo has four different big cat species: tigers, jaguars, cheetahs and lions. The Zoo is perfect for families, and you don’t even have to walk around it if you don’t want to! Try the monorail for an aerial view of the enclosures, or the water bus for something different. The Zoo is open from 10am daily. You can get lunch and snacks in cafes, kitchens, pubs and BBQ houses around the site.
Great places to visit in Chester!
Chester has gone from major industrial drop-off point (it made a living in the Middle Ages as a key port for northwestern trade, until the River Dee became too shallow to bear ships) to Utopian archetype: a place where the moneyed classes of the northwest aspire to live, and a key shopping and tourism magnet thanks to its high proportion of footballers’ residences, its gloriously preserved high street and its unique, expensive stores. Long-running teen soap Hollyoaks is filmed in its leafy streets: keep your eyes peeled for TV stars!
Chester racecourse is the oldest course still operating in England. Horses were racing at Chester when Shakespeare was alive: and they’re still going strong today! Chester’s race days start on the May festival weekend, and a full calendar of meets ensues throughout the season. Chester racecourse is seen as one of the more fashionable and chic locations on the racing circuit, where the bold and the beautiful meet for a flutter. Expect to see very famous people, and get very stuck in traffic. It’s recommended that you only travel to Chester on a race weekend if you want to go to the races!
Chester Cathedral should have been burned by King Henry VIII when he reformed the UK’s religious system and dissolved all the monasteries – but he left it standing because he thought it looked nice. Nearly 500 years later, it’s still standing – and it has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. A suggested donation is requested from each visitor. Look out for the Cathedral at Height tour, which takes visitors up to unprecedented parts of the Cathedral for a really unique look at the building and its city. Scale the bell tower, check out the bell ringing chamber and get next to some of the best stained glass in the UK.