Chester has plenty of Christmas sparkle

PUBLISHED: 00:16 08 December 2011 | UPDATED: 20:24 20 February 2013

Ice-skating at Chester Castle

Ice-skating at Chester Castle

Chester is wonderful at any time, but during the festive season it's even more special

Summer is a popular time for the millions of tourists who visit Chester every year. As the cold weather arrives and the nights are drawing in, you might expect things to get quieter. But this historic city is just as popular in the winter.

And rightly so. The festive season is an ideal opportunity to experience the picturesque city centre. All the main shopping streets are filled with twinkling lights and streets entertainers and there are plenty of events to get you in the Christmas spirit.

The Chester Christmas Market will again take up residence. An outdoor market takes place between November 24th and Christmas Eve where there will be stalls bursting with gifts and tasty treats. There will also be performances from talented local musicians at the bandstand. At the Forum Shopping Centre there will be another market selling the best local produce.

A treat for thrill seekers is the new Christmas Toboggan Ride and Santas Sleigh at the Town Hall Square. On this 70ft slide, once the centrepiece of the Queens coronation party in Manchester, you will tower above the people below.

Chester Cathedral will, of course, be staging many Christmas carol concerts and events, alongside its programme of masses. These include Spirit of Christmas, on December 2nd, hosted by actor Matthew Kelly and featuring a wealth of stars from stage and screen; the Cathedral Choir Carol Concert on December 17th and Chester Music societys Christmas Bells performance on December 19th and 20th, featuring the Waverton Handbell Ringers.

You can also discover the city centre in a different way with a Christmas themed guided tour, which runs every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday until Christmas Eve. Not only is this an opportunity to explore Chester but you can also learn more about the areas festive traditions and customs.

Even better, your tour is rounded off with a hot drink and mince pie at a traditional tearoom.

If you are out and about Chester this Christmas, don't forget to take some photos.

You can upload them here by clicking the red button below

The print version of this article appeared in the December 2011 issue of Cheshire Life

We can deliver a copy direct to your door order online here

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