5 Reasons to Start Cycling Now

No matter your current age, or fitness level, getting on your bike is good for you. The benefits of cycling Conwy can be enjoyed by all – this is something getting a lot of attention as cycling has soared in popularity in recent years. People are actively choosing to cycle to work, university or cycling simply for leisure and fitness. So, what are the benefits of cycling?

Low Impact, Enjoyable Exercise

Unlike other cardio-heavy activities like running cycling isn’t weight bearing. The chances of suffering muscle damage or general inflammation is significantly lower – particularly as you don’t put as much stress on key joints; ankles, knees, hips and your back. If you have previously suffered an injury or if you struggle with joint problems, cycling is a great way to ease yourself back into physical activity and start enjoying the health benefits that come with it. 

If you are a fitness fanatic, low impact doesn’t mean low intensity by any means; you can still get a great workout done when you’re cycling. Concentrating on raising your heart rate and challenging your limits. Intensify your cycling sessions by; upping the incline, adding in resistance and increasing the time and distance. 

Health Benefits of Cycling

It’s not just about the glaringly obvious health benefits – weight loss or maintenance, and improving your cardio fitness levels – it’s more the longer term effects. Better overall lung health, improved immune system, reduced risk of heart disease; without a doubt, cycling is great for your health. 

Being more physically active means that you’re less likely to develop high blood pressure. Cycling also helps to build muscle and bone density which helps to increase strength and stamina. While the muscles in your lower body tend to work the most – predominantly your quadriceps, calves and glutes – cycling ensures that your upper body and core get involved too. 

Your posture and coordination will improve, along with improving your brain health due to the improved blood flow and the requirement to stay alert on your bike. Cycling is an aerobic activity, your heart, blood vessels and lungs will get a valuable workout and within no time at all your fitness levels will improve. 

Great for Mental Health

Not everyone who cycles does so just for the physical activity. More people have found that it helps with their mental health – regardless of the reasons why they get on their bike in the first place. In a study, 91% of cyclists said that cycling was fairly important to their mental wellbeing. 

On the surface, it’s fairly easy to understand why riding a bike is so relaxing; the fresh air and the freedom to go wherever you choose can offer a welcome relief from a stressful day at work. There are two key hormones that are involved with cycling – cortisol, the stress hormone, is reduced and endorphins, feel-good hormones, are released. Cortisol is the hormone your body releases when it is facing stress. A certain amount is quite healthy, as cortisol helps your body perform in times of crisis. But it also works to increase your heart rate, blood pressure and respiration, as well as causing muscle tension, so too much of it isn’t good for you. Luckily, cycling reduces cortisol and has a relaxing effect on your mental state.

Any aerobic exercise also releases endorphins, which you might have heard referred to as ‘runner’s high’. You get the same “buzz” from cycling, and it’s been proven to reduce anxiety and make you happier.

Tips For Choosing The Right Family Law Solicitor

There are lots of family law solicitors Chester out there and it can be really confusing, especially if you have never needed one, on which one to pick. Whilst reviews are a great way of gauging whether they are a good solicitor, you need to find one that is best for you and works within your budget. We have put together a few questions you should ask when looking.

When did they qualify to be a solicitor?

Whilst experience is paramount, someone who has recently qualified could do a better job. However, with an experienced solicitor they will be able to steer you to a more successful outcome via the best route. 

Who will do the work?

You’ve picked a solicitor, but what’s to say they don’t delegate the work to others. Find out who will be doing the work and how easy they are to get hold of.

Have they always worked in family law?

Some solicitors may have years under their belt, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean years of experience in family law. Find out when they specialised in the sector and go from there. 

Are they accredited?

Any solicitor will be accredited which will either be by Resolution or Law Society which requires you to have demonstrable skill, knowledge and experience in the sector.

Are they respected locally or nationally?

Do they participate in charity events, local committees and overall well-respected by others in the local community and further afield?

What is the ethos of the firm?

Do they see themselves as the big shots of the law world or are they a close knit team who care for its clients? Taking a look at the staff can give you a good indication with their body language in whether this is the law firm for you. 

Are they cheap?

Whilst being cheap can be really great for your pocket, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality too. If they are giving the cheapest quote, either it’s unrealistic or they lack experience. Find out what the final costs will be before agreeing to anything as you don’t want to be caught out at the end with a hefty bill.

Things to Consider When Getting New Garage Doors

garage doors Chester

Choosing the correct garage doors Chester isn’t something you do every day. They’re not cheap – so it’s important to get it right the first time. There are a few different things to consider besides the price when choosing, which can be confusing. Thankfully, we’re here to help you decide what to go for.

Main Points to Consider When Choosing Garage Doors: 

Just to give you an idea of what to expect, we’ve put a list together which outlines the main things you should look at when buying garage doors:

  •     Price RangeHow much are you willing to spend/how much can you afford?
  •     SecurityHow much protection against thieves and intruders do you want?
  •     MaintenanceHow much time are you willing to spend in order to keep your doors looking great and working properly?
  •     InsulationDo you need your garage to keep warm or are you just using it to leave the car in there?
  •     ColourDepending on which material you choose; the range of colours will differ.

All these parts to your decision will also be limited to the space you have. The size of the opening on your garage, and the available area for mechanisms.

If you are getting a new garage built, then it might be best to choose your garage doors first to make sure that the new build accommodates for them.

The same goes for the space outside your garage doors. You must make sure there is enough room for the doors to swing out whilst opening.

Material Choices for Garage Doors

The four common materials used when manufacturing garage doors is:

  •     Steel
  •     Aluminium
  •     Timber
  •     Glass reinforced polyester or Fibreglass

The style home/building you’re choosing the doors for should influence your decision most when it comes to materials. A contemporary style house would need something modern to tie in with it, which would be difficult to achieve with a timber garage door. The same could be said for a traditional build if you put steel doors with it. However, this is down to personal preference.

Steel doors are light and easy to manage. They are usually supplied already primed and ready for the customer to apply a colour coating of their choice.

Aluminium doors are better suited for buildings which have living spaces above them due to noise reasons when opening and closing.

Timber garage doors were a popular choice, but these have now been replaced by fibreglass doors. Fibreglass doors have the strength and durability making them resistant to knocks and rot – reducing on going maintenance.

Opening Mechanisms for/Styles of Garage Doors

When choosing the doors, an important part to think about is the way that they open. This will determine its convenience for how you are using your garage – not many use it for just storing the car these days.

The options for opening mechanisms are:

  •     Up-and-over garage doors

These do what they say in the name. The open up and go over the garage space. They are the most common style in use today. This style is simple to install and use, making them a cheaper option. The only downside is that they open out into the driveway – so are not suitable if you have limited space.

  •     Sectional garage doors

This style door is made up of panels rather than a single panel, which allows it to easily slide up and back into the garage to sit on top of rails, and doesn’t require space to swing out onto the driveway. This is a more complex mechanism so you can expect it to cost more – especially if it is fitted with an electrical opener.

garage doors Chester

  •     Roller garage door

Roller doors work like sectional garage doors, but have very small panels which roll up and fold at the top of the garage opening, using up little space. This style is easy to use, and is very secure.

garage doors Chester    Side-hinged garage doors

This opens like normal doors on a hinge, which is usually split into two. These are perfect when the regular access to the garage is on foot. They can be very secure and take up little space inside the garage, although they do open out into the drive.

  •     Round-the-corner or side-sliding garage doors

This is a style of sectional garage door which folds around to the side of the garage interior rather than the top. These are handy as you don’t need to open them fully to gain access.


What You Need To Know Before Hiring an Architect Chester


Whether you are looking for a few minor tweaks to your property or a whole home renovation, an architect Chester can be the best decision you make!

Architects come in handy when there are home improvements that are beyond your reach and many of us prefer to get the professionals in to make more use of space inside their homes. There are plenty of architects out there so it can feel a little daunting on where’s best to start, however, we have done all the hard work for you with our handy guide – giving you everything you need to know before jumping into the deep end.

Understand How an Architect Works

Hiring anyone to do work for you, regardless of the reason, does require some open mindedness. This means that you may need to be flexible and be open to different ideas to get the most out of your architect. Afterall, you’re hiring an architect to use their expansive knowledge and listen to their expert advice.


Everything takes time and this is no different when it comes to designing your home. There are lots of pieces that have to be put into place before you architect can even begin which includes:

  •         Building regulations
  •         Planning permissions
  •         Council guidelines

After knowing what you can and can’t do, your architect can then advise on the possibilities for your home. Just be mindful that your grand ideas are not likely to happen overnight.


To avoid any bumps in the road, be clear on your budget with your architect. This way you won’t be hit with any nasty surprises or end up needing your architect to go back to the drawing board after you let them know it’s out of your price range. Some architects are paid by the hour too so not only are you wasting time but also wasting your budget which could be spent on your home redesign.

Consider Long-Term Design

Your architect should point this out – consider what your home will look like in the long term before going ahead with an ultra on trend design. You don’t want to be redesigning again in a couple of years time so be clever with your design and create something that is built to last – no matter how many years later.

Ask Around

When looking for an architect, the best place to start is with family and friends. Not only can they advise on how their architect worked with them but you can also have a nosy at their home and see the architects projects in the flesh.


The Sandstone Trail

The ancient roman city of Chester is right on the borderlands between England and Wales, as such it has a rich multinational history which is still prevalent in the scenery and architectural landmarks, all this with the landscape results in a lot of awesome land to trek around.

Wales doesn’t hog all the great hiking trails, you have the killer opportunity to see the best of Chester’s surroundings in one fell swoop with the sandstone trail.

This trek will take you on a route from which you will see castles, rocky cliffs, rolling hills and fields of green. The route follows Sandstone Ridges running from north to south. Leading from Frodsham in Central Cheshire all the way over to Whitchurch over the Shropshire border. The Path is around 40 years old, also having been extended in 1990.

The trail is named for the gorgeous sandstone rock formations and cliffs which snake throughout the area. These hulking orange walls looks straight out of the Taklamakan Desert, and are quite an extraordinary sight to be hiking beside in the county of Cheshire.

When you reach the higher ground you’ll be treated to sweeping views across the Mersey. Either end of the trail you’ll find a stone obelisk outside Bears paw Public House and a 2m Sandstone archway at the entrance of the Jubilee Park carpark.

This is a fantastic trek to see many sites of the borderlands. This is a good trek to catch these sites.

Along with way you will see points of interests including the Woodhouses hill fort – an iron age fort. There are areas to enjoy like Alvanley cliffs, Delemere forest, Beestone Castle, Burwardsley Villiage, Bickerton Hills and Maiden Castle. Other nice sites include Wharton & Willeymoor locks on the Shropshire Union Canal, Grindley Brook. Towards the end of your journey you may (on a clear day) catch a glimpse of the liver building and the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool.

In Early October they hold the ‘Sandstone Trail Races’. The current record for the whole traverse is held by Duncan Harris of Chester Tri, in 4 hours, 10 minutes. The women’s best time is held by Caroline Hall of Wirral AC in 5 hours, 04 minutes.


MBNA Chester Music Festival

MBNA Chester Music Festival features Ensemble Deva 3rd -13th of June. 11 days of the highest class of chamber music in chester, the venues include Chester Town Hall, Chester Cathedrtal and St. John’s Church.

Performances to inspire any lover of music and culture are set to take place such as the opening recital of ‘La Creation du Monde’ with Gwilyn Simcock, Rob Buckland, Benedict Holland performing Darius Milhaud’s famous work.

But that’s just one event of many. With recitals and orchestral specticals including the cast of the ensamble Steve Reich, Rob, Sophie Rosa, Martin Roscoe, and a grand finale which promises to be the highlight of the festival.

This finale is a chance for musicians and audience alike to let of steam with an assortment of cafe-inspired gems and a programme of music devised and rehearsed for your eyes. Do not miss this!

Are You Ready for the Winter Wonderland?

Xmas Lights 2We can’t believe we’re already saying this but Christmas has quickly rolled back round again! It seems as if the Brussell sprouts from last year haven’t even digested yet but here we are again, looking forward to another season of Yuletide in Chester.

If you have self-proclaimed adoration of all things Christmas, there’s only one place you need to be in Chester over the coming month and that’s at the Winter Wonderland.

Combining family-friendly entertainment with a heady dose of mulled wine, it’s one of those truly great days out during Christmas time that don’t seem to be around as much as they used to these days. As long as the Winter Wonderland continues to push out fantastic entertainment like it did in 2013, we should be able to look forward to this great event for many years to come!

If you’ve got the balance of a newborn lamb, you might want to sit out taking a skate on the MBNA Ice Rink at Watergate Square. For the rest of us, we can enjoy one of the best ice skating rinks around and afford ourselves a couple of bumps and bruises whilst doing so. What better way to bond with family than watching each other fall over constantly?

Elsewhere during the occasion, you and the kids can enjoy a sit down meal with a bear. Not quite literally.

You can dine with Blu and his friends in the Enchanting Land of Sweets with plenty of options for even the pickiest of youngsters. The elf chefs are on hand to make your meals unforgettable and besides, where else would you be able to eat cookies for lunch?

The adults haven’t been forgotten about this year. No doubt after you’ve contended with the kids’ rampant excitement all day, you might justifiably need a tall drink of something. Well you are in luck as there are plenty of places to pick up a cold one and unwind. If you aren’t excited by the prospect of checking out the vodka ice bar, you clearly just aren’t in the Christmas spirit.

For this and much, much more, be sure to visit the Winter Wonderland from the 14th of November until the 24th of December. Call on 01244 304 610 or email info@winterwonderlandchester.co.uk for more information.

“Xmas Lights 2” by www.flickr.com/photos/32688155@N05/, license: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0 – 05/11/2014

Chester Pride Returns This Weekend

Chester PrideThe beautiful city of Chester will be filled with beautiful characters and celebration this weekend as Chester Pride makes a welcome return.

Last year was the incumbent edition of the event and it was well-received within the LGBT community. For the unfamiliar, LGBT means lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender – all will be present at this amazing festival and making themselves heard.

Voluntary groups, charities and public sector organisations will all be taking part in the grand parade through the city centre, headed by the group’s new mascot: a Roman God who will be introduced for the first time in 2014. Sporting a rainbow plume helmet and a throne inscribed with some important moments in LGBT history, the organisers hope he will become synonymous with Chester Pride over the next few years.

The Lord Mayor of Chester will be among the numbers over the weekend but unfortunately might not be taking part in the samba and belly dancing going on through the streets with the Public and Commercial Services Union Samba Band.

The route will start at the recently redeveloped Grosvenor Park before heading to St Johns Street, Eastgate Street, Northgate Street, St Werbugh Street and then back to the park where the fun will begin with some fantastic live music. Sonia, Rozalla, Livin Joy, Kelly Llorena, Tokyo Taboo, Sharon Wallace, dance duo Shelter, Chester Rock Choir, Bears Aloud and Wolf are among the acts with a couple of tribute performances also taking place. There will also be activities for youngsters amongst many other fascinating events on during the day.

Jenna Pickin-Jones, Chester Pride Director and Social Media coordinator, said: “Following last year’s Pride, we had a lot of people asking us to consider having a parade at future events. Upon announcing that we would be having a parade, the response has been fantastic and we are pleased to have the Lord Mayor taking part along with all the groups, businesses and organisations.

“The mascot is inspirational and after Pride will be going on tour. We would also encourage any schools, businesses, or other venues that would like to house it for a few weeks to get in touch. We hope that people who aren’t taking part in the parade support it on the day by standing along the parade route cheering us on.”

You can follow Chester Pride UK on Facebook, or Twitter at @chesterpride.

“P1010197” by www.flickr.com/photos/hippie, license: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0 – 03/10/2014

Second Poundworld to Open in Chester

Chesterfield - Packers RowAnyone looking for a bargain in Chester city centre will be in luck as it’s announced that a second Poundworld will open in the historic town.

The Forum Shopping Centre is currently the location for the first Poundworld store which opened in April, creating 30 jobs and low-end prices at the same time. After the USC shop closed down just one week ago, Poundworld has moved in quickly to expand.

The company has come a long way since being a market stall in Wakefield in the 70’s and with 240 stores across the UK, is one of the many competitors for other pound emporiums such as Poundland and Poundstretcher. The recession-busting shops have become almost synonymous with the British high street over the past 5 years or so.

Spokeswoman Louise Greenwell said: “I can confirm that Poundworld will be opening a new store in Chester at Foregate Street next to Marks and Spencer in October. The store will be run as an additional site and our existing store in the Forum Shopping Centre will remain open.

“Unlike our main rivals, Poundland, which is American private equity owned, we remain 100% family owned to this day, headed up by managing director Chris Edwards and his son and trading director, Chris Edwards Junior.”

Cestrians will be hoping that they will see a bargain or two when the new store does open and with 5000 products available from the likes of Coca-Cola and Cadburys, it’s better than your average pennysaver.

USC was abruptly closed down amid concerns that the landlord’s rent was “too high” and that it wasn’t viable to stay there long term. Its parent company, Sports Direct, has stated that they are still looking for another space in the city.

Chesterfield – Packers Row” by www.flickr.com/photos/pauliospictures, license: creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

Could We Be About to See a Chester Dungeon?

Spooky dungeonAn inventor is hoping to bring his idea of a tourist dungeon to life in Chester town centre, it has been revealed.

Ed Walley will be looking to create the innovatively named Chester Dungeon: a maze-like building underneath a former ladies’ boutique on Watergate Street. There will be pop up figures, ghoulish music and a sense of dread for all visitors. You can simply walk down five steps to access the dungeon and Walley has stated that there will be no queues as you wind your way around six passages of terror.

It’s not too dissimilar to the popular attractions in London and Blackpool with those two being the main inspiration for the prospective new attraction. Though it will be on a much smaller scale and won’t need performers, a few jobs will likely be created from the project for administration and customer service if it was successful.

Chester may be a place of beauty but there admittedly aren’t all that many tourist attractions to keep you entertained during your visit. According to a document released by Walley, who also created The Crocky Trail in Waverton, it could be just what the city needs:

“Chester is a beautiful city attracting millions of visitors to see its Rows and walls and Roman heritage. It is, however, short of popular entertainment and tends to die in the early evening. The dungeon will provide an extra attraction that is needed by such a popular destination.”

The tourist trade would benefit from the dungeon as it will open in line with regular bar and restaurant opening times. Although it’s unlikely to become as much of a regional treasure of Chester Zoo, what could be a better advertisement for the beautiful city than having your socks scared off?