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The Victorian Christmas Markets in Chester

In you’re in Liverpool over the festive season and looking for a fun way to spend a day (or longer), then there are plenty of places in the surrounding area to visit. The picturesque city of Chester is just a thirty minute drive away and reachable with car hire from Liverpool if you are visiting the area. With its fine medieval buildings, cobbled streets and Grade I listed city walls, it is one of the best preserved cities of its kind in the country, and the perfect place to get into the festive spirit.

Such a city has a great line up of events and activities over the Christmas period, and one of the best ways to soak up the atmosphere is by exploring the Christmas markets. Chester’s Victorian Christmas Market in the historic Town Hall Square runs from November 21st to December 21st and has over 40 stalls set in traditional bespoke wooden chalets. Items on offer include handicrafts, jewellery, gifts and clothing, as well as choice food and drink. Sip champagne at the Lanson Bar or warm up with a mulled wine or hot ginger beer as you wander around the market.

Christmas shopping in Chester is both a traditional and modern affair. There are plenty of independent boutiques offering unusual and quirky items alongside mainstream stores, so you can be sure of finding the perfect gift. Watergate Street is a great place to explore. If you’re tired after all the activity, then relax with a Christmas cocktail or warming drink in one of the city’s many pubs and bars. Chester has a wide range of watering holes, from traditional cosy pubs to contemporary wine and cocktail bars.

There are plenty of other markets besides the traditional Victorian Christmas Market in town, and these are scattered throughout the city and the wider local area. Check out the craft and gift marquee at Capesthorne Hall in Siddington, where other festive treats include musicians and choirs as well as hot meat rolls, mince pies and mulled wine. The hall is specially decked out for Christmas and the perfect place to enjoy some seasonal warmth and cheer.

Winter Wonderland at Chester Racecourse has a traditional Christmas market, along with an ice rink and fairground rides. For the kids there’s also Santa’s grotto, Santa’s letter writing workshops, Mrs Claus’ story room and a 3D movie room showing festive films. Adults can chill out at the Alpine beer bar or the vodka ice bar. And there are even some real reindeer.

Other Christmas events in Chester include Lantern Magic at Chester Zoo, where you can explore the magical gardens, wonder at the beautiful animal lanterns, make your own lanterns and try out some tasty festive treats. Many of the markets and other events kick off in time with the Christmas Lights Switch On, which takes place in the city centre on November 21st. The traditional Saturnalia parade takes place on December 19th and celebrates the city’s Roman heritage.

If you’re still looking for Christmas markets, then why not check out the festive happenings at nearby Warrington, Widnes, Runcorn, Winsford, Northwich or Sandbach? Many local community groups and schools also have their own Christmas fairs, as do many of the stately homes and gardens in the area. One thing you can be sure of – you won’t have to go far to find the festive spirit alive and well in Cheshire this winter.

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