Chester book reviews

Guide books can help you to plan your holiday, find your way around and also become souvenirs when you return home. Here are our reviews of some of the books available for visitors to Chester.

Book jacket: "Chester... more than a guide"
Chester... more than a guide

a City-Break guide, £4.99

At under 100 pages this guide is an easy to read introduction to the city. You'll get a taste of Chester's rich and varied history. Plus information on all the essential tourist activities such as exploring, shopping, eating out and relaxing. Published in 2004 it is starting to get a bit out of date - for example it shows the cathedral as free, although they now charge an entrance fee. However, it does include phone numbers for all of the places it mentions so if you are planning your day around a particular venue you can phone first to check it out. It contains a street map, some walk routes and full colour photos that give a flavour of the city. You'll want to carry this around with you and it's easy to do as it's a good pocket book size of 12cm x 17cm.

Follow this link to buy "The Chester Citybreak Guide" from

Chester inside out, a souvenir guide

by Gordon Emery, £5.95

This book focuses on four walks around the city with maps and historical facts and figures. I found that the quirky handwritten style quickly became hard to read and the hand drawn maps are sometimes difficult to follow. The size at 25cm x 18cm is also just a bit too big for a walk book that you would usually want to carry around with you.

If you are interested in historical detail then this book has plenty, however, for me, the writing style and black and white line drawings don't quite capture the unique character of the city.

Follow this link to buy "Chester: Inside Out" from

Book jacket: "Chester: City Beautiful"
Chester: City Beautiful

by Alistair and Jan Campbell, £7.49

Although it is the size of a pocket guide book, "Chester: City Beautiful" is more like a coffee table book. There are basic facts and historical notes, but no maps or walks. It is, however, packed with full colour photographs of the city in all its different moods. Some of the pictures are stunning and would probably benefit from a larger format. Don't expect it to do the job of a guide book, but it would make a great souvenir for a holiday in Chester.

Follow this link to buy "Chester: City Beautiful" from

Book jacket: "Best tea shop walks in Cheshire"
Best Tea Shop Walks in Cheshire

Clive Price, £7.95

This book describes 28 walks from 3 to 7 miles in length, all of them including at least one recommended tea shop on the way. They are all within an hour or less drive of Chester, including one in the city centre itself. Directions include information on getting there by public transport as well as by car. There is plenty of information including maps and opening hours and phone numbers for the tea shops.

Follow this link to buy "Best Tea Shop Walks in Cheshire" from Amazon

Book jacket: "Pub walks in Cheshire"
Pocket pub walks - Cheshire

David H. Pill, £4.99

This book describes 15 walks within an hour or less drive of Chester. They vary from just under three miles up to six miles in length and they all start at a recommended pub. Some of the walks also feature other pubs on the way. There are maps and plenty of information including opening times and phone numbers. Three of the walks can be reached by train, for the rest someone will have to drive (there isn't any information on access by bus).

Follow this link to buy "Pocket Pub Walks - Cheshire" from Amazon.

Book jacket: "kiddiwalks in Cheshire"
Kiddiwalks in Cheshire

John and Anne Nuttall, £7.19

This book describes 20 circular short walks suitable for families with children. They are around 1 to 3 miles long and some are level enough for buggies. The descriptions include 'fun things to see and do' both on the walks and in the local area. All the walks include picnic sites, cafes or family friendly pubs.

We've done the Chester city walls walk with a 3 year old and a 6 year old and on the whole they enjoyed it although they were flagging towards the end! We've also tried the walk at Aldford which includes a 'magic tree' and ends near the excellent Grosvenor Arms. If you are based in Chester then the farthest you'll have to drive is about an hour away. We're looking forward to trying out some more of these walks.

Follow this link to buy "Kiddiwalks in Cheshire" from Amazon.