Our Education Department works to expand knowledge and faith through monthly Bible talks for adults and seasonal exhibitions as well as through tailored tours, workshops and engaging holiday activities to suit all school-aged children.

On 31 October 2008, it was revealed that the Northgate development was to be put on hold until 2012 due to the ongoing economic downturn.[95] However a number of Chester's other Renaissance projects continue. The current active projects are; The Delamere Street development[96] and The £60million HQ development.[97] Work on the new bus station started in October 2015 and it is due to open in early 2017.[98][99]

Towards the end of World War II, a lack of affordable housing meant many problems for Chester. Large areas of farmland on the outskirts of the city were developed as residential areas in the 1950s and early 1960s, producing, for instance, the suburb of Blacon. In 1964, a bypass was built through and around the city centre to combat traffic congestion.

As of July 2013, Chester had the highest rate of home foreclosure in the country, at three times the national average.[91]

The absolute minimum temperature recorded was −18.2 °C (−0.8 °F)[34] during January 1982. Annually, an average of 35.5 air frosts should be recorded.

An annual popular music festival started in 2011 – Chester Rocks, held on the grounds of the Chester Racecourse is due to continue in July 2012.

Chester had a tram service during the late 19th and early 20th centuries which ran from Saltney, on the Welsh border in the west, to Chester General station, and thence also to Tarvin Road and Great Boughton. It featured the narrowest gauge trams (3' 6") in mainland Britain, due to an act of Parliament which deemed that they must be the least obstructive possible.[citation needed]

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In common with most of the rest of the United Kingdom, Chester has an oceanic climate. Despite its proximity to the Irish Sea, the temperature regime is similar to areas further inland, owing to the shelter provided by the Pennines to the northeast and the Welsh Mountains to the southwest. The nearest official weather station is at Hawarden Airport, about 4 miles (6.4 km) west of the city centre.

Chester's main industries are now the service industries comprising tourism, retail, public administration and financial services. Many domestic and international tourists visit to view the city's landmarks and heritage with a complementary benefit to hotels and restaurants.

On 19 June 2008, then Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly named Chester as a cycling demonstration town.[104] This initiative allows for substantial financial support to improve cycling facilities in the city, and a number of schemes are planned or already in development.[105]

The fortress was garrisoned by the legion until at least the late 4th century.[18] Although the army had abandoned the fortress by 410 when the Romans retreated from Britannia,[19] the Romano-British civilian settlement continued (probably with some Roman veterans staying behind with their wives and children) and its occupants probably continued to use the fortress and its defences as protection from raiders from the Irish Sea.[18]

We've got everything you need for inspirational learning, from curriculum-linked workshops to self-guided visits.

The city is a hub for major roads, including the M53 motorway towards the Wirral Peninsula and Liverpool and the M56 motorway towards Manchester. The A55 road runs along the North Wales coast to Holyhead and the A483 links the city to nearby Wrexham and Swansea to the far south.

Chester has a relatively large financial sector including Bank of America, formerly MBNA Europe, NFU Mutual, HBOS plc, Virgin Money and M&S Bank. The price comparison website moneysupermarket.com is based over the Welsh border in Ewloe. Chester has its own university, the University of Chester, and a major hospital, the Countess of Chester Hospital, named after Diana, Princess of Wales and Countess of Chester.

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The major public park in Chester is Grosvenor Park.[67] On the south side of the River Dee, in Handbridge, is Edgar's Field, another public park,[68] which contains Minerva's Shrine, a Roman shrine to the goddess Minerva.[69] A war memorial to those who died in the world wars is in the town hall and it contains the names of all Chester servicemen who died in the First World War.[70]

The University has an established record of engaging with businesses, public sector, voluntary and charitable organisations on a range of client-led business projects.

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Right now conservation is critical and species are under threat. We won't stand back and we won't give up.

In 2007 the Gateway Theatre closed as part of the Northgate Development, and so too the Odeon cinema, which opened on 3 October 1936. The Odeon site is currently being transformed through the RENEW project. This partnership, including Cheshire West and Chester Council, Arts Council England, arts producer Storyhouse and Chester City Library, with additional funding from MBNA and various trusts and foundations, will culminate in the £37m integrated arts centre ‘Storyhouse’.

Our vibrant city offers you a diverse range of activities, from dining out or clubbing to cruising on the River Dee. Be sure to check our What's On Guide for all the latest events in Chester and Cheshire

There’s something going on every day of the year. These links will help you find out what to do during your holiday, long weekend or day out visiting our estate.

If you are organising an event and would like to be listed, please email events@chester.com

To the east side of the city is Chester Zoo, the UK's largest zoo with over 11,000 animals in 110 acres of award-winning gardens.

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The King's School, an independent school, is one of seven schools re-established by King Henry VIII in 1541.[clarification needed] The girls-only Queen's School, another independent school, was founded in 1878 as "The Chester School for Girls". Queen Victoria, who was the school's first patron, issued a decree naming it "The Queen's School" in 1882.[80]

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Find out about our facilities for teaching, learning and student life at our seven sites in Chester, Warrington and Shrewsbury

We have a number of different ways to get in touch with our friendly team.

The city is home to the University of Chester. Formerly a teacher training college, it gained full university status in 2005 and is the county's main provider of tertiary education. The University of Law also has a campus in the city.

We have a wide range of accommodation to choose from. The AA and VisitBritain ensure that properties are visited annually by trained, impartial assessors, so you can have confidence that your accommodation has been thoroughly checked and rated for quality before you make a booking.


At this magical time of the year there is no better place to come than the beautiful city of Chester. The city comes alive with the spirit of Christmas with lights, parades and decorations to warm even the coldest heart! Experience the Christmas market, join the Christmas Parade of Light as the Christmas Lights are switched on and Shop till you drop with extended opening hours on Thursdays throughout November and December.

From about 1794 to the late 1950s, when the canal-side flour mills were closed, narrowboats carried cargo such as coal, slate, gypsum or lead ore as well as finished lead (for roofing, water pipes and sewerage) from the leadworks in Egerton Street (Newtown). Grain from Cheshire was stored in granaries on the banks of the canal at Newtown and Boughton and salt for preserving food arrived from Northwich.

Book your place for one of our undergraduate Open Days this October, and discover how the University of Chester can inspire your future.

These new developments caused local concern as the physicality[clarification needed] and therefore the feel of the city was being dramatically altered. In 1968, a report by Donald Insall in collaboration with authorities and government recommended that historic buildings be preserved in Chester.[27] Consequently, the buildings were used in new and different ways instead of being flattened.[28]

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Douglas designed amongst other buildings the Grosvenor Hotel and the City Baths. In 1911, Douglas' protégé and city architect James Strong designed the then active fire station on the west side of Northgate Street. Another feature of all buildings belonging to the estate of Westminster is the 'Grey Diamonds' – a weaving pattern of grey bricks in the red brickwork laid out in a diamond formation.

There's always something extra going on at the zoo. See what’s on now & plan ahead.

Dining out in Chester and Cheshire has never offered so much diversity, whether your eating a light lunch with friends, a romantic meal for two or just eating out cause you want to.