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How to get to Chester Races

Details of how to reach Chester racecourse by car, bus and train ahead of the Boodles May Festival

Trains, planes and automobiles are just some of the ways to access Chester Racecourse during the Boodles May Festival (Wednesday, May 10 to Friday, May 12).

One of the beauties of the racecourse is that it is located in the heart of the city close to pubs, bars and restaurants.

The downside is that arriving by car can be an issue if you get snarled up in the extra traffic generated on race days.

Reaching the outskirts of Chester is not normally a problem because there are good transport links from Liverpool (M53), Manchester (M56) and North Wales (A55/A483). On race days, the racecourse is signed from all the major routes into Chester and there are several city centre car parks sign-posted.

Hoole Road, one of the major routes into Chester. (Image: Ian Cooper)

For those parking at the actual venue, its postcode is CH1 2LY. This open course car park can be accessed from the Sealand Road/New Crane Street direction at all times.

But be warned – the following neighbouring/approach roads are closed off on racing days to allow pedestrians safe entry to and exit from the Roodee:

■ Lower Watergate Street - closes from about 12pm until after the first race, and then again, 30 minutes before the end of the last race for about one hour.

■ Stanley Place and Lower Watergate Junction - closed for the duration of racing.

■ Nuns Road - closes from about 12pm until 6pm.

■ Bridge Street/Watergate Street - Cars are not permitted to drive along Bridge Street or up Watergate Street from about 5pm on race days until all guests on foot have exited the racecourse and the area is safe for both drivers and pedestrians.

One of Chester's park and ride buses(Image: Rob Stratford)

Consider the option of parking your car at one of four park and ride sites located at Boughton Heath (CH3 5QD), Sealand Road (CH1 4LQ), Upton (CH2 1EU) and Wrexham Road (CH4 9DE). Car parking is free and an adult return bus fare is £2, with up to two accompanied children (under 16 years) travelling free. Tickets can be purchased at the park and ride sites.

Be advised services stop running about 7pm. Check timetables for details.

Chester Railway Station

Coming by train is one of the easiest ways of getting to Chester Races, especially if everyone in the party wishes to enjoy a tipple or two.

There are regular services from Manchester and Liverpool. And the Chester Race Company website says there is a Chester City/Rail Circular bus service to take racegoers from the train station directly to the racecourse. Check National Rail for tickets, timetables and live departure information before travelling. Alternatively, there is a taxi rank right outside the station.

Trains from Liverpool and back run every 15 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes in the evening. A Merseyrail Day Saver Ticket is often cheaper than a standard return ticket, allowing you to make as many train journeys as you want throughout the day on the Merseyrail network, valid from 9.30am Monday to Friday and all day Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.

A Merseyrail Family Ticket, priced £10, allows up to two adults and three children to enjoy unlimited travel on the Merseyrail network which is valid at the same times as a day saver ticket.

View a gallery of pictures from last year's Ladies Day:

For those arriving from Liverpool John Airport, take a bus to Liverpool South Parkway railway station, then a train to Liverpool Lime Street where you make your rail connection onto Chester.

Jockeys and anyone lucky enough to arrive by helicopter can ask the racecourse where they need to land their chopper!

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