So we have just got back from our second family trip to Chester. I really do love this city! We went with family this time, staying in Hoole which was about a 10 minute drive to the centre of Chester and about 3 miles from the Zoo, Aquarium and Cheshire Oaks. The trip was booked through airbnb, staying in a beautiful 3 bedroom house which I would definitely recommend to anyone, especially if you have young children. Not only was the house immaculate and in a great location, but the neighbour, who also looks after the rentals for this house was lovely, very approachable and helpful. A real bonus to the property.
We first went to Chester last year when Max was about six months old. We went with friends who also have a little boy around a similar age and stayed just outside Chester centre in a lovely caravan on a private site called Fir Trees. We booked through Hoseasons and got a great price (which is rare being a teacher as I can only book in school holidays!). This was also a great location if you drive, not too far from local amenities and the main attractions.
Top tips and Recommendations;
- Chester Zoo is a must for all children and adults of any ages. This zoo is by far the best I have ever been too. It is so clean and tidy, the animals all seem to be well looked after and cared for, having amazing enclosures. There is a monorail, numerous areas to explore and fantastic facilities such as restaurants and toilets including many baby changing areas that are all clean and tidy. They now also have a pub which we didn’t realise until we had already eaten. Prices for food are quite pricey as you would expect, you are looking at about £7 for fish and chips or a burger and chips but it looked nice. We took a picnic though and there are plenty of picnic areas. Try and go on a dry day (if possible), as you spend most of your time outside!
- The Blue Planet Aquarium is another must see in my eyes. It is second to the zoo but another great day out, especially on a rainy day. Max being a little older the second time round got much more out of it and really enjoyed exploring the different sea-life animals, especially in the tunnel. Again the facilities here for little ones are great and it really makes it a stress free day out.
- Chester its self is a truly beautiful city to stroll around on a dry day. The history is fascinating and the architecture and city walls are breathtaking. It is a big place and even though we have been twice now, we still haven’t seen it all. You can walk around the city walls or stroll through the cobbled streets looking at the designer shops. There is a racecourse which is always fun for the whole family, I recommend the centre course which is the cheapest option but it means you can take your own food and drink, some even allow bbqs. Much more relaxed with the little ones. There is also a roman amphitheatre you can visit as well as the many delicious cafes, restaurants and bars.
- Cheshire Oaks is part of the McArtherGlen outlet group and is by far the best one I have visited. Click on the link to see the shops at this outlet but I would go for the day it is that good.
- The Coliseum Leisure Park is next door to Cheshire Oaks and comprises of bowling, a cinema, adventure golf and many dining options. I recommend the tenpin bowling, Max loved it and you can get some great deals and wear your own shoes which is always a bonus. Prezzo was also delicious and we had great service!
So as you can see Chester offers a wide range of attractions and activities and is a great family city break for all ages. I can’t wait to go back!