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.


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 for more information.

“Xmas Lights 2” by, license: – 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, license: – 03/10/2014

Chester Zoo Voted Best Zoo in the UK

Chester ZooIn an announcement that will surprise no-one who’s had the pleasure of spending a day out there, Chester Zoo has been voted the best zoo throughout the whole country, beating out the likes of London Zoo!

11000 animals from all over the world call Chester Zoo home and a very good home at that, according to the report from TripAdvisor. After it was announced as the most popular zoo throughout Britain, this Cheshire zoo continues to go from strength to strength.

The 2014 Travellers’ Choice Awards have been a massive success for the zoo and was voted 2nd throughout Europe and 6th worldwide.

Jamie Christon, managing director of Chester Zoo said: “We’re absolutely delighted.

“Our sincere thanks go to every single person who has come here because, as a registered charity, their visits help us to carry out all of our vital conservation work – saving species from extinction both here in the UK and overseas.”

Marketing officer Julie Griffin also added:“This is the first time we’ve won this award and we’re very, very pleased indeed – particularly as it’s voted for by those working in the travel industry who have been to the zoo, experienced what we have to offer and cast their vote on the back of their visit.

“The zoo is constantly evolving and offering visitors something different to see and experience.”

The passionate zoologists have also been doing their bit overseas to help animals who may find themselves at risk of extinction in the sadly not too distant future. The Ecuador Amazon parrot was in jeopardy of disappearing altogether but now that the 10 representatives from the zoo personally identified the bird in South America, its status as endangered means it can now be properly monitored.

Also in 2014, the zoo have started the islands project; set to give visitors the chance to sample the ecosystems of the Philippines and Indonesia. The £30m venture will bring in a reported £.3m for the local economy, meaning that it will start turning a profit in just under 10 years.

With more announcements and advancements seemingly being made by the day at Chester Zoo, let’s hope that they keep the excellent momentum going.

The Chester Arts Fair – Festival 2014

The Chester Arts Fair returns in 2014, showcasing some of the world’s most renowned artists – taking place at the fantastic Chester Racecourse venue. Past events have seen over 5000 visitors make their way to experience the phenomenal array of contemporary art over the course of an atmospheric autumn weekend in the height of November.

chester art fair


The standard of art on show at this event will be of extremely high quality, as previous years have welcomed work by Kelly Darlington (winner of UK’s best-selling published artist) as well as world famous sculptor Nick Elphick who was commissioned to sculpt the Olympians and the Queen for the Diamond Jubilee. The fair in the past has enjoyed a range of visual art, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass work and much more that will, while upcoming fairs look to improve and build upon past success. More information will be revealed as the fair approaches, so keep a look out for further details.


Chester Racecourse function rooms play host to the arts fair.

Chester Arts Fair hosts a range of international contemporary art including some of the most exciting work today. The fair will display a fantastic array of art, while offering a range of other interesting activities and entertainment including talks, commissions, film projects, presentations and viewings that will ensure that artists and visitors are able to interact with one another to engage the city in arts and culture, which will help form the path to the 2017 aim of gaining Chester the status of ‘City of Culture’.

A number of works are sold in a Charity Art Auction in support of Claire House Children’s Hospice as well as Chester Arts Foundation that supports Art across the educational sector where schools, colleges and universities reap benefits to move forward with their art projects and development.

The fair for 2014 is still under planning, however it worth remembering to stay ‘in the loop’ when it comes to finding out more and attending this event that always delivers. Hundreds of paintings, sculpture, glass, ceramics and original prints – all shown in a friendly and relaxed environment ensures that there is most definitely something for everyone!

Visitors to the area that don’t want to miss out on this fantastic event can check out the fantastic range of accommodation in Chester that come in a variety of types, so there is something suitable for everyone.

Event: November 2014

Chester Half Marathon Breaks Records

runIn bothersome climes and scorching sunlight, people from all over came to take part in one of the most successful Chester Marathon’s to date this weekend.

May 18th saw thousands of entrants into one of the North’s most popular endurance events with the 7000 strong attendees set a new record for entrants in the process. After 33 years of competition and many more miles ran, it’s another great accomplishment for this beloved event.

One of the hottest days of the year so far brought with plenty of athletes and amateur runners all eager to beat their personal bests or to take part in a charity run. One such professional athlete was Kenyan born Mohammed Abu-Rezeq, winner of last year’s contest who won this 2014’s edition and shaved a few minutes off his previous time.

“I led the race from start to finish and found it pretty comfortable as I’m familiar with the route after winning last year,“ he said.

“The weather was really warm, but the wind helped me get round in good time. This was the best time I’ve ever done in a UK race, and I’ll be back again next year to try to beat it again.”

Gemma Connolly of Runcorn completed the marathon as the first female to cross the line.

Charity runners were out in force and what a great effort they put in to raise money for worthwhile causes. Alder Hey Hospital, the Hospice of the Good Shepherd, Claire House Children’s Hospice, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support were all represented at this year’s contest.

The 13.1 mile course however, didn’t come without its difficulties. In total, it’s estimated that 100 runners had to bow out thanks to the effects of the heat which reached 23C. Nobody was seriously harmed which was helped by the superb organisation of Active Events Leisure.

The full Chester Marathon returns this year on the 5th of October. If you missed the opportunity to enter the half-marathon, the full edition has spaces left but be sure to act fast to avoid disappointment.

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Chester Racecourse Day Fixtures this May

Chester RacesThere are a few words and phrases that often come up when talking about Chester and of course one of them has to be ‘horse racing’. This is exactly what you can expect to enjoy this May in the Roman city on three great days of events.

Chester Raceourse is a meeting ground for the rich and famous who want an entertaining day out with patrons including the likes of Michael Own and other celebrated horse enthusiasts but this doesn’t mean that it’s an elitist venue – people of all ages are welcome!

There are fewer places better for racing than in Chester as the Racecourse is the destination for many events and races throughout the year with it even being more popular than some of the most renowned locations down south. That’s why the 7th, 8th and 9th of May are destined to be well attended ahead of the busier Summer schedule.

It’s not just racing that Chester Racecourse is noted for as it’s also widely recognised as being a great for all things polo. From professional matches to practice games, there’s something for everyone who loves the sport with the LDF International Polo Weekend also taking place this month on the 24th of May.

Also aside from the racing, you and friends and family can unwind at one of the many great restaurants and bars on-site at the Racecourse. With the choices that include the Final Furlong restaurant, The Finishing Post Bar, Turf Restaurant, The White Horse and also Restaurant 1539 (which comes with an envious panoramic view of the course itself), you wouldn’t be judged if you were to miss the racing altogether.

On the 7th of May, you can enjoy the Stan James Cup Day, on the 8th you can look forward to the Boodles Ladies Day and the 9th bring the Boodles City Day. For any more information on any of the events at Chester Raceourse this May, please contact:

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What’s On at The Forum Studio Theatre in Chester

stage right, stage leftThe Forum Studio Theatre in Chester is one of the most popular entertainment venues throughout the city and for good reason as it’s always thriving with exciting productions and plays which can suit people across a broad range of ages.

As we approach summer, the theatre’s billing only get better so we here at Chester Borderlands compiled two of the best arriving over the next month.

When We Are Married – April 3rd – April 12th

Dir: Peter Swingler

A superb adaptation of the classic comedy by Priestley is first on the agenda for The Forum with it staying on stage for over a week, giving you plenty of time to catch it.

Set during the 1900’s in the north of England, When We Are Married is a hilarious trip down nostalgia lane as three couples who were all married on the same day by the same vicar look back on 25 years of the ups and downs. However, it transpires that the vicar might not have been all that he made out to be…


Joseph Helliwell – Dave Perkins

Maria Helliwell – Janice Gavin

Albert Parker – Bill Hughes

Annie Parker – Gwen Cowan

Herbert Soppitt – Derek Weigh

Clara Soppitt – Janice Fryett

Henry Ormonroyd – John Lindop

Rev Clement Mercer – Grahame Smith

Gerard Forbes – Dan Ellis

Fred Dyson – Peter Marnell

Ruby Birtle – Vicki Daniels

Lottie Grady – Jo Lloyd

Mrs Northrop – Maureen Rutherford

Nancy – Harriet Jones

Call 01244 341296 for more information.

Godspell – April 22nd –April 26th 2014

Chester is as closely associated with the arts as it is its Roman heritage so it should come as no surprise that youngsters from the area and nearby towns are taking part in this Theatretrain production.

Schools from Chester, Wrexham and Mold will all be coming together to give their rendition of Godspell from the 22nd of April to the 26th of April with each performance kicking off at 7pm. If you want to catch bright young talent in the Northern area, be sure not to miss out on this.

Wednesday 23rd April – CHESTER SATURDAY SCHOOL

Thursday 24th April – WREXHAM SCHOOL


Saturday 26th April – MOLD SCHOOL

Sunday 27th April (2pm) – MOLD SCHOOL – Extra Performance Added

Call 01244 341296 for more information.

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Events in Chester & the Surrounding Areas Coming Soon

Events in ChesterAs Spring starts to spring to life and the grey skies start to light up again, there are few better places to spend a lovely summer’s day out in than Chester and the Roman city has more than enough events to make your time away a great occasion.

Here are just a few of the premier events lined up over the coming months:

Nantwich Jazz, Blues and Music Festival – 17th to 21st of April
Situated in the market town of Nantwich which is typically always buzzing with something to do even if there isn’t a big event on, this much loved music festival will be a welcome form of entertainment to those who like jazz and blues: two of the oldest and most revered genres of music around.

Across the area, you can expect to see many musicians performing at pubs and clubs over what is bound to be a great few days.

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre – 27th of June to 24th of August
Although it’s only been going for four short seasons, the attractions available at this theatre during its open period over summer have made it one of the premier destinations for live entertainment events in Chester and Cheshire already.

This year, expect to see adaptations of the likes of The Secret Garden, Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors after a great reception for last year’s performances. As the only open air theatre outside of London, you’re sure to be in great company.

Chester Food, Drink & Lifestyle Festival 2014 – 19th of April to 21st of April
If you’re thinking of visiting Chester for the first time this April, you’re bound to come away with a very positive outlook on this historic city as this micro-festival is a great time for all.

As soon as you walk through Chester Raceourse, you’ll be greeted by a whole menagerie of different sights, sounds and smells as there will be only the finest in food and drink available to you on your visit. Staggered across themed villages, there’s bound to be something to sate the palate of everyone at this event.

Fine Dining Events in Chester

Fine Dining Events in ChesterThere’s no doubt that Chester is a place alive with culture each and every day of the year. Over the coming month, you can enjoy several celebrations of the cuisine and refined tastes of this historic city at fine dining events in Chester.

Whether you’re into your food or drink (or even both!), there’s plenty on to whet your appetite in Chester and it could provide the perfect date night or bit of fun for you and friends.

The first event of this kind coming up is to be held at the Grosvenor Pulford Hotel and is called Ready, Steady, Learn to Cook and is the perfect opportunity for your to hone your cooking – especially if you keep burning toast!

As a live cookery exhibition, expert chefs will be on hand to guide you through their superb sessions and how to cook elegant dishes simply. With some small tricks and tips, you are bound to take a lot away from this event so be sure to bring along your notepad on the 28th of February. We may have to recommend that you put it down though and pick up a knife and fork for the three course meal that’s provided.

If you like your produce to be a bit earthier, you could do little better than attending the chutney taster session at Chester Cathedral on the 1st of March. The wizards from Cheshire Chutney will be on hand to help you with any tips and tricks to make your own perfect produce.

Another event which is starting off in March but actually taking place throughout most of the year is the One Day Wine School available from Abode Chester. If you’ve never really savoured a wine and instead have just gulped it down (we don’t blame you) then hone your tasting skills to really unlock the true flavours of a glass of red. There are many varieties of wines that are available for your selection on the 1st and 22nd of March and for just £75, you can enjoy a whole season of gorgeous wines and delicious food at the Abode Hotel throughout 2014.