An interview with the travel blogger Stuart Forster for his blog, Go Eat Do.
The feature is about ideas for a weekend visit to Chester but, with Halloween approaching, previews my new Dark Chester tours [pictured above].
The tours run Saturdays at 6pm and delve into the dark-tourism heritage of the city, exploring 2,000 years of plague, poltergeists and religious persecution.
Talking about St John’s Church, a Saxon site of worship from 689AD, I describe how:
“Cestrians, the people of Chester, call it ‘the thin church’. It’s a reference to the fact it’s one of those places in the city where the world we know, and another we can’t explain, is at its thinest point. It’s a place to step across the supernatural threshold.”
We also discuss, amongst others, the Chester Mystery Plays and the Chester Heritage Festival (both returning in June 2023).
Plus wider ideas for things to do and see during your visit.
Read the full story at
Go Eat Do, Haunted places in England: Chester walking tour.
We took a walk on the dark side a few days ago.
It was the inaugural outing for my new
Dark Chester tour [pictured above], a walking tour through the shadows of Chester’s 2000-year-old history.
Horrible Histories meets Inside Number Nine with a dash of the Uncanny podcast.
In other words, an evening storytelling stroll with tales of plague, persecution and poltergeists.
For some more background, read this blog I penned for the British Guild of Tourist Guides:
Chester: take a walk on the dark side.
This first tour was an exclusive event for the
Chester Heritage Festival, which runs until July 27 with lots of free activities, as well as paid-for tours.
As well as leading the tour, I also worked with the Heritage Festival team to livestream stories from two of the tour stops.
You can watch the livestream from Chester’s Roman Amphitheatre
The livestream from The Bear & Billet is
Plus I had some great initial feedback, including this comment:
The plan now is to take
Dark Chester weekly.
So join me. Let’s take a walk on the dark side.
I’m always on the look out for an alternative city walking tour.
It’s a great way to see a city in a new light and gives me with inspiration to help design my own themed tours of my home city of Chester.
I was introduced recently to Hayley Flynn, whose Skyliner alternative walking tours of Manchester are inspired by the city’s hidden heritage.
My interview with Hayley is in today’s
Guardian Saturday magazine as part of the Locals Guide To … series.
It coincides with the 30-year anniversary this year of the renaissance of city’s Northern Quarter, stretching between Piccadilly and Victoria trains stations.
The council first commissioned the artist-in-residence, Liam Curtin, in 1992 to create art to trigger organic growth in the area.
The tour includes the Tib Street public-art trail with the poem
Flags by Lemn Sissay set into the pavement, and the wall murals telling stories of the traders from the old Smithfield Market.
“I also keep uncovering snapshots of leftover history around here, such as the original mosaic-tile sign of the old ice-cream parlour on Port Street.”
I also asked Hayley about her favourite nightlife spots and she recommends the bar YES on Charles Street for its alternative karaoke night in the downstairs karaoke dungeon.
“My go-to karaoke tune?
Jesus, He Knows Me by Genesis.”
Read the full feature here:
A Local’s Guide to Manchester.
More about Sykliner .
The Chester Heritage Festival kicked off last weekend with a series of live and online events across the city.
My contribution was a pair of short Facebook Live videos from two haunted locations around the city.
It was based around my
Haunted Chester audio tour, bringing a frisson of ghost-story spookiness to the heritage-fan proceedings.
Check out the videos:
And catch up with all the video content from the Chester Heritage Festival
Then download my self-guided tour to your smartphone via the VoiceMap app and explore Chester’s dark side with just my voice and a detailed map to accompany you.
It’s the ultimate in social distancing.