The River Dee and the Groves

Photo: the riverside Groves

Chester is built on a loop in the river Dee which is about 5 to 10 minutes walk from the city centre. The Riverside area, known locally as the Groves, is a great place to relax and watch the boats coming and going, take a stroll or enjoy a riverboat cruise. Visitors can sample real Cheshire ice-cream or eat at one of the restaurants and cafes that overlook the Dee. The Boathouse pub is so close to the river that it can feel like being on a boat.

One of our holiday cottage guests recommended that visitors to Chester "walk over the suspension bridge, through the park and have a drink by the riverside" (NH, April 2014).

Photos: the bandstand and riverboat cruise on the Dee

Photo: the Blue Moon cafe on the Dee

River boat trips

Cruises along the river Dee run all year round at weekends and daily from March to the beginning of November. There are regular short trips during the day and also longer evening cruises and special themed cruises. If you are planning an open top bus tour then look out for combined tickets which are better value than buying the cruise and bus ticket separately.

Chesterboat has information on the river cruises and a map showing where the boats depart from. Telephone Bithell Boats on 01244 325394.

You can also hire pedalos and rowing boats from the pontoons at the Groves.

Photo: a stroll along the Groves in winter sunshine

Photo: Queens Park footbridge

Riverside walks

There are longer walks if you follow the path heading Eastwards on the South side of the river to the riverside Meadows and on towards Ecclestone, a pretty village and part of the Grosvenor Estate. Note that there are no pubs, cafes or shops in the village so take a picnic if you are walking around lunch time. On summer weekends there is a ferry service across the river from the Meadows to Sandy Lane so that you can make a circular trip back to the city centre.