“ Vicars Lane / Chester / Cheshire / CH1 1QX / Public enquiries: 01244 402111. „
The Chester Visitor Centre and cafe closed January 2011
NAME OF LOCATION: Chester Visitor centre, Chester
BACKGROUND: I had planned a weekend trip to Chester for my boyfriend and me and we went on the sightseeing bus then walked along the Roman walls from the Cathedral via the Roman Amphitheatre excavations to this attraction.
1. DVD shows about the Roman Amphitheatre excavations
2. Roman Amphitheatre exhibition
3. Gift shop
4. Rows café
5. Whats in a Name? fun way to trace origins of your surname (must admit I didnt find this section)
6. Virtual Chester tour flying you in and around the city must admit didnt see this either.
7. Changing of Roman Guard Parade starting point (alternate Sundays May to October) we didnt see this either but it may have been the wrong Sunday or time.
8. Guided walks various times daily we didnt go at the right time but this sounds interesting (History hunter 10.45 am, Roman Legionary tours 1.45pm Thursdays and Secret Chester Tours check before you set out as some are only on certain days and they may only be from May to October the leaflet is not clear as it says daily but at the end of the paragraph states May to October).
9. Wet weather attraction with several rooms to explore took at least 1 ½ hours but we didnt use the café facility or go on a guided walk so allow more time.
10. Tourist information centre and National express main ticket office
11. Bureau de change
12. Fully accessible toilets and baby changing/feeding facilities. Must admit I only found one toilet and that was halfway up the stairs so didnt find a disabled one.
We arrived on a coach trip and used the sightseeing bus then walked from the Cathedral over the Eastgate clock and through the Amphitheatre exhibition but it is easily accessed by stop 18 and crossing the road.
The National Express bus stop is directly opposite it near St Johns Church. Several local buses also stop nearby.
Free entry but there is a café and a shop so allow money for this.
Daily: April to Sep 09.30 to 17.30, Mon-Sat. Oct-Mar 09.30 to 1700 Mon-Sat Sundays 10-16.00 all year
Closed Christmas, Boxing Day and New Years day.
1. Plenty to see
2. Plenty of seats to view the interesting DVDs on the excavautions
3. Clean toilets
4. Free entry
1. Most of the exhibits rooms and DVD shows were upstairs and I didnt see a lift.
2. Nearest parking is the Little Roodee car park some distance away not suitable for disabled to walk to museum from. Although there is apparently a park and ride scheme with a bus stop on request nearby but it is not clear if this is available from the car park.
Decide where else to go or whether to go back another time. In our case, we decided that we have done Chester! We had visited this, the Deva Roman Experience (see review), Amphitheatre excavations, and the Grosvenor Museum as well as gone on the City sightseeing tour (see my other Chester reviews), walked on the walls including near the Eastgate clock, walked through the city centre and seen various places of interest such as the canal, the King Charles Tower, the Cathedral (from the outside only Robert is terrified of going inside churches with me, in case I either trick him into marrying me or get dragged into a church service by mistake (and I do have previous for the latter!)), the ruins of St Johns church where we saw a coffin in the wall (yes, really!), the River Dee, Gods Providence house, and where the town crier shouts from daily in certain months. Not bad for a weekend! We failed to find the Toy Museum, though, so if anyone knows where it is we might go back for that and we did say wed like to visit the zoo another time.
MORE INFORMATION FROM
Vicars Lane, Chester CH1 1QX Tel 01244 351609 Fax 01244 403188 email firstname.lastname@example.org or websites: