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North West - Chester

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in north west england

Chester

1. Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo covers 110 acres, with new projects and attractions opening all the time. There are over 500 species of animals, with favourites such as elephants, giraffes, chimps, tigers and sea-lions, as well as otters, cranes and smaller creatures including fish and reptiles. They are grouped by region in large paddocks and can be viewed from a maze of pathways, the monorail or the water bus.

2. Dewa Roman Experience

The actual Roman fortress of Dewa was established in AD 43 under the reign of Emperor Claudius and would have housed a garrison of 6000 men. Although now buried under modern day Chester, it lives on through the Dewa Roman Experience. There are exhibits of Roman Chester, many of which are 'hands on' type, where you can handle items such as pottery, try on a suit of Roman armour, fire the catapult and design mosaics.

3. Chester City Walls Walk

Chester has the most complete circuit of city walls in Britain. By taking a walk on them you are stepping in the footsteps of bygone defenders of the city and strolling on a promenade considered fashionable in the 18th century. Not only can you encounter a host of historic features (such as the tower where King Charles is thought to have watched his forces defeated by Parliamentary troops in 1645), but also discover various vantage points with striking views across the city and as far as north Wales.

4. The Rows and Shopping in Chester

The distinct and unique black and white timber framed Rows dominate the City centre of Chester. The two tiered shopping arcade with its historic façade is the medieval version of today's shopping mall. Behind the historic façade, the rows are bursting with designer boutiques, independent stores and high street shops. Running along the main four shopping streets of the City, and linked by the central cross, the Rows make Chester a truly unique shopping destination. 

5. The Grosvenor Museum

Founded in 1885, the Grosvenor Museum contains Chester's collection of local and international history. Collections and displays cover 2000 years of life, and are spread over the three floors of this brick and stone Victorian building. The museum houses the largest collection of Roman tombestones from a single site in Britain as well as a Victorian school room and a 1920's nursery.

6. Chester Racecourse - The Roodee

There has been racing on the Roodee at Chester for over 450 years and the thrill of watching a race at Chester unfolding before you from the sophisticated surroundings of the course’s enclosures or the vantage point of the City walls is an unforgettable experience. Other events include Polo and show jumping, and there's a selection of six restaurants to choose from.

7. Chester Cathedral

One of the most popular places to visit in the North West, Chester Cathedral is  the most complete medieval monastic complex still standing in the UK. It was founded as a Benedictine Monastery dedicated to St Werburgh on 1092 and has continued as a place of worship through periods of adversity such as the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the English Civil War and the two world wars. There is also a shop and cafe - the cake is to be reccommended!

8. River Dee Boat Cruises

The River Dee runs through the centre of Chester, and offers boating, cruising, alfresco art and riverside cafes and bars. Chester Boats run a variety of cruises from the boating station at The Groves on Scouters Lane. Try the themed evening cruise which ncludes music and a BBQ at the riverside Red House pub, or take the Eaton Estate Cruise- home to the Duke of Westminster.

9. The Blue Planet Aquarium

Blue Planet Aquarium provides all you need for a truly magical day out. From start to finish your visit will be a voyage of discovery that will provide amusement and entertainment whatever your age. Over 450 species will captivate and astound from comical Clown Fish in Reef Magic to menacing Piranhas in Amasonia or the Batfish in Coral Bay. There is even have a weird and wonderful collection of tropical brightly coloured poison dart frogs!

10. Chester Roman Amphitheatre

The largest uncovered amphitheatre in the UK is the subject of a major archaeological project in a partnership between English Heritage and Chester City Council. It was constructed about 70AD by Roman Legion II Adiutrix and would have seated about 7000 spectators. It fell into disuse but was reinstated for a short time around 270 AD, possibly to celebrate a victory of the rebellious Britons. In the centre foundations of a wooden structure have been found which may have been a temporary stage where executions were held.
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