Press release -

Virgin makes the Destination Chester

The historic and vibrant Roman city of Chester and scenic ‘garden county’ of Cheshire – one of the UK’s most popular short breaks destinations – has a unique, new attraction…its own song.
With a busy summer of festivals and big events about to begin, Visit Chester and Cheshire invited Cheshire-based musical director Matt Baker to compose a tune that would encapsulate the excitement of Chester and Cheshire’s action-packed season, entitled ‘Eventful Escapes’.

Launching at Euston station – from where Virgin Trains services take just two hours to Chester – a squad of centurions from one of the big events, Chester’s feted ‘Chestival’, met and greeted passengers, as well as helping the Virgin Trains team to check tickets and spread the good news about Chester and Cheshire.

Under the banner of ‘Eventful Escapes’, tourism bosses in Chester and Cheshire have linked up with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Trains to launch a major campaign to showcase the summer of events. This is expected to see thousands of visitors travelling to the North West destination by train to enjoy highlights, such as:

‘Chestival’ – when Chester comes alive with its own festival of Romans, giants, music and the best of the historic city.

‘RHS Show Tatton Park’ – plants, furniture, floristry and fashion at the North’s greatest gardening show.

‘Chester Races’ – Britain’s only racecourse right in the heart of the city with a thrilling programme of equine events.

‘Tatton Park Biennial’ – Over 20 international artists and writers bring the parkland to life.

‘Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre’ – Enjoy ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and the story of ‘Hercules’ in a stunning park setting.

‘Rhino Mania’ – Follow the trail of the colourful and creative rhinos in Chester.

‘Cholmondeley Pageant of Power’ – Cholmondeley Castle is the setting for mind-blowing powerboats, air displays, motor racing and fireworks.

‘Creamfields’ – Enjoy two days of bank holiday dancing and DJs at this legendary music festival.

‘Cheshire County Show’ – Get reconnected with the countryside as Tabley in Knutsford plays host to a celebration of all things rural.

‘Charles Stanley British Masters International’ – The show jumping spectacular at Chester Racecourse.

‘The Halfords Tour Series’ – The electrifying cycle race returns to Chester on Monday, 21 June.

Plus, there’s masses more to see across Chester and Cheshire – which already attracts one in every eight visits to a public garden anywhere in the UK – from the county's peerless ‘Gardens of Distinction’ to Elizabeth Gaskell’s bicentenary celebrations in Knutsford and Cheshire’s hidden gem of the western Peak District.

Nicola Said, head of marketing at Visit Chester & Cheshire (VCC), was joined by Danny Gonzalez Virgin Trains’ Marketing Manager at London’s Euston Station to launch the ‘Eventful Escapes’ campaign.

Nicola Said commented: “We look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to enjoy our great summer of events. We’ve an unrivalled programme this year, too much to fit into just a day’s visit.

Nicola continued: “Virgin Trains are a valued supporter in our ‘Eventful Escapes’ campaign, their outstanding value rail services enable visitors to travel to Chester and Cheshire from as little as £9 one-way.”

Danny Gonzalez at Virgin Trains said: “We are very pleased to be the rail provider connecting Chester & Cheshire with London and the Midlands. We have seen impressive passenger numbers on our routes to Chester and Cheshire, and we’re delighted to be part of the customer experience of such a dynamic and attractive destination.

“Our great value fares mean there’s never been a better time to visit Chester and Cheshire by train.

“We are very excited about the ‘Eventful Escapes’ campaign, especially as the UK is an increasingly popular holiday destination this year.”

As part of the campaign, the ‘Eventful Escapes’ song by Cheshire composer Matt Baker will be debuted in Chester city centre next month, with a full choir.

Matt, who wrote both the lyrics and musical score, said: “I am thrilled that this piece will be performed publicly, as part of the ‘Eventful Escapes’ launch.

“In the song, I’ve captured the real excitement and appeal of visiting Chester and Cheshire by train to experience some of the fantastic events taking place this year. I hope both visitors and local people will like it.”

Nicola Said added: “We can promise visitors a really special experience. Our events programme is diverse — and with it, we join with local tourism providers to give new and existing visitors a very warm welcome to Cheshire.”

Plan your break using the ‘Eventful Escapes’ website – see – and join the centurions and rhinos in Chester and Cheshire this summer. For details of train times and best fare bargains visit


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