A country-wide series of cycle tours linking our magnificent cathedrals with some of the remarkable parish churches surrounding them. Each tour will use the cathedral as a start and finish point and take in a number of our most outstanding churches en route.

Chester Cycle Ride

Cycling through the beautiful Cheshire countryside, you will often see towers or spires of churches as landmarks on the horizon. Take time to step inside the churches en route and enjoy the spectacular stained glass, carvings and special ambience of these places of worship that encapsulate so much local history.

The longer route is 40 miles, with a shortcut route of 28 miles. Or choose two or three churches at a time for a relaxed afternoon out.

All churches are usually open daily (daytime) unless otherwise stated. Take a look at their websites for further information.

Feeling inspired to get more active? Visit Get Cheshire Active

Download Map and Leaflet

We have a PDF Leaflet showing the route and other information that you may find interesting. To download the leaflet please right click on the map image and choose the "Save link as" and select where to store it on your system. Alternatively you can left click the image to open the leaflet in a new browser window and then use the browser menu to "Save file as".

Chester Cathedral

Situated in the heart of the historic city, Chester Cathedral offers a warm Benedictine welcome. Explore the architecture which blends Romanesque with early and late Gothic styles, enjoy refreshments in the old monks’ Refectory and take home a souvenir from the shop. If you have more time, savour the views of five counties from the top of our tower, meet the birds at the Cathedral Falconry or just relax in our award-winning gardens. Toilets and café are available on site.

Cathedral Website     

Chester, St John the Baptist

St John’s, Chester has a remarkable history. It is the oldest standing building in the city still used for its original purpose and the oldest Christian site. Dating back to Saxon times (689AD) later the Normans built a Cathedral on this site. Remarkably, much has survived, making St John’s the earliest and finest Norman architecture in Cheshire. There is a 14th Century ‘column’ painting of John the Baptist and the Organ was used to play Queen Victoria to her crowning in Westminster Abbey (it was ours – they borrowed it!) Toilets and a cafe are available on site.

Church Website     

Christleton, St James

An ancient Christian site for over 1,500 years. The name Christleton means "the village or place of Christ", or alternatively "Christentum", “the enclosed farm of the Christians". The church building has evolved over time; Anglo Saxon, medieval (1484), surviving the Civil War (1642-45), re built in the Georgian style in 1736 and again substantially in the Victorian era 1876. Made from local sandstone this is the church you see today. A beautiful and tranquil space, full of the history of people and place.

Church Website         

Waverton, St Peter

There has been a church on this site since Saxon times. Evidence of the Norman church can still be seen. Look for the capping (top) of the pillar on the south side of the nave (right side of the main area of the church).

The tower was built in the reign of the Tudor king, Henry VII (1485-1509). There are eight bells in the tower, four of which date from 1615. There are eight bells in the tower, four of which date from 1615. Admire the new glass doors with the keys of St Peter and look for the 'Leper door' on the south side (right side) of the church.

Church Website        

Hargrave, St Peter

St Peter’s is grade 2* listed building, a rare 17th Century country church, homely and welcoming. It was built in 1627 of ashlar sandstone and a roof of handmade tiles. See such features as the original oak doors with artisan ironwork and a window designed by the famous Chester architect, John Douglas. The ‘lych gate’ (the roofed gateway to the churchyard) is relatively new- it was a millennium project. The gate stands on sandstone blocks from the old hall, former home of the patron and founder Sir Thomas Moulson.

Church Website       

Bunbury, St Boniface

This magnificent Grade 1 listed church, standing prominently in the picturesque village of Bunbury, is open every day. The church you can see today is Medieval, built about 1343, at the instigation of Sir Hugh Calveley. His tomb lies in the middle of the chancel. Other features include the Ridley Chapel, and the tomb of Sir George Beeston, a commander from the Spanish Armada. Listen out for the tenor bell that strikes the hour- it’s over 500 years old. Due to serious bomb damage during WW2, the replacement windows of clear glass give the church a uniquely light interior, which combined with the warm sandstone, creates a wonderful uplifting atmosphere.

Toilet facilities available.

Church Website  

Tattenhall, St Alban

A church has existed in Tattenhall since medieval times,1300AD, and without doubt on this same site since the early years of the Tudors. The tower is the only part of the current building that dates back to the Tudor era, built in 1515- around 500 years old! The rest of the building, ‘having fallen into great decay’, was demolished and rebuilt in Victorian times, 1869-70.

The present building, the work of the famous Chester architect, John Douglas, is notable for its scale and proportion. The oldest window depicts St Alban and St Stephen and is known as the ‘necklace of blood’ window- it dates from medieval times, possibly 14th century. Also look out for the large brass chandelier, which is dated 1755.

Church Website      

Farndon, St Chad

The Church of St Chad's lies nestled between the historic villages of Farndon and Holt. The church had an exciting role in the English Civil War (1642-1651). It was once used as a garrison by Oliver Cromwell's Parliamentarians as they fought for control over the old Roman bridge that connects both villages of Farndon and Holt. Much evidence can be seen of the fighting that took place- look out for the battle scars that pock mark both outside and inside of the Church.

The Church is also famous for the Civil War Window which is situated in the Barnston Chapel. Visitors come from far and wide to photograph the window. There is also an ancient yew tree in the Churchyard estimated to be over 700 years old.

Church Website      

Aldford, St John

The present church was built in the Victorian era in 1866. It’s adjacent to an ancient Motte and Bailey (castle structure) which is still visible. Why not have a picnic there beside the hollow tree!

Inside the church, look out for the marble pulpit (from where the vicar preaches), mosaic reredos (the ornamental screen covering the wall at the back of the altar) and ‘the angelic choir’ on top of the pillars. (See Psalm 150 for their meaning). Do note the window in the chapel designed by the famous Victorian artist, Edward Burne-Jones, and the bier in the Baptistry which was used to bring the coffins to Church.

Church Website   

Bruera, St Mary the Virgin

This little church was established nearly a thousand years ago. It was an outlying chapel to Chester's monastery in the 1100’s (medieval era). A walk round the churchyard will give the visitor a feeling of the social history of England. Many names are repeated- families didn’t move very far- and numerous children indicate the health hazards of life in times past. Some members of the Westminster family are buried here.

Visits into the church may be arranged with the Warden, details on the website.

Church Website    

Local Information

Pubs and Cafes
Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) Chester and North Wales- award winning cafes and pubs listed here. Including:
• Cheshire Ice Cream Farm, near Tattenhall
• Tilly’s Coffee Shop, Bunbury
• Shady Oak Pub, Tarporley
Various refreshment facilities are located in the main village

Bike shops
• Global Bikes Cycle Shop, Tattenhall
Cycle hire in Chester

Chester city centre map
For cycle parking and other information, see www.chestercyclecity.org.


See other routes in this series: St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, Worcester, Gloucester