How do you rate Chester?
Living in Chester
Chester is a little town that’s almost on top of the English/Welsh border. As well as being an up-to-date place to live with some great city connections, students at the University of Chester will find there’s a lot of character to the place that comes out of it’s long history.
Rather than just being another ‘clone town’ Chester has worked to preserve and use many of its older buildings, giving the place a very distinctive look. The best and fastest way to get an idea of this is to walk round the old Roman and medieval wall. The whole thing is only a two mile circuit but at some points you’ll be able to see right across the town to some of it’s bigger landmarks, like the cathedral, and get an idea for where everything is. The campus is close to the town centre too, so you might even be able to see your house from there!
While you’re in town, you should probably go shopping. There’s Cheshire market for local produce and some good bargains on your groceries, all the standard high street shops and supermarkets, and the bigger Forum and Grosvenor shopping centres for the popular brands. A lot of things here are called Grosvenor (after a wealthy family who used to live here) - there’s a museum called Grosvenor, which covers the city’s history including two Roman-themed exhibits and a gallery that particularly features local art, and a park called Grosvenor which is the biggest one in the town and a good place to chill out with a book, ball or ice cream after lectures.
Even if you hate shopping, you still need to visit The Rows. This is a unique street of double-floored building with covered walkways between them. They are used as shops but still have their old black and white timber exteriors. The rest of the time there’s a lot of pubs to visit, and a couple of clubs too with RB’s, Cruise and Destiny being the student favourites. There are some pretty good local events through the year, but the most notable ones happen in the summer, including music events and a literature festival. If you’re in luck you might catch the Chester Mystery Plays (worth checking out if you’ve not seen one before) because they only take place once every five years.
There’s a lot of sport to get behind, as Chester has (in no particular order) football, golf, rugby, American football, handball, gold, rowing and canoeing on the River Dee, horse racing at Chester Racecourse, and professional basketball and wheelchair basketball teams. Most of these are pretty successful.
No lectures today. What should I do?
- Chester Swimming Baths: There’s a chance you’ll walk right past it because the old fashioned exterior looks nothing like the kind of building you’d normally expect to find a swimming pool in, but we promise it’s in there.
- Zoo! Chester Zoo has over 400 different species, so we’re pretty sure there’s something in there you’ll enjoy. If you prefer things that swim the Blue Planet Aquarium in nearby Ellesmere Port has Europe’s largest collection of sharks.
- Peak District: You’re right on the edge of the Western Peaks, and not that far from Snowdonia either. So don your hiking boots, grab a backpack, and get out there!
Good to know
- Car?: Nah. The campus is a 10min walk from town, and only 20mins from the train station. You won’t have any trouble getting around.
- Train: Warrington is close enough for a day - or night!- out, and there’s also a regular bus service that goes here. You can also get to Liverpool in 40mins by train and Manchester in 1hr.
- Bicycle: Definitely. Chester is big on cycling, with dedicated route and cycle bridges to help make it more than just a way of getting from A to B.
Read Chester Reviews
public transport is highly rated as it can get me out of Chester quicker than the speed of light. eating out: there are a few good places to eat out but some of them (opera grill) are way too overpriced for microwaved food. Shopping: only in first year did I use the town centre for shopping but now that the town centre is practically dead, Cheshire oaks and the Trafford centre in Manchester are the nearest decent shopping areas.
Chester is a beautiful city and I feel proud to live there! The uni is right near the city centre, the shops are great and the bars/restaurants are wonderful and there is so much to choose from. Nightlife isn't the most exciting but it's a quaint place with a really friendly feel - there's always something to do.