You should visit Chester if you haven’t already. It is one of those places that is really compact, yet there are lots of family things to do in Chester. Sure, there are some cobbles, but most of the city is pretty flat so it’s nothing your stroller can’t cope with or better yet, use a carrier.
We based ourselves near the famous racecourse at Roomzzz Chester (full review via that link) and could easily walk to the main shopping strips. The train station was just a simple twenty minute walk too.
In fact, most of our time in Chester was spent walking. When our mini-explorers *finally* gave in and magically both fell asleep at the same time we decided to cash in on the opportunity.
Pre-parent life we would have stopped for a drink, but we knew the lack of motion would wake them up. Instead, we whizzed round the main streets. Then when our toddler woke up we let him run wild in the pedestrianised areas to wear him out. He thought he was in charge doing what he wanted and we wore him out. Win, win!
Chester Christmas Market
Obviously the market is seasonal, but if you visit during December you’re in for a treat. Cute wooden cabins and twinkly lights make this a worthy stop. We followed the delicious smells until we found the foodie stalls and then wolfed the naughty grub before the kids could see.
Although quite small, we loved that the gifts on offer were different to the usual sort you see at some markets and that thankfully there wasn’t really any repetition. We usually get a new decoration for the tree each year, so took the chance to buy a personalised bauble.
The Rows are the term given to the historical and famous ‘double decker’ layers of shops that fill the city centre. Despite the buildings being so old, you’ll find big highstreet names and it really is a shopper’s delight. I longingly window shopped, telling myself I’d return one day on a girly weekend with a full purse of money to revamp my wardrobe.
If you head down Watergate Street towards Roomzzz you’ll find that there are quite a few toy shops – Weasel and The Bug, Games Workshop, Toycraft. The road was quiet when we visited so Nova was happy running about and periodically pressing his face up against the toy shop windows, pointing out the various animals and characters.
Chester City Walls
If you still want to wear your little ones out explore, head to Chester City Walls. They’re steeped in history and a fun way to see more of Chester. You can either take a 90-minute tour (see link) or have your own mooch. Make sure you see the famous clock on the Eastgate.
We’re not religious, but we do like impressive buildings. This imposing cathedral is right in the city centre and makes for a good pic. Ha, is it bad to say that?! It’s worth checking the website ahead of your visit to see what’s on, as they often have flying bird displays, children’s nature trails and other things on offer.
There are so many nice restaurants in Chester, but some of the fancier ones are definitely more suited to a parent escape kinda break. We tried Olive Tree Brasserie as it was only a five-minute walk away from Roomzzz Chester and it looked pretty. So shallow, eh?!
It serves Greek and Mediterranean inspired food and the kid’s menu is actually pretty good. Nova devoured his chicken skewers and Greek yoghurt and we enjoyed the beer!
This was our favourite spot by far. We love living in a village, but every time we visit somewhere like the Jaunty Goat we’re tempted with city life. This hipster cafes serves amazing coffee, gorgeous cakes, twine-tied sandwiches and a pretty tasty Greek salad. The lighting is low, the décor is stylish and the staff look cool. Definitely include a stop here.
Despite only a fleeting visit, we felt like we were able to get a good taste of Chester and really enjoyed our 24 hours. Have you been?X
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This post is in collaboration with Roomzzz.