England,

Chester (England) in one day on Foot.. the city with walls

6:33 PM Sneh Asnani 3 Comments

Recently I went to a trip to England and Scotland and visited many cities, experienced the culture and also watched a football match. I will cover everything in detail and also the full itinerary, but thought of starting with the City of Chester which has been voted as the fifth prettiest  city in the Europe
This is one of the oldest cities, built as a fort by Romans in 79AD, and was known as Deva.

Since this was originally built as a fort, there are ancient walls surrounding the city. You can walk on the city walls, the entire perimeter being about 2-3 kms, and it shows you the entire city and all the attractions are lined along the walls. It is a beautiful city indeed.
What to do in Chester :

The city has lots of places to visit but all in the same vicinity. It can be covered entirely on foot. I went there on a Saturday, the weather was pleasant and apparently I saw throngs of people dressed in a formal English attire, men in suits, women in hats and beautiful dresses, it was a sight to watch. Perhaps there was a horse racing going on in the city, which seems to be a very popular attraction for people living in Chester and in nearby cities. There were pretty stylist people walking around the city, going into pubs and later heading to the racecourse.

The city looked alive and happy to me. 

Chester Cathedral
I walked straight to the Cathedral, which apparently was rated very high on Tripadvisor. It is a 15 mins walk from the station. The entry is free, but there is a donation box if you want to put something. This was built 1000 years back and dedicated to the Christ and Virgin Mary. The original church was built in Roman style, which was then destroyed and rebuilt in Gothic style which took over 275 years and an impressive structure that it stands today.
Beautiful Coir of the Cathedral

Opening times: Monday to Saturday (0900 to 1800 hrs) and Sunday(1300 to 1600 hrs)
More details on the Cathedral website
While walking over to the Cathedral, you will cross the market and nice shopping street along the Eastergate clock. So the next stop was Eastgate Clock. 
King Charles Tower
East Gate Clock
City Walls: The walls around the city are about a perimeter of 2 miles, consisting of 4 gates (East Gate, North Gate, Bridge Gate and Water Gate). I started my walk from East Gate as this was the closest to the Cathedral and the markets. 
EastGate has a clock on top, which was erected to mark the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria. This a two-tier city, there are stairs to go up and this brings you to the walls. 
Then I headed to King Charles Tower which marks the defeat of his troops in the English Civil war. Then I walked the walls back to Eastgate, towards the NorthGate where I was able to see the Roman Amphitheater and the amazing River below me. 
Chester Rows: You could see lots of Timbered houses which are double storied from the historical era. Many of these houses now host galleries and shops and known as Chester Rows. Some of them have been built on top of the Roman ruins, so half timber and half old stone. Can be found on East gate, Bridge and Water gate streets

Dee River : For a person not too much interested in History, and more into nature, I particularly loved the Dee river. The entire place had an amazing holiday vibe. People enjoying their Saturday by the river, feeding the birds, taking a short cruise and enjoying the sunny weather. I sat there for a while, just observing the water and the birds and thinking nothing. There were small shops selling coffee, cakes, hot dogs and people sitting on the benches with children. There is also a nice bridge, which you can walk across to take cool pictures of the city.

Roman gardens and amphitheater :  From here, I walked to the green gardens nearby and the old amphitheater. The construction of such amphitheaters started in Italy and spread to all places which were rules by Romans. Historically it could seat 7000 spectators and must have been a stronghold of Roman supremacy in those days. I didn't like it that much, so can be skipped.
The Eastgate street has lots of shopping, and people singing, dancing, playing music on weekends. Spend some time there to absorb the vibe of this place. Totally loved it.
Roman Amphitheater
Chester Zoo is another popular attraction in the city, It is huge and children will love it. There is a ticket for 20 pounds per adult and you need to take a bus to reach there. I gave it a pass as not much interested in Zoo's and it would take a full day to visit there.

Headed back to the station, it is a 10 mins walk and had a nice Cappuccino on Costa Coffee. 

Travel by Train: It is very easily accessible by train from London, Liverpool or Manchester. 
From London, train journey by Virgin Rail is about 2 hours, if you book in advance, the ticket prices are cheaper
From Liverpool, Its a 45 mins journey on Mersey Rail, I travelled from Liverpool, the return- ticket was 5 Pounds since it was a weekend.
From Manchester, it is a 1.5 hour journey on Northern Rail and the ticket prices are around 12 pounds on offpeak. 
Tourists planning to go to Snowdonia, Peak District or Lake District, can include Chester in their itinerary as it is easily accessible from Liverpool, Manchester or London.

I purchased all my train tickets from Trainline or from the station itself. There is also an information center on the station from where you can collect the city map or buy tickets for the cruise or Chester Zoo. 
Some more information on the following sites for those who want to plan their journey - Visit Cheshire, History of Chester and more. 
Gardens beyond the Cathedral
Cathedral built by LEGO

3 comments:

  1. Looks like it will be well worth planning a trip there. I love that photo with the flying bird!

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  2. Beautiful captures :) Sneh. Thanks for sharing :)

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