A Day in…Chester

By | Category: Travel destinations

Despite having visited, and lived in, many wonderful cities in Europe, if you were to ask me what my favourite city was, I would always say Chester. It has everything: over 2000 years of history, beautiful architecture representing over a thousand years of building, countryside appeal and (for those who want it!) a world-famous racecourse and ample shopping!

This is my guide on how to spend a relaxing day exploring Chester.

Find a parking space – there are many car parks in Chester, but the multi-storey (non historic 70s building) is not only the ugliest of them all, but offers the direct access onto the walls of Chester.

I always start a trip walking the walls – there is simply so much to see from up there.

Starting from the Multi-storey car park, as soon as you are on the wall you can see the amphitheatre: The ruins of this unique Roman Amphitheatre (2 on the map) is one of the largest Amphitheatres in the UK, and is still being excavated – in summer, if you are lucky, you can collar one of the archaeologists and get some insider information. If you have a big interest in the Roman history of Chester, then it is a good idea to plan in some time at the Dewa Roman Museum (14) or The Grosvenor Museum (5).

As you walk north along the wall, take some time to enjoy the view up Watergate Street, which is unforgettable from the Eastgate Clock (13).

View down Watergate Street from the Eastgate Clock (13)

View down Watergate Street from the Eastgate Clock (13)

View down Watergate Street from the Eastgate Clock (13)

View down Watergate Street from the Eastgate Clock (13)

When doing the circuit, be sure to exit the walls at Eastgate clock and walk east down Watergate Street towards the Cross (3). This area is a mainly pedestrian, which is good as otherwise you would get run over as you lose yourself in the beautiful architecture.

The shops along Watergate, Eastgate and Bridge Street are in two layers, aptly named “the Rows” which date back to the 13th century. The rows are a series of half-timbered buildings joined with long galleries, the Tudor equivalent of a shopping mall.

When you reach the cross, turn right towards the town hall, and the main entrance of the cathedral. The Town Hall is also the home to the Tourist Information in Chester.

Double back on yourself and passing the cross (where there are usually local musicians from Chester Music School performing) and walk down towards the river Dee.

The area around the river Dee is beautiful, and there is the opportunity to rent a rowing boat or paddle boat, in addition to some boat trips up and down the river. This is a beautiful place to sit in reflection, and eat an ice-cream!

There are plenty of restaurants, which offer a variety of world cuisines at a reasonable price and in beautiful old buildings. There is not one that I would not recommend, so take your pick!

The Eastgate Clock (13) taken from the wall

The Eastgate Clock (13) taken from the wall

Looking back towards the Eastgate Clock (13) along Watergate Street. Note "The Rows" visible on the right
Looking west back at the Eastgate Clock (13)

Looking west back at the Eastgate Clock (13)

Silke enjoying the view from "The Rows" at the Cross (13)

The Cathedral (8) is definitely worth a closer look: For a small fee you can go inside, but my tip is to get something to eat from the high-street, and have a picnic in the pretty cathedral grounds!

Chester Cathedral (8)

Chester Cathedral (8)

A view of the Cathedral (8) from Watergate Street

A view of the Cathedral (8) from Watergate Street

PLACES OF INTEREST

1. Town Hall & Tourist Info
2. The Amphitheatre
3. The Cross
4. The Watergate
5. The Grosvenor Museum
7. Chester Racecourse
8. The Cathedral
9. King Charles’ Tower
10. The Northgate
11. The Bridgegate
12. Chester Heritage Centre
13. The Eastgate Clock
14. Dewa Roman Museum

For further information on Chester, click here

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