Chester has been declared ‘an open-air city’ – a place to wander safely in the great outdoors while admiring its many assets: Britain’s most complete Roman and medieval walls, for example, Chester Cathedral’s gardens, or – in the half-timbered streets of the old shopping centre – the remarkable Tudor galleries they call ‘the Rows’ (pictured).

According to the Visit Chester website, there are plans to open up outdoor dining terraces, host al fresco events and promote walks and cycle routes (from, say, the centre to Chester Zoo). In Grosvenor Park, one of Britain’s largest open-air theatres is gearing up for a season of live performances (Jungle Book and The Merry Wives of Windsor among others). You can catch a movie at Moonlight Flicks, an outdoor cinema planned for the summer. Oh, yes and picnics: on a grassy embankment in the city’s Roman ampitheatre, perhaps, on the banks of the River Dee, or on a boat ­– Chester Boat is offering private picnic trips for bubbles of up to six people. I haven’t been to Chester for years – decades – but as we ease out of lockdown maybe now’s the time for a return visit. 

Photo courtesy of Visit Chester/Visit Cheshire.

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