One of Britain’s most historical and architecturally important places, Chester is one of the best preserved walled cities in the country. There is a mix of medieval and Victorian buildings within the bounds of the Grade I listed wall, providing a visually rich landscape. The mix of Tudor, Victorian and half-timbered styles of architecture have been likened to that found in the Grimm Fairy Tales. This led to it being voted the prettiest city in the UK, and in the top 5 in Europe in 2013!
Situated in the Northwest of the UK, Chester is close to Liverpool, Manchester and the Welsh border. It was originally the site of fortress from the Roman occupation and then became a trading port before playing a pivotal role in kicking off the Industrial Revolution.
This led to the canal network and railways coming to the city, and these form part of the key transport links in Chester to this day. The canal’s two branches became part of the Shropshire Canal Network and run into the city under the northern part of the city wall. Trains bring passengers to and from London via Crewe, as well as across the North of England. Today the road networks are just as vital, with the M53 and M56 linking the city with Liverpool and Manchester, while the A55 and A483 provide easy access to North and South Wales. And if you want to go further afield, both Manchester Airport and Liverpool John Lennon Airport can be reached by car in around half an hour, both flying to a variety of destinations across the globe.
With such a fascinating history, strong transport links and attractions like Chester Zoo – the UK’s largest zoo – Chester is a big draw for tourists. In fact, with 31 million people visiting the region in 2014, tourism is a key element of the local economy. The retail industry also plays a big role locally. This is thanks to The Grosvenor Shopping Centre and the upcoming £300 million Chester Northgate development, which is set to feature around 500,000 square feed of new retail, restaurant and leisure facilities. Chester also boasts a surprisingly large financial centre. Bank of America, HBOS plc, M&S Bank and Virgin Money all have large offices based in the city.
Chester is home to the well-regarded University of Chester, with nearly 20,000 students coming from across the UK to study there. With 95.2% of its graduates in work or further study, the university is the best performing university in the North West of England for employability.
House prices in Chester are in line with national averages. And with good job prospects and ongoing regeneration in the city, the property market has successfully bounced back in the years since the 2008 recession.
From its day as a Roman fort to the modern flourishing city it is today, Chester has earned its reputation as a great place to live, visit and invest in.