Dark Chester was featured in the April issue of Cheshire Life magazine [pictured above].
I wrote a feature about the rise of dark tourism in Chester and how my tour taps into this trend to explore the darker side of our history.
Here’s an extract:
Dark Chester is a storytelling walking tour of the city, which traces a journey through all periods of Chester history from the Romans to The Beatles.
It highlights some of our lesser-known stories, such as tales of Viking Chester and the Anglo-Saxon fortification of Chester as a burh, a defended settlement.
It also spotlights some of the lesser-known figures from our history, such as Aethelflaed, the daughter of Alfred the Great, and St Werburgh, whose relics were said to be paraded around the city walls during raids by the Welsh.
The focus is dark history. By exploring the dark side, the tour reflects the growing interest in dark tourism, or visits to places associated with dark tales.
As Dr Philip Stone of the Institute for Dark Tourism Research, explains in his book, 111 Dark Places in England that You Shouldn’t Miss:
“Dark tourism allows us to sightsee in the mansions of the dead, while having deference to those deceased.”
When Dark Chester first launched, I write a guest blog post for the British Guild of Tourist Guides (BGTG) to explain my ideas behind the tour [pictured above in Chester].
Here’s an extract:
I wanted to compile a 90-minute dark-tourism tour, exploring some of the favourite folk tales, legends and superstitions that have fascinated Cestrians, that’s the people of Chester, for centuries. I also wanted to let visitors peer behind the visitor-friendly façade of some of our best- known attractions to uncover the darker and lesser-known stories of the macabre.
But don’t worry. The Dark Chester tour is no jump-scares pantomime, nor is it a dry, academic lecture.
It’s an atmospheric evening walk, mixing a dash of Horrible Histories with some League of Gentlemen-style dark humour.