The Romans knew a good thing when they saw it – and the roots they planted to establish the fortress town of Deva have returned a golden legacy for modern day Chester.
Today this captivating city, ringed by historic red sandstone walls that provide a magnificent walk and the perfect way to take in all that’s on offer, has a “Come Visit” appeal that is second to none.
Down the centuries Romans have given way to Viking raiders and then the Normans as Chester’s strategic location was recognised; historic chapters that have all played a part in developing Chester’s visitor appeal.
As more and more people plan staycation breaks this year, now’s the time to set the sat-nav for Chester.
Discover The Rows is the title of a new dedicated online and walking tour of Chester’s spectacular medieval shopping quarter.
The tour introduces visitors to these amazing first-floor open galleries (above). It includes a visit to what is thought to be England’s first shopfront and there’s a mysterious link to a coded message about a possible visit to the city by Catherine of Aragon.
Innovative Big Heritage has reinvented one of Chester’s favourite museums as Deva Roman Discovery Centre, offering an entertaining 21st-century take on ancient history. The familiar Roman soldier guides and astonishing archaeological site will be complemented by new activities, hands-on exhibits, and sound-and-light shows. More at https://devaromancentre.co.uk.
The walk around the walls takes you past the oldest racecourse, the largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain, where archaeologists are still seeking secrets from the past, and the city’s 1000-year-old Cathedral with fine examples of medieval carvings.
A few miles to the east of Chester, Jodrell Bank is to launch its multi-million pound First Light Project with the opening of the First Light Pavilion this spring.
The national heritage attraction is set in a stunning new building in the shadow of the mighty Lovell Telescope, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2019, acknowledging its global role in achieving a transformational understanding of the Universe.
Designed by internationally acclaimed architects HASSELL Studio, the Pavilion will include a gallery dedicated to telling the story of Jodrell Bank, an immersive projection space and auditorium, and an education hub and cafe. Go to www.jodrellbank.net/the-first-light-pavilion.
As a key player in the space race, the observatory has made a unique contribution, including capturing the moment when the Eagle lander, carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, touched down on the surface of the Moon in 1969.
More about visitor attractions at Chester and in Cheshire at www.visitcheshire.com