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About Chester


About Chester

Have you discovered Chester yet?

As well as our conference being hosted on the oldest racecourse in Great Britain, Chester has the most complete city walls and the largest Roman Amphitheatre. Chester also has a 1000 year old Cathedral with Europe's finest example of medieval carvings - and of course the one and only 700 year old Rows galleries where shopping is a double delight.

Its bewitching beauty and unique atmosphere make the city one of Britain's most popular places for an unforgettable visit.

The ancient city is a truly breathtaking experience. Each chapter of Chester's history is etched into the very fabric of the city. Well, you are walking where Roman Legionnaires marched to war, Viking raiders wreaked havoc and Norman invaders conquered Anglo Saxons.

There are so many fantastic things to do in and around Chester so rather than try to get a 'pass out' for the weekend, why not bring the family along.

You'll find stores galore offering the hottest fashion in Chester all set against a background of unique treasures of antiquity and a vibrant cafe culture where outdoor dining and people watching go hand in hand.

Make time too for Chester Zoo, the most visited UK attraction outside London and home to 7000 animals in acres of glorious gardens or slow the pace down and explore the city aboard an open top bus tour.


Ten fascinating facts about Chester

1. The town’s racecourse is Britain’s oldest sporting venue in continual use. The first horse race at the Roodee took place in 1539, replacing the famously bloody Shrove Tuesday football game. Mayor Henry Gee allowed the swap, giving the name the “gee-gees” to horse racing.

2. Chester’s Rows, covered walkways at the first floor in each of the city’s four main streets, are unique not only in Britain but anywhere in the world. They have allowed double level shopping in the town at least since the 13th Century.

3. Chester is the best preserved walled city in England as its medieval walls form the most complete circuit around any town or city in England.

4. Chester was founded as a Roman fort in the year 79AD and was known as Deva. It was one of the three major Roman army bases in the UK.

5. The Roman amphitheatre, which had seats for 7000 spectators, is the largest in the country.

6. Chester Cathedral is the North West's most popular tourist attraction.

7. The patron saint of Chester is St Werburgh, who was instrumental in convent reform across England.

8. Chester has the only surviving rock cut Roman Shrine in the country. Called Minerva’s Shrine after the goddess of war, it is designated as a Grade I listed building by English Heritage.

9. In 1403 Henry, Prince of Wales, the future Henry V, ordered that the Welsh should be expelled from Chester – none should enter the city before sunrise or stay after sunset on pain of decapitation. There is no record of the order ever being repealed.

10. In 2011 the population in Chester was 118,200, made up of 48% men and 52% women. Of those 78% described their religion as Christian and 98% were white.

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