Currency: Pound Sterling
Time Zone: GMT
Tipping: 10 to 12% is usual for hotels with 10 to 15% being usual for restaurants. In each case, it is not necessarily added to the bill. If a service charge has already been added, no further tip is required.
Historic Chester is one of England's best preserved medieval cities. As well as walking the Roman walls and marvelling at the Norman cathedral, here you'll find the medieval Rows, a uniquely tiered series of shops on covered levels that combine to make the city's most famous landmark.
As well as trendy bars and its commendable Zoo, Chester is also the gateway to North Wales. Its handy proximity to the country means that coach trips to Chester often include excursions to Snowdonia or the Peak District which are also on the doorstep.
Chester is also a favourite addition on coach breaks to Tatton Park Flower Show, one of the highlights of the gardening calendar. The show makes a wonderful alternative to Chelsea if you're in the North and don't want to travel the distance. Come the winter, Chester Victorian Christmas market is also a draw for visitors, with its festive food and medieval looking stalls.
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Chester, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Local Laws and Customs
Health and Travel Insurance
British Citizens are advised by some of our tour operators to have travel insurance before going on a tour or holiday, even if it happens to be in your country of residence. As a British citizen you will be entitled to free emergency health care on the NHS.
If you are visiting England from outside the United Kingdom and fall ill or are involved in an accident and are from any member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you can obtain free or reduced cost treatment with The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Comprehensive travel insurance is advised for all other nationals planning on visiting England.
If you need to contact the emergency services whilst in England simply dial 999 or 112 to ask for an ambulance.
Most destinations are generally trouble-free, however as with all places that you are not familiar with, keep an eye on your belongings and if necessary lock them away somewhere safe back at your hotel if possible. Keep an eye on everyone in your party and do not go off with people you do not know. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times. Be aware of your surroundings and don't venture off on your own.
Local Laws and Customs
Queuing is a British Institution - jump a queue at your own risk!
Drug offences will carry penalties in the UK, so avoid getting involved with anything whilst in England. Please note the narcotic plant Khat/Qat is legal in the UK, but is not in a majority of other countries so never try to export this when leaving the UK.
If you are visiting from outside of the United Kingdom, it is wise to check customs requirements before you travel. If you are planning to bring alcohol, tobacco or souvenirs into the country, you need to be familiar with the UK's custom laws. For those people coming to the UK from the EU, you are allowed to bring an unlimited amount of most goods for your own use without paying tax or duty.
However, if you are travelling to the UK from outside of the EU, you are given an allowance of how much alcohol, tobacco, perfume, souvenirs and other goods. If you go above this allowance you may have to pay tax or duty. It is worth checking the HM Revenues and Customs website before you travel.
When travelling between the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in most cases an official form of identification such as a Driver's License will be ok. However, some airlines will insist you show a passport so check before you travel.
If you are travelling to England from Australia, Canada or the USA, you must have a valid passport for at least three months beyond the length of your stay. EU nationals need to have either a valid passport or identity card.
Visas for the UK are not required by those travelling from Australia, Canada, USA or EU for stays of up to six months.
Any other nationality looking to visit the UK must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
For further information about Chester you can visit the official tourist board at visitchester.com
Here are a few places to visit in and around Chester:
This wonderful Cathedral has been attracting visitors for over 2000 years, who are often left in awe at the beautifully decorated interior and carefully crafted exterior. The Cathedral has free admission, however you will most probably be asked for a donation by your tour guide. You can also visit the cafe or the Cathedral shop for a souvenir of your visit.
The gardens of the Trentham Estate, possibly the finest in England, are bursting with colour throughout the year. Take a gentle stroll around the lake or adventure through the woods and parklands. If that doesn't take your fancy, indulge in some retail therapy with a visit to the Trentham Shopping Village and Garden Centre.
Arley Hall and Gardens
One of the most fascinating stately homes in the North West with its elaborate interior decor, Arley Hall is a visitor favourite. The Hall was built between 1832-1845 and proudly shows off Victorian Jacobean styling. The gardens are best known for its herbaceous border, the first of its kind planted in Britain.
Located in the heart of the City, Chester Racecourse is thought to be the oldest racecourse in England. This 65-acre racecourse is just a short stroll from local bars, restaurants and shopping. Fixtures are normally held over the weekend throughout the summer months.