Welcome to the 2018 season

Our website will shortly be updated so that you can book and pay for your paddling online. Until then, reach us by phone, or by email at enquiries@chesterkayakhire.co.uk, where there will always be a prompt and friendly reply. See you on the river soon!

Tel: 01244 422007

The impact of the River Dee in Chester

The River Dee in Chester, could be described as the lifeblood of the city. Not only is it a hub of kayaking in the Northwest, but it also plays host to cruises, riverbank races, and endless numbers of tourists. These things may not have always taken place on the River Dee, but it is fair to say that the it has always played an important role in the city in one way or another.

The Romans

The River Dee was the feature that brought the Romans to the city, where they proceeded to build a fort in the area which is now home to Chester Race course. This was where they built a harbour, enabling them to travel to Liverpool with ease.


Throughout history, the river has been used for transportation of both people and goods. Ferries were used for this purpose right up until 1889 when the Hawarden railway bridge was opened, offering a more convenient alternative for the people of Chester.

Chester weir

The river also played an important part in the manufacturing industry of the area, when the weir above the old Dee bridge was used to power water mills, manufacturing everything from corn to snuff.

The promenade

To this day, the promenade that runs along the River Dee is a place for people to gather, celebrate and enjoy life in the city of Chester. Packed with cafés, pubs and restaurants, it is the first place people flock to when the weather is good.

Water sports

Of course, the river is much used by various water sports enthusiasts, including kayakers, rowing clubs and participants in the yearly raft race, which takes place on its water. There is even an annual duck race, which draws surprisingly large crowds to the banks of the Dee.