A shopping trip with a historic twist and a world premiere of a children's classic are among the compelling reasons to head to Chester and Cheshire at Christmas.

The city's medieval Rows – the world's first shopping arcade – will be the focus of The Rows Revealed, a fascinating 90-minute tour now available to the public. The Guild of Chester Tour Guides will unearth archaeological gems within the double-decker shopping galleries, some only accessible with their help, such as the remains of pillars that were once part of the Roman fortress Deva Victrix, now hidden beneath Pret a Manger. Other sites likely to be on the itinerary include the remains of a Roman hypocaust beneath Spudulike, medieval cellars in Corks Out, and Tudor plasterwork and a priest hole in Sofa Warehouse.

Enid Blyton's 'The Secret Seven' will be live on stage for the very first time this Christmas at Storyhouse, Chester's new integrated arts centre. In this new production of the classic children's tale, the intrepid gang are on the trail of strange clues that will lead them straight to the heart of a mystery they must solve by Christmas.