The picturesque city of Chester in the west of Cheshire is the ideal location for a romantic weekend away with your other half. With plenty of hotels, Airbnbs and self-catering accommodation available for your stay, as well as plenty to see and do, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to perfecting your date ideas. One thing is for sure, quality time is on the cards, so be sure to pick the best Chester attractions that enable you to make the most of your time together.
Things to do in Chester
If you’re planning a weekend break or holiday in Chester with your spouse, it’s a good idea to do some research and learn about some of the things on offer for couples in the city. Initially built as a Roman fortress, this medieval city truly makes you feel like you’re stepping back in time. With the stunning Chester Cathedral and Gardens, and beautiful Grosvenor Park sitting in the heart of the city, it's the perfect place for those who enjoy walking and sightseeing.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t more modern attractions and activities to enjoy. Here are some of our favourite things to do in Chester.
Walk the Chester City Walls
The Roman and Medieval walls are free to walk around at any time of year, making for a beautiful and romantic stroll as you experience the sights of the city from above. It's almost a complete circuit, so a walk around the perimeter will usually take around 40 minutes and is a great way to start your trip, helping you to gather your bearings and view some of the fun things the city has to offer. Be sure to look out for the famous Eastgate Clock, one of the city's most iconic and most photographed landmarks.
Once you’re done exploring the walls, walk further into the city and experience the cobbled streets, medieval buildings and the Rows (a covered walkway half embedded into the first floor of the shops) that make up the great architecture here.
Cruise along the River Dee
What could be more romantic than a sightseeing cruise down the River Dee as you take in the views of the city and listen to historical tales about Chester’s fascinating past? Whether you opt for a short 40-minute cruise or something a little longer that sails into the Cheshire countryside, there are several boats along the river that offer the opportunity to cosy up to your partner as you experience the beautiful scenery on offer.
Spend a day at the races
Chester Racecourse is the oldest racecourse still in operation in the world, having been originally established in 1539. Getting dressed up for a fun day trip at the races is a great experience for any couple, and there’s just something super exciting about cheering your favourites on to the finish line. Look out for specific race days throughout the year, like Ladies Day, where you can really go to town on your outfits and make a day of it.
Embrace art and culture
Chester city centre is full of fantastic half-timbered architecture, five-star cultural experiences and creativity of all kinds, with buskers regularly lining the streets to play your favourite songs and an abundance of galleries to explore. Watergate Street and Dogtooth Gallery are just some of the galleries you can visit with your spouse as you weave in and out of the traditional Rows.
If you’re visiting in the summer, why not book a theatrical performance at the Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre for a truly romantic evening?
Enjoy afternoon tea
The landscape and scenery in Chester is enough for any romantic, but settling down together for an afternoon tea will surely provide the cherry on top. Thankfully, the city has a great selection of venues offering afternoon tea. For something traditional and luxurious, head over to The Chester Grosvenor and taste the delights that have been served since 1882. If you’re looking for a modern take on this British favourite, try out Oddfellows for a more quirky experience, but any cafe or tea house will be a delight.
Show your wild side
Located just two miles from the city centre, a trip to Chester Zoo is a great day out for those who enjoy a walk on the wild side and embracing our natural world. With over 20,000 animals, it’s a hugely popular attraction for people all over the UK, so it’s worth getting there early if you’re keen to make the most of the quieter morning hours. If you’re planning to treat your other half on your romantic trip, you could always book an animal experience to really make the most of your day. The zoo is easy to get to as well, with regular shuttle buses available from Chester train station.
Treat your taste buds
One of the greatest things about Chester is the vast selection of food and drink options right in the city centre. From your favourite chain restaurants and laidback cafes to quirky independents and themed cocktail bars, you won’t be short of choices when picking a spot for lunch, dinner or drinks. If your romantic weekend takes you into the evening, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat the nightlife here. Head over to Prohibition and step back in time at the city’s speakeasy bar or get your indie groove on at Kuckoo cocktail bar.
Things to do around Chester
While there is plenty to see and do in Chester itself, the outskirts and surrounding locales are also abundant with things to do.
Shop ’til you drop
Just outside the city centre, you’ll find Cheshire Oaks designer outlet, the perfect place for couples who love a spot of shopping, especially if you’re planning on treating your spouse. But it’s not just about the shops here; you can also grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants or head over to the Coliseum Leisure Park and try your hand at adventure golf, ten pin bowling or trampolining.
Seek a thrill
For couples who love adventure and enjoy a spot of thrill-seeking when it comes to date ideas, a visit to Go Ape in Delamere Forest is a must-visit. Located around 25 minutes via rail from Chester train station, you can enjoy treetop adventures that are sure to get your adrenaline pumping or experience scenic Segway rides through Cheshire’s largest woodland.
Explore North Wales
If you’ve decided to make a long weekend out of your romantic trip, it’s worth spending some time exploring other locales nearby, especially North Wales. Chester is situated right on the border of North Wales, offering a great opportunity to explore everything this beautiful part of the United Kingdom has to offer, from Snowdonia National Park and Mount Snowdon to Great Orme and Conwy Castle. Better still, these locations are all easily reachable by train with Avanti West Coast.
How to get to Chester
No matter where you’re travelling from in the UK, Chester is easily reachable by train with Avanti West Coast. Our routes travel all the way to the city centre, as well as surrounding destinations including Crewe, Wrexham and Liverpool, should you wish to explore further afield.
Be sure to download the Avanti West Coast app as your handy travel companion for your romantic weekend away and keep track of live travel updates as they happen. You can also book and manage your train tickets from here with no booking fee, and keep up to date with route information for your journey.