NGS Open Day Tour at Barrel Well Hill

Today's cruise timetable

Combined City Cruise & Bus Tour

Half Hour City Cruise

2 Hour Iron Bridge Cruise

Combined 2 Hour Iron Bridge Cruise & Bus Tour

View Prices and Times

Book tickets online

Combine your river cruise with a tour of one of Chester’s most spectacular riverside gardens at Barrel Well Hill…

Complete your visit to Chester with a relaxing half hour cruise along the tranquil River Dee. On the weekend of Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th of June, Dr & Mrs John Browne will also be opening up their beautiful garden to the public as part of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), a nationwide effort which provides funds for nursing charities across the UK.

The garden of 150 Barrel Well Hill is in the informal cottage style and contains a wide variety of flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetables, springs, a stream and lily pond.

Unique aspects of the garden are :

The views over the River Dee and The Meadows to the Welsh hills.
The only NGS Open Garden nationwide to be accessible by boat.
The historic nature of Barrel Well as the site of execution for the city, a brewery, and waterworks.

150 Barrel Well Hill is accessible on foot, although there is no parking. Upon arrival there is an entry fee of £4.00 per adult or £2.00 per child, with all proceeds going to the NGS charities. There will also be homemade teas and cakes on sale with all profits going to The Hospice of the Good Shepherd.

So what better way to arrive than by boat on the tranquil River Dee. Tickets are priced as follows:

Return Cruise Ticket Prices:

Adult (16 years and over) – £7.50
Child (9 to 15 years old) – £2.50

Garden Entry Prices (payable on arrival at the gardens):

Adult (16 years and over) – £4.00
Child (9 to 15 years old) – £2.00

It may be possible to purchase a single ticket on the day to travel from The Groves to 150 Barrel Well Hill or 150 Barrel Well Hill to Chester, subject to availability. When booking online however, you can only book a return journey.

Transport to Barrel Well Hill is provided as part of our Half Hour City Cruise; you will begin by boarding The Jackie at The Groves and will then be dropped at 150 Barrel Well Hill approximately 10 minutes into the cruise.

Due to high tides on that weekend, we can now only be calling at 150 Barrel Well Hill at the following times on the two dates:

Saturday 24th June, 2017: 11 a.m., 3 p.m. & 4 p.m., (N.B.The last pick up will be at 5:10 p.m.).
Sunday 25th June, 2017: 11 a.m., 12 noon, 3 p.m. & 4 p.m., (N.B.The last pick up will be at 5:10 p.m.)

To return, you will re-board the Jackie when it calls at the garden at around 10 past the hour. You will then remain on board for the remainder of the Half Hour City Cruise, returning to the Groves at half past the hour. You are welcome to stay at the gardens for as long as you wish, but please note that the last time that you can re-board the Jackie will be the 5 p.m. sailing (so 5:10 p.m. approx., returning at 5:30 p.m.).

You can read more about 150 Barrel Well Hill at the NGS website here.

Visiting 150 Barrel Well Hill: Access

The NGS open garden visit to 150 Barrel Well Hill is not suitable for wheelchair users as the access is via steps. It is also not suitable for children under the age of 8 years old as there is an unprotected drop into the river at the end of the garden. All children (aged 9 and over) must be supervised. Unfortunately, the open garden tour cannot be combined with the Combined Boat and Bus Tour or the ChesterBoat 2 Hour Iron Bridge Cruise.

About the Half Hour City Cruise

Your cruise begins in the beautiful setting of the Groves. From here you will sail upstream, underneath the suspension bridge, past Grosvenor Park and the Earl’s Eye, following the long sweep of the ‘Meadows’ to the city limits before returning again. The river tour of Chester takes in some beautiful and interesting riverside properties, whilst providing an opportunity to admire the city skyline and look out for wildlife including swans, cormorants and kingfishers.

Lady Diana ChesterBoat

During the first half of the cruise there is short section of commentary, answering some of the more common questions asked about the river; what is it called, where does it come from, where does it flow to, what wildlife live in and around it and what activities take place on it?

On the return leg of the cruise, there is a continuous commentary, detailing interesting facts about the fascinating history of Chester. Some of the more prominent buildings in the city skyline are pointed out and Chester’s rich history is outlined for you against the ever changing views and landscapes.

You can even enjoy a tea or coffee, cold beer or glass of wine from the bar as you enjoy your cruise. A river tour of Chester is perfect for a quiet outing and an excellent addition to a family day out.

(Please note: Under 5s sail for free but there is a maximum of 2 per paying Adult or Concession. Additional Under 5s would then need to be paid for at the Child rate).

Terms and Conditions of Carriage

Before taking a cruise with us, please ensure that you read our Terms and Conditions of Carriage; we want all of our passengers to enjoy their cruise in a safe environment. Thank You.

Sailing Dates and Times

Due to high tides on that weekend, we can now only be calling at 150 Barrel Well Hill at the following times on the two dates:

Saturday 24th June, 2017: 11 a.m., 3 p.m. & 4 p.m., (N.B.The last pick up will be at 5:10 p.m.).
Sunday 25th June, 2017: 11 a.m., 12 noon, 3 p.m. & 4 p.m., (N.B.The last pick up will be at 5:10 p.m.)

11am - 4pm

24th of June 2017 - 25th of June 2017

Ticket Prices

Ticket Type Online Quayside
Adult £7.50 £7.50

Directions to departure point