Chester city centre sits on a hill in a loop on the river Dee. The most popular riverside area, known locally as the Groves, is an essential stop on any visit to the city, and is only 5 to 10 minutes walk from Baker’s Cottage. It’s a great place to relax and watch the boats coming and going, take a stroll or enjoy a riverboat cruise. You can sample real Cheshire ice-cream or eat at one of the restaurants and cafés that overlook the Dee. If you’re lucky there might be free live music playing at the bandstand. The Boathouse pub, at the far end of the Groves, has a floating deck on the river.

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’re planning an open top bus tour then look out for combined bus and boat tickets which are better value than buying them separately.

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

  • Chesterboat has information on the river cruises and a map showing where the boats depart from. There are information boards on the Groves or phone Bithell Boats on 01244 325394.

Click a photo to see full size pictures:

Riverside walks

Follow the path heading Eastwards on the South side of the river and you’ll find the riverside Meadows, a lovely place to take a stroll and watch the boats going by.

On summer weekends there’s a ferry service across the river from the Meadows to Sandy Lane so you can make a circular trip back to the city centre.

The path carries on beside the river to Ecclestone, about 3.5 miles away, a pretty village and part of the Grosvenor Estate. Note that there are no pubs, cafés or shops in the village so take a picnic if you’re walking around lunch time.

For keen walkers we recommend carrying on along the riverside as far as Aldford, about 6 miles away. This is another pretty village on the Grosvenor estate, this time with a welcoming pub – the Grosvenor Arms. After a few drinks and their excellent food you can always call a taxi if you don’t fancy the long walk home.

Click a photo to see full size pictures:

What our guests thought about the River Dee:

  • “The 30 minute cruise was good” Kevin & Sharon B from Yateley, September 2018.
  • “Our children recommend the river boat ride” Michelle J from Cornwall, August 2018.
  • “Walk along the river is lovely” Marian & Mark F from London, March 2018.
  • After her stay in April 2017, Jan B from Ashby-de-la-Zouch recommended the river boat trips.
  • Coral H from Australia wrote “The hop on hop off bus with cruise on the river was very good”, April 2017.
  • Heather M recommends the Grosvenor Arms in Aldford and “Walking on the meadows” February 2017.
  • Gemma H from Bromley liked best “walking along the city walls and the river”, August 2016.

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