top of page

Overseas university spotlight: University of Chester (UK)

The University of Chester is located in one of my favorite UK cities.


Situated in northwest England and about a half hour on the train from Liverpool, Chester is steeped in history.


Its roots date back to Roman times, and you can basically stumble upon historical monuments walking five minutes in any direction.


Here are some of the highlights from my visit to campus in May 2023!


University of Chester main entrance

Chester


With its 2,000-year history, Chester attracts around 8 million tourists a year and has the most complete city walls.


The Chester city walls facing the cathedral

One of the nicest things to do is go for a walk around the walls, which are built mostly out of red sandstone and extend about two miles in total, passing over four city gates.


Chester city walls
View from the Chester city walls
King Charles' Tower
King Charles' Tower
King Charles' Tower
View from the Chester city walls
View from the Chester city walls
View from the Chester city walls
View from the Chester city walls
Northgate
Criminals used to walk across this bridge to the jail
Criminals used to walk across this bridge to the jail
Northgate
Bridge Gate
Bridge Gate

Walking along the walls will also take you past Roodee, the world's oldest racecourse, which dates back to 1539!


Roodee, the Chester Racecourse
Roodee, the Chester Racecourse

You'll also go past the Military Museum, which is located in Chester Castle.


Chester Military Museum, located in the castle

But perhaps Chester's most recognizable feature is the Rows, where the main shopping and dining is.


Chester Rows
Chester Rows
Busy Sunday at the Chester Rows
Busy Saturday!
Chester Rows
Quiet Sunday morning at the Chester Rows
Quiet Sunday morning
Getting ready for the Coronation
Getting ready for the Coronation
Downtown Chester, UK

Chester is also home to a 1,000-year-old cathedral.


Chester Cathedral
Chester Cathedral
Chester Cathedral

Its population is only 80,000, but on a Saturday afternoon, it didn't seem like a small city; it was absolutely bustling.


Until the weather turned, Grosvenor Park was full of children playing, people strolling and all ages riding the ferris wheel.


Grosvenor Park
Ferris wheel at Grosvenor Park

There is so much green space around.


Other landmarks include Britain's largest Roman amphitheatre and the cathedral ruins at St John's Church.


Britain's largest Roman amphitheatre
Cathedral ruins at St John's Church
Cathedral ruins at St John's Church

I was once again on the search for the best coffee and found it at the dog-friendly Bean & Cole.


Bean & Cole coffee shop
My coffee at the Bean & Cole coffee shop

Apart from walking the city walls, I loved going for a peaceful stroll along the River Dee in The Groves area.


The River Dee
The River Dee

It was a great spot for an ice cream cone lunch!


Ice cream cone at the River Dee
River Dee

The pedestrian Queen's Park Suspension Bridge is a gorgeous part of the skyline.


Queens Park Bridge
Queens Park Bridge
Gorgeous view from the Queens Park Bridge
Gorgeous view from the Queens Park Bridge
Gorgeous view from the Queens Park Bridge
Gorgeous view from the Queens Park Bridge
Queens Park Bridge
River Dee
Boat cruise on the River Dee
Boat cruises are also popular
Well doesn't this look like a painting! The Old Dee Bridge
Well doesn't this look like a painting! The Old Dee Bridge

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Chester Zoo, which -- although I didn't get the chance -- is actually the most visited UK attraction outside London.


Not far north of the city and set on 128 acres, the zoo has more than 20,000 animals and 500 species with the goal to help prevent wildlife extinction.


University of Chester


Just outside of the city walls are the various sites of the University of Chester, whose original buildings from 1840 were the first in the country to be purpose-built for the professional training of teachers.


University of Chester
Main reception at the University of Chester
Main reception at the University of Chester

With 14,000 students split across a number of sites, the university is on the smaller side for a UK university.


There is a really nice display on the Exton Park campus that explains the overall history.


I was surprised to learn that about 100 years ago, it was actually affiliated with the University of Liverpool!

University of Chester history
University of Chester history
University of Chester history
University of Chester history

Education was the primary focus at the university until 1976, and nowadays, there are more than 350 other courses to choose from.


A few that are particularly popular are Bioveterinary Sciences, Zoology and Animal Science, and as you can expect, the university has close ties with the Chester Zoo.


It also has a graduate entry medical program.


Chester Medical School
Price Tower and the medical school
Price Tower
Medical School

Exton Park is the main campus, where you'll find the library, sports centre, accommodation, Students' Union, shops and student services.


University of Chester
Community Hub & Chaplaincy
Academic Skills Centre
Careers & Employability
Careers & Employability
UofC work space
Library
Library
Inside the library
Inside the library
Molloy Hall
Molloy Hall
The General Store
Campus store