Open Air Chester – the WLGT Guide to the Best Open Air Experiences in Town

Chester is at last back open for business! What a stunning city we have to reopen, and with some of the best open air experiences you’ll find for miles around! Our city makes the perfect base for an epic staycation – and with so many of these fabulous experiences right on the doorstep – you’ll be looking for some help with finding the perfect place to stay to suit your individual needs. Pass The Keys Chester are a localised short term and holiday let management business, who are helping us here at WLGT to champion The Great Chester Staycation.

Here’s what they have to say …

‘At Pass the Keys we are championing the staycation in Chester. We’ve been readying our holiday homes making sure they are all Covid safe and in tip top condition.

Chester will be a popular stop for tourists this year and there’s little wonder as there’s so much to discover. From walking the Roman walls and exploring the ancient amphitheatre to shopping and eating on the medieval Rows.

A trip to Chester isn’t complete without seeing a Roman Legionnaire or the Town Crier following a stroll along the river and an ice-cream!

That’s just the city centre, look what we have on our doorstep for day trips. Our award winning Zoo is only a few minutes from the centre. For hardcore shoppers there’s Cheshire Oaks one of the original and largest outlet malls in the UK, and for outdoor lovers the rugged beauty of North Wales and Snowdonia is within easy reach.

Chester is such a wonderful place to experience. We’re a smaller city so not as busy or congested as many larger cities yet we have an amazing selection of attractions and independent bars, restaurants, cafes and shops all ready to safely welcome people back as we ease out of lockdown’.

So here are a few suggestions about what to do and where to go in and around Beautiful Chester!

The River Front

Video courtesy of ChesterBoat

It’s like we have our very own Chester Riviera! A beautiful stretch of promenade which takes you from the city centre right down to The Boathouse Chester on the left, and The Meadows on the right. If you love a stroll in the sunshine – then the river front is definitely for you – whether you’re enjoying some quiet time on your own, or hand-in-hand with someone special. There are plenty of seats to enjoy a coffee and a chat, plus Cheshire Farm ice cream is on hand for a couple of scoops of something deliciously dreamy. Take in the sights and sounds at a leisurely pace, pick up a portion of fish & chips on the way down Lower Bridge Street and waste some valuable time messing about by the river. If you fancy messing about on the river, then you’re in luck with fabulous open air river cruises with Chester Boat (check out their itinerary here), or you can work off the chips and ice cream with a blast in a pedalo. Motor boats are also available to hire … and if you’re a little more adventurous – then kayaking and paddle boarding are all the rage (check out the courtesy river code here before you go).

Dee River Kayaking

If you fancy kayaking or paddle boarding but don’t quite know where to start, then book a tour or an experience with Dee River Kayaking. Jamie and his fellow expert instructors have a range of on-the-water options available – and no experience is necessary. I have enjoyed two sessions – one for a gentle city tour where you really do get to enjoy the city from a totally different perspective, and the other with our teenagers for a white water experience down salmon leap. Both were absolutely brilliant – the kids loved the white water whereas I would definitely opt for the gentle pace of the city tour again (check out my five star review here).

Click here for more info and for bookings

Rack & Ruin Alpacas

If you love animals and the great outdoors – then you need to book an Alpaca Experience with Rack & Ruin Alpacas. This truly is a superb quality, open air experience that the whole family will love. With lots of land along with stunning views across the Cheshire plains, The Chester Fields has made the perfect home for this funny furry family for everyone to experience – young and old. These Alpaca’s are super cute – they are so gentle and affectionate, and they clearly love interacting with people as well as each other. For a special occasion or just any occasion, this is a wonderful family activity you’ll want to do again and again (read my five star review here).

Chester Cycle Tours

Lockdown has seen lots of locals heading out on their bikes for their daily exercise.  Cheshire and Chester is an amazing area to cycle, being predominantly flat and with stunning views and places to visit; it attracts families, groups and couples to its pretty lanes and cyclepaths. But what if you’ve not been on your bike in years or are a little wary to head onto the open road? Where do you begin and who can help you to get back on your bike?

Approaching a National Standard Cycling Instructor would be a great place to start!  Chester local Karen Barker has taught 100s of children and adults in the Chester area to learn to ride (often in just one hour) as well as offering lessons to families and individuals to gain confidence and skills on the road.  You can contact her and check out her great reviews via her facebook page ( or call her on 07899 050003 for more information, or to book a session right by our Chester Greenway!

If you’re looking to pick up an affordable cycle, and also help the planet, then a pre-owned bike is the way to go, and there’s no better place to start than Bren Bikes. They’re a local charity who service all types of donated bikes and then sell them back to the public at affordable prices, as well as being able to service and repair your own bike too. You can find more information at  Or contact them on 07975607688,

But Karen hasn’t just stopped at training.  Having spotted there were no cycle tours of Chester, she put the wheels in motion to launch Chester Cycle Tours. You can ‘pedal into the past,’ on her fun, 2-hour guided historical cycle tour of Chester which is now open for business. Check out her reviews on TripAdvisor (search Chester Cycle Tours)

Click here for more info and bookings

JF Polo Academy

For the horse lovers and the adventurous – give JF Polo Academy a go! This is a first class polo academy just a few miles from the city centre – and WOW do these guys know exactly how to have fun on horse back – and I’ll let you into a little secret. I had never ridden a horse EVER – until HPA Professional Instructor James Fielding talked me into having a go at the age of 40! Under his expert instruction, I was able to kick on and hit the ball in my very first lesson – and I ended up playing chukkas and having an absolute blast with the JF Polo team. Their season is already in full swing – so if you fancy a pay-as-you-go lesson or a group experience for a special celebration – then get in touch with these guys. Your ponies will be fully tacked and ready-to-go – all you need to do is turn up! Beginners are very welcome.

Tile Farm 

Just road the corner from JF Polo Academy and Rack & Ruin Alpacas is Tile Farm – the real off-road experience – set in 250 acres of beautiful Chester countryside. If you love Quad biking (and who doesn’t?) – then this is your local open-air-go-to activity for 2021. Choose from their epic Quad Adventures for up to 10 riders at a time which combine woodland and track into one great experience. I have been on a Quad Adventure at Tile Farm and I con confirm – it’s brilliant fun with expert tuition and safety instruction, and I can’t wait to go back!

Click here for more info and bookings

Cheshire Aqua Park & Adventure Trail at Manley Mere

The Adventure Trail is an obstacle course like no other, suitable for all ages and includes a woodland adventure with loads of obstacles and activities – guaranteed to bring a smile to anyones face. Already open and you can book here.

Video credit Watersports World UK.

Cheshire Aquapark is a fabulous wet, wild and fun day out with friends or family with the wipeout style water park assault course. Featuring giant trampolines, balancing beams, climbing walls and blast bags to jump and slide off – this is fabulous water fun for everyone!  Aged 7 years and above – bookings available from 1st May.

Click here for more info

If you’d like to be featured in our Chester & Cheshire Open Air Experience Guide, email



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