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"One of my favourite places to go in Chester is Storyhouse. It provides a great, relaxed and alternative workspace to the library on campus, whilst its small theatre and cinema spaces have really comfortable and welcoming atmospheres, making them both great choices for quieter evenings out."

English Literature

"My favourite thing to do in Chester is get a hot chocolate from one of the many small independent coffee shops."

Criminology and Psychology

"My favourite thing to do in Chester is to go for a walk and go out for some nice food and drinks with my friends, or for a boogie. The market is so good for independent, affordable restaurants, and there's a huge number of bars and pubs; Chester has one of the highest densities of pubs per head in the UK!"

French and International Development Studies

Student in Chester city centre


High street favourites, designer boutiques, independent gems – Chester has everything you need when it comes to shopping. As well as the Grosvenor Shopping Centre, a stroll through some of Chester's hidden streets uncovers a host of unexpected independent shops, music venues and galleries. Or, head to the UK’s largest outlet shopping destination, Cheshire Oaks – it’s only a 15-minute drive from Chester.

Star Must do: The Rows – hidden above the shop fronts is a 13th-century second layer of shops, cafés, bars and restaurants, which is unique to Chester city centre.

Person looking through records in a shop

Food and Drink

Chester’s cobbled streets are lined with cuisines from across the globe, mixing well-known favourites in with independent eateries and Michelin-star restaurants. There are hidden foodie gems down side streets and in the Chester Market waiting to be found, and our growing food market scene brings events such as Chester Vegan Festival and the monthly Taste of Cheshire Farmers Market to the city.

Star Must do: Try Stile Pizzas in Chester Market and on Watergate Street – thank us later.

People in a restaurant

Festivals and Events

Chester is home to all sorts of events and festivals throughout the year, including Chester Pride, Chester Live (a multi-venue live music event), the Chester Literature Festival, Chester International Film Festival and the Food & Drink Festival. With so many indoor and outdoor music, art, theatre and cinema events, the hardest decision will be deciding which ones to go to! You’re in a great location if you fancy Creamfields, and if you feel like going a little further afield, give Bluedot Festival a go.

Star Must do: Make the most of the Chester Christmas Markets in December.

People at Chester Christmas market


Chester has once again been awarded a coveted ‘Purple Flag’ status in recognition of its night time economy. So, whether you want to have drinks with friends, watch performances on the stage, or enjoy a vibrant music scene, Chester has something for everyone. Bands and DJs play across the city every night of the week and some big names can be found at venues such as Telford’s Warehouse, The Live Rooms or Alexander’s Live, which also hosts a regular comedy night. Home to traditional pubs, quirky cocktail bars and clubs with a range of music and themes, Chester’s nightlife offers variety, uniqueness and atmosphere - it won’t take you long to find your favourites.

Star Must do: Visit the tropics and get a cocktail at Lono Cove.

People at a bar in Chester


How many cities have a Roman Amphitheatre a few streets away from the shops, restaurants and bars? The 21st century Chester we see today has been built around history, literally. Ancient city walls, the iconic Eastgate Clock, Chester Cathedral, Roman Gardens, the historic Rows; the past is scattered throughout the city, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Star Must do: Walk the walls – they’re the most complete circuit of defensive city walls in Britain.

People by the River Dee

River Dee

On the banks of the River Dee is the ‘Groves’ – a pretty promenade that hosts a selection of cafés, restaurants, pubs and its own bandstand. The river is home to the oldest rowing regatta in the world and you’ll often see rowers, sailors and canoeists out on the water. Every year we love to watch the Dee Mile swimming race, the annual charity Raft Race and the rubber duck race! There’s plenty of seating for you to read a book or chat with friends, and you’ll have the perfect view from our Riverside and Queen’s Park Campuses, which both overlook the river.

Star Must do: Go on – get yourself on a pedalo.

People by the River Dee

Outside Spaces

Next to the River Dee is Grosvenor Park, a beautiful green space to relax in. With 20 acres of land overlooking the river, this is the perfect place to meet with friends or relax with a book away from the bustling city vibes. During the summer, the park plays host to Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, where you can watch top quality theatre productions in an unrivalled outdoor setting. The famous Roman Gardens are a focal point for many history enthusiasts and The Meadows are a fantastic place for a walk along the riverbank past the Duke of Westminster’s estate, and possibly a paddle in the water along the way.

Star Must do: The Roman Gardens’ Moonlight Flicks - Chester’s summertime open air cinema.

People amongst trees


At the heart of the city, you will find Storyhouse - a rejuvenated 1930s art deco building, contains two state-of-the-art theatres, a cinema, library, restaurant and two bars. Throughout the year, this award-winning cultural centre welcomes the best home-produced and internationally acclaimed work, offering a programme of dance, opera, drama, music and comedy.

Star Must do: Catch a film here – students can get tickets online for under a fiver.

People outside Storyhouse

Chester Cathedral

An archaeological treasure, Chester Cathedral is where our graduates collect their well-deserved degrees in a series of grand ceremonies every year. During other times of the year, visitors can enjoy exploring this historical and impressive Cathedral, as well as exhibitions, events and services. There is also a fully functioning falconry within the Cathedral grounds, where you can either visit the grounds, or have an up-close and personal falconry experience.

Chester Cathedral outside

Close By

Committed to preventing extinction, Chester Zoo is a conservation and education charity that is home to over 27,000 animals across its 125 acres of award-winning zoological gardens, so it’s no surprise that it has been voted the UK’s number one zoo and most popular attraction outside London (The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), 2018).

Animals at Chester Zoo