How to Get to Chester from London, Manchester or Liverpool

How to get from London to Chester and More

Chester town center
••• Chester Rows, Chester's famous medieval shopping galleries. Robin Smith/Getty Images

Chester, with its Medieval half-timbered center, may be about 215 miles from London but its prime position near two very popular cities makes it easy to reach for a day trip or short break.

Located halfway between two national parks - The Peak District and Snowdonia, and almost equi-distant from Manchester or Liverpool, Chester is a breeze to include in a northwestern or Lake District itinerary. Use these information resources discover how to get from London, Manchester or Liverpool to Chester and to plan your trip.

Celebrity spotting in Chester

Cheshire, the county surrounding Chester, is millionaire territory. If you are up on your football celebs you'll probably spot plenty of Manchester footballers and their WAGS (wives and girlfriends) shopping in the town's designer boutiques.

How to Get to Chester

By Train

From London - Virgin Trains operates the direct service to Chester Railway Station from London Euston every hour at 10 and 40 minutes after the hour. The journey takes a little over 2 hours. Round trip, off peak advance fares in 2017 started at £44 when purchased as two single (one-way) tickets. 

From Liverpool - Merseyrail operates a frequent direct service from Liverpool Central Station to Chester, every few minutes. The trip takes 41 minutes and a round trip ticket in 2017 costs £7.20. As this is basically a commuter service, there is no discount for purchasing tickets in advance. 

From Manchester - Northern operates frequent services from  Manchester Piccadilly Station, at 17 and 30 minutes after the hour throughout the day. The trip takes about an hour and a half and the cheapest round trip, off peak ticket costs £12.60. Again, no discount bonus for buying in advance on this one.

By Bus

From London Coaches from London to Chester take between about five hours to up to 7 hours. National Express operates several services a day with one-way fares in 2017 ranging from about £5 to £20. The fastest coach leaves London at 4:30pm and takes 5 hours and 15 minutes. Buy your ticket well in advance and you could score one of the very cheap, £5 tickets in 2017. Buses leave from Victoria Coach Station in London, arriving at Chester Bus Exchange on Hunter Street.

Bus tickets can be purchased online through the National Express website.

From Liverpool - National Express also operates a limited number of buses from the Liverpool One shopping center bus stop to Chester. The trip takes about 45 minutes and costs between £3 and £4 each way. There are local bus services on Merseyside that do this journey but planning a route that way is very complicated and the trip of about 27 miles could conceivably take you up to 5 hours. The commuter rail makes more sense and the service is more frequent.

From Manchester - There are three direct National Express services a day from Manchester Coach Station to Chester, and one trip via Liverpool, adding an extra hour to the 1 hour 45 minute trip. In 2017, the farea ranged from £6 to £11 each way. This is a 40 mile trip and, as with Liverpool, the commuter rail service makes more sense - it's quicker and usually cheaper.

 

By Car

From London - Chester is about 215 miles northwest of London via the M1 Motorway. It takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes in normal traffic conditions. Less if you get really lucky and find no traffic. This isn't likely, even in the middle of the night because the M1 is usually clogged with lorries. Gasoline (petrol) prices were falling in January and February 2016, but were still probably about double the price of gasoline in the USA. The price of automobile fuel tends to go up and down and if it is low for a long time, the government will be tempted to slap more tax on it.

Also keep in mind when you are looking at prices at the petrol pump that the price shown is for a liter (a little more than a quart).

From Liverpool - It's a 27 mile trip from Liverpool via the Kingsway Tunnel under the Mersey to Wallasey on the A59, then joining the M53 to the junction 12 exit to Chester. There is a toll for using the tunnel. Depending upon traffic, the trip should take between 35 and 45 minutes.

From Manchester - This 40 mile trip will take about an hour, using the M56 and M53 motorways. Join the M56 at Wythenshawe and exit at junction 15 for the M53. Then leave the M53 at junction 12, signposted for Chester.