Dinosaurs are roaring their way into Chester city centre in the shape of two free citywide trails designed to give high street visitors a taste of the Jurassic age, in celebration of Chester Zoo’s popular dinosaur exhibition this summer.
Pre-historic dinosaur fossils and cave finds – many of which were found in the Cheshire region – have been put on display in ten businesses across the city centre as part of a new ‘Dino Chester Trail’. City visitors can pick up a free map to find the fossils, which include a 350 million year old dinosaur footprint, dinosaur bones, shark teeth and a full-size replica Tyrannosaurus Rex skull.
A second ‘Dino Chester Jurassic Facts’ trail launches this Friday (1 July) and will see a range of historic dinosaur facts hidden in a further 40 high street businesses. The trek challenges families to uncover the facts and find the names of ten dinosaurs hiding in the city for the chance to win an annual family pass to Chester Zoo*.
To add to the excitement, a life-like Tyrannosaurus Rex from Chester Zoo’s herd of dinosaurs will be making special appearances in the city centre at weekends and Thursday evenings throughout the summer, giving locals and visitors the chance to experience what life was really like when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
“Having dinosaurs in the city centre is a fantastic addition to our Chester Fiesta events programme this summer and we’re sure it will appeal to people of all ages,” said Julie Charlton, Marketing Manager at CH1ChesterBID, which has partnered with Big Heritage, Chester Zoo and The Grosvenor Museum to deliver this year’s dinosaur-themed trails.
“It’s fantastic to have so many of our city centre businesses involved and we believe this campaign will attract thousands of people to our high street, encouraging them to explore new areas of the city and shops they may not have been in before. There are already so many great reasons to visit Chester city centre but with these new dinosaur expeditions, we think this summer will be spectacular!”
City centre locations including Corks Out, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, Cotswolds Outdoor and Lakeland all feature on the Dino Chester Trail and the ten fossils have already been put on display within selected stores.
Blackhouse Grill, Deva Travel, Ed’s Easy Diner, Ginger Wine Bar and Deli and Sofa Works are some of the 40 businesses taking part in the ‘Dino Chester Jurassic Facts’ trail, which launches this Friday.
Dean Paton, Managing Director at Chester-based social enterprise Big Heritage, said: “We’ve turned the clock back by more than 400 million years with this new citywide trail and are bringing something that’s fun, exciting and educational to Chester’s high street. The fact that many of the fossils have come from across Cheshire and the Wirral is a huge bonus and it’s fantastic to see them on show for everyone to see in the city centre.”
Charlotte Smith, head of discovery and learning at Chester Zoo added: “Young or old, people are fascinated by dinosaurs so we’re thrilled to be helping to bring dinosaurs in to Chester city centre with this new citywide trail. The dinosaurs at Chester Zoo have been hugely popular and putting a dinosaur-theme somewhere as historic and iconic as Chester city centre will be a fantastic attraction.”
Both dinosaur trails will be available every day until Sunday 4 September. To find the dinosaurs, city centre visitors need to pick up a free trail map from Chester’s Visitor Information Centre, the Grosvenor Museum, at participating retailers or download one from www.experiencechester.co.uk