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When visiting Chester, the beautiful Grosvenor Park and River Dee are hard to miss. With their central location and atmospheric ambience, both places attract many local residents and tourists looking for a calming but busy spot to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Located within close proximity to the ruins of Roman Chester, both Grosvenor Park and the River Dee each have their own fascinating history. From tales of witch-hunts and deals with the devil to busy Roman maritime trade, there is a lot of history within a relatively short area.

Five Quick Facts

1 The owner of the coffin that is placed high within the walls of the of St. John’s Chapel is still shrouded in mystery. One of the most popular folklore stories is that the devil placed it there for a mean parishioner who could not rest in his grave below.   2 In Grosvenor Park, there is a canopy-style structure known as ‘Billy Hobby’s Well’. In old folklore, the water in the well below the structure was said to have magical powers. Many unmarried ladies would bathe in the water to wish for a husband. 3 The River Dee was once a place were women were tried as witches. They would be bound to barrels and placed within the waters of the River Dee. If they drowned, they would have been proclaimed innocent, however, if they survived, it would have proved their guilt.  4 Visitors to Grosvenor Park will find three medieval archways that were relocated to the park from various areas of the city. The old Shipgate archway was built in the twelfth century and was originally the entrance to the city from the River Dee.  5 During the Roman empire, the River Dee played an important part in the success of the fortress built at Chester. The Roman’s harbour was located where Chester racecourse is now, on the banks of the River Dee.    

Things To Do

St John The Baptist Church

Situated near the remains of the Roman Amphitheatre, the beautiful St. John The Baptist Church is at the heart of Chester’s community. However, it is the remains of the original chapels of the church which was reportedly built in 689 AD that is a mesmerising place to visit. At the rear of the church and near the gardens of Grosvenor Park are the remains of a chapel from the original church, although only the walls remain, it is breathtakingly beautiful on a summer’s day. Make sure to look up to spot the medieval coffin that rests within the top of the walls!

Chester Boat - Sight Seeing Cruises

For those who want to explore the other string in Chester’s bow, the Chester Boat offers some great sight-seeing tours on the beautiful River Dee. Especially a great treat on summer days, guests are taken along the river on the iconic Lady Diana boat and are able to listen to fascinating stories that uncover another side to Chester’s history. Even for those who may not be history buffs, the cruise is a fantastic opportunity to see some of the beautiful homes that back onto the river. 

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

During the beautiful summer months in Chester, a small part of Grosvenor Park transforms into the Open Air Theatre, playing host to a range of classic plays. Audiences are invited to bring picnics and take advantage of the theatre bar with bubbly Proseccos, as they take their seats under the sunny sky or dusky clouds. With traditional entertainment from talented actors, recreating the theatrical greats, including The Tempest and Much Ado About Nothing, guests will be blown away by the whole experience.

Chester Boat - Themed Cruises

The Chester Boat plays a significant part in the Chester tourist scene, however, with exciting themed cruises from the company, many residents can rediscover their love for the river. From Party Nights and Afternoon Teas to Fish and Chip cruises, there is something for everyone onboard the iconic Lady Diana boat. A great way for Chester newbies to make contacts in the area is to go along to the Payday Friday Curry & Quiz Night, making friends and acquaintances whilst enjoying superb food and fun.