Christmas in Chester

Photo: Chester city centre at Christmas time

Above: Chester's city centre at Christmas time.

Chester is the ideal place to do your Christmas shopping and soak up the festive atmosphere. It has a wide variety of shops ranging from all the familiar high street names to specialist boutiques, galleries and gift shops.

In the build up to Christmas the city centre is hung with lights and the half timbered shops and unique two level rows ooze Christmas spirit. There are Christmas trees and all sorts of events to coax you into a festive mood.

Pre-Christmas events in the Chester city centre:

  • LoveChristmas fair at Chester Racecourse on Tuesday the 15th November.
  • Christmas market outside the town hall runs every day from Friday 18th November until Sunday 18th December. Find all sorts of gift ideas or enjoy warming festive fare including traditional mince pies, mulled wine and hot chestnuts.
  • Christmas lantern Parade by local children takes place on Thursday 1st December.
  • Chester Santa Dash on Sunday the 4th December fills the city centre with santas of all shapes and sizes running to raise money for two local children's charities.
  • Winter Watch parades celebrate the winter solstice on Thursday 8th & 15th December from 7pm.
  • Chester Cathedral is an atmospheric venue for christmas music concerts. They have several concerts in the run up to Christmas, often by candlelight as well as a Christmas tree festival in the cloisters.
  • Chester Music Society has details of Christmas concerts in the city to get you in to the festive spirit.
  • Saturnalia Parade - an ancient Roman celebration, takes place on the 15th December.
  • Chester Zoo has the chance to meet Santa in December and they often have special festive events.
  • The Visit Chester web site lists lots of events in the run up to Christmas.

At the time of writing our self-catering holiday cottage is still available for a couple of Christmas shopping breaks in December 2016. During December, to get Christmas off to a festive start, we provide a decorated tree, logs for the fire and a welcome tray with some Christmas goodies.


Photo: Christmas lights at the Cross

Some ideas for Christmas shopping in Chester

  • Lush in Foregate Street sells delicious handmade soap and cosmetics.
  • Penhaligon's perfumers in Eastgate Row South for fragrant gifts for both men and women.
  • Boodles fine jewellery next to the Grosvenor Hotel in Eastgate Street.
  • Toycraft in Watergate Street is a traditional children's toy shop.
  • Pylones on Foregate Street sells quirky modern gifts.
  • '...and Albert' in Eastgate Row sells unusual fair trade gifts including jewellery, musical instruments, home accessories and clothes. The proceeds support the And Albert Foundation's work in West Africa.
  • Bunting Queen in Handbridge stocks unusual decorative homeware as well as materials and supplies for crafty people.
  • The Cheese Shop in Northgate Street stocks a mouthwatering selection of cheeses, some matured in the cellars beneath the shop.
  • Browns of Chester (Debenhams) in Eastgate Row is a classic English department store with a wide range of fashion, home wares and gifts. They have a cafe in the old crypt, a restaurant and provide a personal shopper service.


Photo of Chester city centre with Christmas lights