Hoole or Handbridge: Which is the best place in Chester to live?

16th Aug 2023
Matthew Smith

If you’re thinking of moving to Chester, choosing the right neighbourhood is just as important as choosing the right property. Depending on your needs, you may want easy access to Chester city centre, the train station or be in the catchment area of a good school. Whatever your requirements, Chester has many villages that each have so much to offer. Handbridge and Hoole being two of the most popular.

This article gives you a little taster of what Hoole and Handbridge offer to help you narrow down your property search and choose the right location.  


One of the best things about Hoole is its vibrant bohemian feel with an eclectic mix of independent boutiques, gift shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Think Notting Hill in London and you’re not far from the truth – and that’s why it’s known to the locals as Notting Hoole.

Hoole has become one of Chester’s most sought-after residential suburbs and demand for property is at an all-time high. A 4-bedroom house can range from £400,000 to £900,000 depending on the condition and location.

Properties in Hoole range from Victorian style properties, many of which have been sympathetically upgraded and restored, through to Edwardian terraced houses just off the high street.

For those with young families, Hoole CofE primary school has a good reputation, St Martin’s Academy provides an extended day to provide a rich curriculum and St Werburgh’s & St Columba’s Catholic Primary School located on Lightfoot Street in Hoole.

Alexandra Park is a public park in the centre of Hoole that offers children’s play facilities, open greens, tennis courts and a bowling green.

One of the great advantages of living in Hoole is its easy reach to Chester railway station, so for those who do a daily commute and want the benefit of a small yet vibrant village community, Hoole ticks all the boxes.


Handbridge is a smaller relative to Hoole in terms of overall population, the main attraction being its proximity to Chester city centre. A short stroll over the River Dee suspension bridge and you’re pretty much in the hub of the city’s shops and restaurants. Chester Business Park, a 175 acre landscaped business environment, is also within easy reach.

This popular suburb of Chester has a completely different feel to Hoole, with a number of historical listed buildings. It was built on a large sandstone outcrop and the area was used as a stone quarry until the end of the fourth century, excavating stone to build the city walls and buildings.

Handbridge has a number of independent shops including a local butcher, florist, Chester Beer and Wine and a specialist cheesemonger. The village offers excellent recreational opportunities including rowing and canoeing on the River Dee, and Edgar’s Field provides a small green open space at the south end of the Old Dee Bridge.

Just east of Handbridge is the prestigious Queens Park – one of Chester’s most notable residential areas. Properties in this area are generally fetching above half a million.

For families looking for good schools in Handbridge, there is plenty to choose from, including Overleigh St Mary’s Primary school, the Catholic High School and Queens Park High School are all within easy reach. Kings and Queens Independent schools offer highly acclaimed education are both in close proximity.

When it comes to choosing between Handbridge or Hoole, there is no clear winner. Both of these Chester suburbs offer excellent quality life and something for everyone looking for a high standard of living close to the city.