If you’re looking for somewhere to see in the festive season and the New Year, then you’ll find few places more suitable. The wealth of culture, history and natural beauty crammed into this part of the world is an enormous draw for tourists, who, thanks to the county’s excellent transport links with the nearby M6, and by extension Manchester and Liverpool in the North, and Wales and the Midlands to the west and south respectively, are able to flock here to enjoy all of the seasonal attractions that the county has to offer.
Weston Winter Wonderland
If you’re looking for something a little bit different, then this festive offering on a farm near Crewe might be of enormous interest. It’s the work of a 21-year old student, Graham Wittter, who will decorate the entire farm and garden into a festive extravaganza of lights. The action will include weekly visits from Santa Claus, who will be posing for celebratory selfies with guests on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There will also be the usual seasonal combination of mince pies, chocolate and music. This small event has, during its brief existence, raised £17,000 for a local hospice – and with your help, it looks set to bump that total even higher.
Christmas at Carden Park
Carden Park is a prestigious Christmas party venues near Chester, and this year they’re marking the occasion as never before. Christmas breaks here include breakfast each morning, Christmas-themed lunch and a buffet on Christmas day. On top of that, you’ll get festive entertainment, too. Naturally, once Christmas is over, the hotel is planning to see in the New Year in style – with the help of a real-life pipe player!
Naturally, during your stay at one of the most feature-rich hotels in Chester, you’ll be able to enjoy a raft of other activities. The hotel grounds in home to a pair of world-class golf courses, a swimming pool, a spa, and hundreds of acres of grounds ripe for exploration. If you’re looking to get away this winter, there can be few better locations – and the hotel can also serve as a staging ground for your visits to other parts of the county.
Saturnalia Parade in Chester
Of course, Christmas hasn’t always been celebrated in Chester. It’s been preceded by other winter festivals. Among the most influential of these is Saturnalia, which saw the Romans venerate Saturn, the god, amongst other things, of time. The Romans did this by drinking a lot, eating rich food, allowing slaves to dine with them, and presenting one another with gifts. When the Roman Empire eventually converted to Christianity, it rebranded the pagan festival in order to better spread the new religion.
Thousands of years later, the older version of the festival is still being marked in Chester (a place of huge significance in Roman Britain). Each year, a group of legionnaires (though not quite a legion) march through Chester city centre and perform a ceremony to mark the occasion – just as the Roman occupants of the city did when they founded it, centuries ago!
Christmas at Chester Zoo
If you’re planning a visit to the Zoo this Christmas, then you might be worried about the lack of activity. After all, at this time of year, most of the animals that call this place home will have retired to their beds – and the daylight hours by which to see them will be severely limited.
It’s for this reason that the Zoo hosts a distinctly unusual event at this time of year – and one that, during its brief existence, has proven quite a hit. A parade of lanterns will run through the zoo by night, each of them shaped like animals, flowers and other weird and wonderful objects. The parade will also include an appearance by Santa Claus himself – though he won’t be available to stop for one-on-one encounters. If you’ve got young children who need to be entertained, then this is the perfect place to do it!
Christmas at Tatton Park
This year, Tatton Park has commemorated a hundred years since the birth of Roald Dahl with a series of events on its grounds. The beloved children’s author looks set to also have a profound influence on the site’s Christmas celebrations. There’ll be the usual singing, decorations and food on offer in the neoclassical mansion – as well as visits by Santa Claus elsewhere on the grounds. This year, however, proceedings will have a distinctly Dahlian twist. If you’re a fan of the great man, then you should consider a visit here a personal duty!