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.

What some of our guests said about the River Dee at Chester:

{Recommendations: The hop on hop off bus and River Cruise
John & Rosie K from Australia, September 2023
{Riverboats just around the corner, had commentary on the history of Chester.
Amy S from Birmingham, September 2022
{We took the 2 hour cruise on the river but the commentary was not clear enough to hear
Sara H from Stroud, June 2021
{The river was lovely with lots of boat rides and plenty to do around the river area, lots of lovely parks and the shopping centre was good too.
Jo B from Bedford, August 2020
{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

Find out more about things you can do by the Dee at Chester:

  • 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.
  • The Boathouse Inn has a floating pontoon for drinks on the river.
  • The Moorings café has tables right by the river and serves excellent breakfasts and lunches.
  • Snugbury’s next to the footbridge sells Cheshire farm ice cream.
  • Hickory’s Smokehouse serves up a menu inspired by the American deep south.