There are plenty of fun things to do after dinner in Chester, whether you’re looking for great ales or live entertainment. Wandering the cobbled streets and riverside walkways, you'll hear music and laughter coming from many of the pubs and bars – live band sessions and stand-up shows are regular fixtures of the city's nightlife.

    The city’s pub scene is a vibrant backdrop for the hectic social lives of sharp-dressed young locals. There’s also a quieter side to Chester, where you enjoy a pint of ale in a centuries-old timber-frame pub or beside the River Dee. Check out our guide to the best places to go at night in Chester.

    1

    Join a Chester ghost tour

    Learn about the city’s morbid past

    • History
    • Nightlife
    • Unusual

    If you’re curious about the paranormal, joining a Chester ghost tour makes for an excellent way to see the sights. Chester is widely known as one of Britain’s most haunted cities, with many ghost-filled landmarks lining its ancient thoroughfares. Hundreds of ghost sightings have been reported over the years, especially at popular spots such as the Chester Rows, the City Walls, and Stanley Palace.

    Chester ghost tours typically start after sunset and last about 90 minutes. You can rest your legs at a local pub or continue your night-time exploration of the city – and possibly experience something strange along the way.

    2

    Bear and Billet

    A cosy pub inside a 17th-century building

    • Nightlife

    Bear and Billet occupies a timber-framed building that once served as the townhouse of the Earls of Shrewsbury in 1664. This cosy pub has 3 spacious floors, with its 2 upper levels overlooking the historic City Walls.

    You can enjoy homecooked dishes like beer-battered fish and chips, steak and ale pie, and grilled bacon chop, as well as a wide selection of ales, whiskies, and wines. A log fire blazes away on winter evenings, while its walled beer garden is excellent for alfresco dining in the summer.

    Location: 94 Lower Bridge St, Chester CH1 1RU, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1244 311886

    Map

    photo by Harry Mitchell (CC BY 3.0) modified

    3

    River Dee

    See the city from a new angle

    The River Dee flows to the south of the city and out into the Irish Sea. You can take to the water in a variety of ways – everything from pedalos and kayaks to cruise boats that will sail you out to the mouth of the river. On board the larger boats, you can enjoy some themed events, such as a curry & quiz night or a 3-hour party cruise. You’ll find plenty of boat operators on The Groves, a footpath that runs alongside the river.

    Location: The Groves, Chester CH1 1SD, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1244 325394

    4

    The Suburbs

    For award-winning cocktails in Chester

    • Nightlife

    The Suburbs is a stylish cocktail bar in Hoole, a suburb located about a mile northeast of Chester’s City Walls. Often drawing a hip crowd for signature cocktails and lively nights out, it’s an excellent spot for mixing and mingling with the locals.

    The Suburbs’ award-winning cocktails like the house Negroni and Mile High Club are must-tries, but you can also find premium wines and beers on the menu. Food-wise, there are grazing platters and a variety of burgers and chicken wings.

    Location: 22 Charles St, Chester CH2 3AZ, UK

    Open: Thursday–Saturday from noon to 1 am, Sunday–Wednesday from noon to midnight

    Phone: +44 (0)1244 344325

    Map
    5

    Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

    Summertime productions in Grosvenor Park

    • Nightlife

    The Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre has been hosting quality productions every summer since 2010 and is one of the best live venues in Chester. The purpose-built theatre occupies the western edge of Grosvenor Park, featuring terrace seating that accommodates over 500 people.

    Organised by Storyhouse, past productions include Hercules, Twelfth Night, and Henry V. Note that the theatre's doors open 1 hour before showtime and seats are on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis, so it’s a good idea to get there early to get the best ones.

    Location: Grosvenor Park Rd, Chester CH1, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)845 241 7868

    Map

    photo by Clint Budd (CC BY 2.0) modified

    6

    Alexander's Live

    A cafe-bar offering live music, cabaret and comedy

    • Nightlife

    Alexander's Live is an excellent place to catch live performances in Chester, including music gigs and cabaret shows. It’s most famous for hosting one of Britain’s longest-running comedy clubs. Every Friday, 4 comedians take to the stage and deliver side-splitting jokes to the packed venue.

    Live music at Alexander's Live ranges from jazz and blues to rock and acoustic sets. Its drinks list consists of real ales, lagers, wines, and spirits. Located in Rufus Court, the café-bar is just around the corner of the City Walls.

    Location: Rufus Court, Chester CH1 2JW, UK

    Open: Monday–Tuesday and Thursday–Saturday from noon to late, Sunday from noon to 8 pm (closed on Wednesdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1244 401402

    Map
    7

    The Albion Inn

    A Victorian pub within the City Walls of Chester

    • Nightlife

    The Albion Inn is an original corner pub adjacent to the famous Chester City Walls. The pub is decorated with vintage décor and WWI memorabilia, with a fireplace to keep things warm and cosy. It has several rooms for rent and puts you within walking distance of the Chester Roman Amphitheatre and Grosvenor Park.

    The Albion Inn is a great place for those who want to unwind as the pub lacks TV screens and loud music. It serves a wide range of ales on tap and traditional dishes like haggis, corned beef hash, and roast Cheshire turkey.

    Location: Chester CH1 1RN, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from noon to 3 pm and from 5 pm to 11 pm, Sunday from noon to 2.30 pm and from 7 pm to 10.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1244 340345

    Map

    photo by Rept0n1x (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    8

    Cruise Club

    Party at Chester's premiere nightclub

    • Nightlife

    Cruise is an upscale nightclub in Grosvenor Precinct, near Grosvenor Shopping Centre and the Chester Roman Amphitheatre. It has 6 distinct areas inspired by prominent party-centric cities.

    You’ll find a DJ in every room – music ranges from modern dance to Britpop. Manhattan is a disco-themed room, complete with a 1970s dancefloor and a bar serving up excellent cocktails. For a quieter affair, head to the intimate Bangkok or luxurious Moskva sections of the club. There are also plenty of VIP booths with bottle service.

    Location: 4 St John St, Grosvenor Precinct, Chester CH1 1DA, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1244 408000

    Map
    9

    The Storyhouse

    Live theatre, music, and opera

    • Nightlife
    • Couples

    The Storyhouse is a theatre in Chester that hosts a variety of cultural performances. You might see opera, Shakespearean theatre, or some modern plays from up-and-coming writers. It’s easy to find in the centre of Chester, walking distance from the shops and Chester train station. Don’t miss the rooftop Garret Bar for pre-show cocktails with a sweeping view. There’s also a cinema, library-cum-cafe, and a restaurant.

    Location: Hunter St, Chester CH1 2AR, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1244 409113

    Map

    photo by John Lord (CC BY 2.0) modified

    10

    Ye Olde Custom House

    A historic pub with live music and poker nights

    • Nightlife

    Ye Olde Custom House is a friendly local inn and pub in Chester, about a 5-minute walk of prominent landmarks such as the Chester Cross and Chester Racecourse. It occupies a Grade II-listed building dating back to the 17th century, with a beer garden that gets very packed in the summer.

    Live music takes place on Saturday nights from 9.30 pm onwards, while poker nights start at 7 pm on Wednesdays. Ye Olde Custom House offers hand-pulled beers and traditional pub food – must-tries include the homemade chips, veggie lentil chilli, Yorkshire stack, and sticky toffee pudding.

    Location: Watergate St, Chester CH1 2LB, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1244 324435

    Map

    photo by Cameraman (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveler

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