Renowned for its horse races and with an exceptional £37 million theatre complex, the city has lots going on. Add to that some ace live gigs, regular stand-up comedy and the city’s football club, and you have a winning combination when it comes to entertainment in Chester.
The city’s largest independent live music venue and club, The Live Rooms has been running for five years, promoting some of the UK’s best up-and-coming talent, as well as regular tribute acts. A two-room venue with a balcony and VIP bar overlooking the main room, they’ve hosted BBC 6 Music’s Huey Morgan and Big Country, as well as Oasis tribute act Definitely Oasis. And it’s all just a five-minute walk away from our Chester City Centre hotel.
The sprawling Storyhouse might be the entertainment hub for Chester, but the Forum Studio Theatre is also worth visiting for its mix of comedies, musicals and pantomimes. We’ve gone to town on both of them in our dedicated page to Chester theatres.
A cornerstone of Chester’s entertainment scene since 1991, Alexander's Live is a 150-capacity space that holds regular comedy throwdowns, as well as live gigs, burlesque shows, poetry recitals and more. Big names like Bill Bailey and Jack Dee have strutted their comedic stuff on stage, while Friday Night Comedy hosts a range of established and up-and-coming talents including comedy circuit regulars like Paul Tonkinson and Justin Moorhouse. Our Chester City Centre hotel is just a five-minute taxi ride away or a 15-minute walk to the northern edge of the city walls.
As the oldest racecourse in England, dating back to 1539, Chester Racecourse is one of the most illustrious courses in the country. Thanks to its central location, it’s always a crowd favourite whilst also being one of the smallest tracks in the UK at just over a mile long.
The racing calendar takes place from May to September, with the main highlights being the Boodles festival in May, the City Plate Day in July and the Season Finale in September.
The 65-acre space also hosts regular polo events across a weekend in June and again in September. As you’d expect, there are plenty of bars and restaurants on-site to take in all the action, including gastropub The White Horse, the 1539 Restaurant and Bar(named after the year racing was first held), Ginger wine bar and the cool craft ale and burger bar Commonhall St. Social. While a lot of racing fans descend on the course for horses, the off-course action is just as big a draw, with the glamorous outfits and matching hats being as much an attraction to some of the punters.
More down to earth is the city’s football team. Reborn as Chester FC in 2011 after Chester City was dissolved following financial difficulties, the team currently plies its trade in the National League – effectively the fifth tier of English football – and plays its home matches at the Deva Stadium, which has a capacity of 5,376. If you’re looking for a spicy derby game, check for fixtures against Wrexham, Macclesfield Town or Tranmere Rovers. Our Chester City Centre hotel is the closest at just over a mile or around a 20-minute walk away, but it’s only a 15-minute drive from our Wirral (Two Mills) hotel. Opened in 1992, the stadium straddles the Welsh and English border and has plenty of on-site parking, with The Social Club being your best bet for a pre-game drink.
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