Christmas at the Oakfield is unlike any other experience you’ve had before. This beautifully-restored, Grade-II listed building is rich with history and stories to tell. Where better to enjoy the magic of the festive season than the heart of the zoo, created and loved by families for almost a hundred years.

Even though things feel different this year, here at Chester Zoo we are still trying to make Christmas as magical as possible while still playing our part in keeping you and our staff safe. For this reason, pre-booking is essential.

What is The Oakfield?

The Oakfield is a beautiful manor house and Grade-II listed building set in the heart of Chester Zoo. Open to the public and available to book for private events, the Oakfield is a unique and stunning spot.

The perfect place for food and drinks, whether an intimate setting for two, or a cosy family occasion, experience the magic of the zoo both during the day and in the evening. With over 170 tipples available at our well-stocked bar, a selection of fine wines and of course a rich and varied menu featuring vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free options, there’s no place better to be this Christmas time!

With original structures and materials in place as much as possible, the refurbishment and revitalisation of The Oakfield has been kept close to its roots in honour of its founders. Kept in pride of place throughout the revitalisation of this significant stately home are decades of photographs detailing the journey of The Oakfield, and its founder, George Mottershead, whose family inhabited the manor house at multiple stages throughout its lifetime. See the people and animals raised under its roof recorded in time, in an important nod to the Oakfield’s important legacy of conservation.

Why The Oakfield?

The Oakfield is where it all started for Chester Zoo. The beautiful manor house and the plot of land surrounding it were purchased in 1930, by a man named George Mottershead, who had a vision for its future. He imagined a sanctuary for exotic animals, to be cared for in the safety and comfort of the impressive grounds. The Oakfield was born, and a tearoom became an aquarium, which became a zoo and a celebrated British restaurant and pub. Standing for almost a hundred years, the Oakfield has undergone multiple changes and refurbishments to best reflect its purpose and legacy.

When you visit The Oakfield at Chester Zoo, you know you’re standing in a historic and significant building, resonant throughout history as a place to protect and care for our planet’s wildlife.


Christmas Lunch

The Oakfield is the setting of this year’s perfect Christmas Lunch. With three mouth-watering courses of locally-sourced, seasonal dishes from our Executive Head Chef Ben Finchett, you know you’re getting the very best the region has to offer. An ideal setting for festive food with your nearest and dearest, book Christmas Lunch at the Oakfield now.

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Please note zoo admission fees apply and must be purchased separately

Christmas shopping with Chester Zoo

This Christmas, give the gift of conservation! Delve into a festive treasure trove of Chester Zoo goodies, from the traditional to the contemporary, our zoo shop has a great selection of gifting ideas, suitable for all ages!