High street shopping in Hoole

Shoobaloo, Debbie Lang

Shoobaloo, Debbie Lang - Credit: Archant

Independent shops and country delights await at this picturesque location. Words by polly berkeley main photography by david billington

Just a mile away from Chester is Hoole, a picturesque corner of Cheshire where visitors can browse among pleasant independent shops, or on a warm day enjoy a drink outside a country pub.



But it wasn’t always a tranquil haven. According to Lucian a Chester Monk in 1195... ‘The native of Chester remembers how three roads branch off outside Eastgate and how beautiful and pleasing are the names of the places to which they lead. The road... comes to a place which they rightly call the Valley of Demons (Hoole) with reference to the hiding places of those who lie in wait. The wanderer... is despoiled by thieves and robbers’



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Such sinister goings-on are thankfully banished to the past and these days handsome Victorian buildings are the backdrop for excellent retail therapy. You can take a leisurely stroll down the high street, comparing the produce in local butchers or enjoy the deli experience. It may be modest compared to Chester but there are over 50 shops, so it really is a great chance to find quality local goods.



There are confectioners, boutiques, interiors shops, gifts and beauty salons. Hoole has all you’d want but because the shops are independent it’s a place to unearth pieces that are a little different.



Hoole was first mentioned in the register of the Abbey of St Werburgh in 1119 and the name is believed to mean ‘at the hollows’ (or hole), possibly referring to the ‘hollow way’ formed by a Roman roadway.



For visitors, there are hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest houses, bistros and restaurants, some of which were the result of the commerce created by the Chester Railway station.




Where is it? Just one mile from Chester, Hoole is a residential area contiguous with Newton to the north, close to the M53.

About Hoole The history of Hoole dates back to the 12th century when it was mentioned in the register of the Abbey of St Werburgh. As well as the shops, there is Alexandra Park and the Coronation Playing fields. Illustrious residents have included the heroic pilot Leonard Cheshire and the comedian Russ Abbott.