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Hidden Gems of Chester

This year Chester was christened the second best place to live in the UK. This ancient Roman city was also voted as one of the top five prettiest cities in Europe, beating the likes of Rome itself, as well as Paris and Venice.

Here at Blueoak, we know that what’s on the outside matters just as much as what is on the inside. This is why we craft bespoke property developments in the beautiful city Chester and the surrounding area. Our latest development, Chapel Place, is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture. Its polychrome brickwork, stained glass windows and pointed arches are reminiscent of 1866, the year Chapel Place was originally built.

We have pulled together some of Chester’s best kept secrets, ranging from cocktail bars to adventure parks to underground central heating! Use this guide to help you to decide whether Chester is the place you want to build your future.

In-Situ Roman Mosaic

In-situ means ‘to have been conserved in its original place’. In the basement of Castle Galleries on St Michael’s Ray is a real piece of history. A triangular section of Roman mosaic flooring has been beautifully preserved. The remaining black and white tiles would once have been part of Deva’s larger bathhouse complex. Historians believe this mosaic belonged to a caldarium; a hot, dry room and could be 2000 years old.

Roman Central Heating

Beneath Spud-U-Like on Bridge Street is another piece of Chester’s hidden history. Spud-U-Like is a gem in itself offering takeaway baked potatoes but underneath it is an old Roman hypocaust.

Hypocausts are essentially two thousand year old underfloor heating systems. Hot air created by wood-burning furnaces would heat the rooms in Chester’s public bathhouses, like the one mentioned above.

The Roman civilisation invented our modern day luxuries 2000 years ago.

Narrowboat Day Cruises

Moving from Chester’s historical secrets to its picturesque waterways …

Hiring a narrowboat for the day is a unique and fun way to explore the city from a different perspective. The Shropshire Union Canal winds itself through the ‘nooks and crannies’ of Chester’s medieval streets or if you head out in the opposite direction, you can enjoy some of the countryside that surrounds the city.

If you are feeling really adventurous, you could take the boat out for a weekend or longer!

Tatton Park Bungee Jump

For just three exclusive weekends in the year, you can participate in a 300ft bungee jump in Tatton Park which is less than one hour away from Chester City Centre.

Just to put it into perspective, 300ft equals the height of 21 stacked double decker buses! This leap of faith takes place above Tatton Park’s vast lake.

We get dizzy just thinking about this …

Cheshire Outdoors

Thirty minutes away from Chester City Centre is a fantastic outdoor adventure centre. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush then this is the place to go. There is something for everyone at Cheshire Outdoors. It’s great for families, for couples, for friends and for workplace teambuilding.

You can find three shooting ranges, archery, falconry displays, bushcraft, an off-road woodland Segway course and more!

Minerva’s Shrine

As the name suggests, Minerva’s Shrine is a monument to the Roman goddess Minerva; goddess of war, knowledge, learning, craftsmanship and the arts. Set within the Edgar’s Field, over the Old Dee Bridge in Handbridge, this shrine dates back to 79AD. It has been carved into the face of a sandstone quarry where it has gradually weathered over the years. Nevertheless, the 2000 year old outline of Minerva and her spear remains.

Within 5 minutes of Minerva’s Shrine are three nice pubs: The Ship Inn, The Handbridge and The Grosvenor’s arms where you could stop for a drink and pub lunch before heading along the River Dee for an afternoon walk.

Prohibition Bar

Prohibition is an intimate jazz and blues cocktail bar tucked away in Chester City Centre. Punters step straight through the secret entrance on Watergate Street in to the Roaring Twenties of America; an era of affluence, glamour, promiscuity and jazz.

Inside, the sultry décor, art deco furnishings and atmospheric lighting offer a tranquil escape from day-to-day life. In keeping with the prohibition of 1920’s America, the drinks menu is concealed within vintage books.

Ice Cream Farm

Just twenty minutes from Chester City Centre is the family-run Cheshire Ice Cream Farm, where award-winning ice cream has been produced for the past 30 years using the farm’s cows.

With over 50 flavours available, from liquorice and blackcurrant ice cream to cherry cola, you can give your taste buds a real treat at Cheshire Ice Cream Farm.

But there’s plenty more on offer if you have children too. Make some four-legged friends at Fudge Farm, visit Europe’s largest indoor sand and water play area or enjoy their adventure golf course.

And for ‘big kids’ (teens and husbands), Cheshire Ice Cream Farm also have state-of-the-art retro games machines, air hockey, a drum machine and driving simulators.

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