10 interesting facts about Chester
The walled city of Chester is one of the oldest in Britain, and retains a charm and splendour all of its own despite being dwarfed in size by neighbouring Liverpool and Manchester. Before you plan a visit, be sure to brush up on the North West city’s fascinating facts and claims to fame:
1. It's home to the nation's oldest active sports venue
Chester Racecourse has been hosting horseracing since the early 16th Century and is the UK’s oldest racecourse still in use. May is the best time to visit to catch a race at ‘The Roodee’, as the course is nicknamed due to its raised mount or ‘rood’.
2. Its zoo is the most visited wildlife attraction in the UK
The city is instantly associated with Chester Zoo, and it's no wonder. Receiving well over a million visitors every year, it was named seventh best zoo in the world by TripAdvisor in 2015.
3. It hosted a major 17th-Century battle
Even many locals are unaware that the village of Rowton was the scene of a clash between the Parliamentarians and Royalists nearly 500 years ago.At the Battle of Rowton Heath in 1645, around 600 Royalists died. These included Lord Bernard Stewart, who was due to be given the title of Earl of Lichfield by Charles I.
4. It has a football ground on a national border
If you go to see a game at Chester FC’s Lookers Vauxhall Stadium, you will probably cross the English-Welsh border in doing so. The club offices and car park are in England, but the pitch is in Wales.
5. James Bond was born there
Well, not Bond himself, but actor Daniel Craig was born in Chester in 1968 and grew up on the neighbouring Wirral. Interestingly, he’s not the first Bond from the area, with Timothy Dalton having been born not far up the A55 in Colwyn Bay. There must be something in the Dee water!
6. Americans love it!
In a 2013 poll run by USA TODAY, Americans ranked Chester above the likes of Prague and Venice in a list of the prettiest European cities. Nowhere else in the UK made the top 10.
7. It has a unique style of walkway
Dating back to the 13th Century, the two-tiered Chester Rows give you twice the shops in the same amount of space. You won’t find a style like this anywhere else.
8. The UK’s largest outlet village is just down the road
Visitors looking for even more retail therapy should make the short trip to Ellesmere Port and spend a day at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet. The first outlet village of its kind in Europe, it boasts well over 100 stores. The choice of restaurants at the adjacent Coliseum will see you well catered for as well.
9. You can see Roman underfloor heating there
At the unlikely venue of the Spud-U-Like outlet on Bridge Street, you can visit the remains of a Roman hypocaust in the impressive cellar.
10. It has excellent accommodation
With our three superb Hallmark Hotels in Chester, you won’t be short of an ideal place to rest after a day exploring this quaint and vibrant city. Book to stay at our Hallmark Inn Chester, Hallmark Hotel Wrexham Llyndir Hall near Chester or Hallmark Hotel Chester The Queen.
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