Perched on the banks of the River Dee in Cheshire, England you’ll find the historic city of Chester. With its famed red sandstone city walls, striking Tudor and Victorian architecture and grand cathedral, Chester offers a perfect fusion of old-world charm and the bright and modern attitude it adopts today.
Known for its historical attractions, Chester is no doubt a fascinating destination for those looking to step back in time. But this delightful city also has plenty to offer to travellers seeking fun, entertainment, pampering and last but not least, shopping, shopping and – did we mention shopping?
Ignite your romance with Chester, and see the city from above, with a walk atop its 3.2-kilometre circuit of historic city walls. Originally built with earth by the Romans in 70AD, the City Walls were reconstructed around 100AD using sandstone. The most striking landmark on the circuit is Eastgate – one of the most famous clocks in England second only to Big Ben.
For awe-inspiring architecture, stop by Chester Cathedral. The interior of Chester Cathedral, with its towering Norman arches and incredible gothic columns, is nothing short of overwhelming. A former Benedictine Abbey, this imposing structure has a rich and fascinating history. Take a tour or sit in on one of the 1,200 regular services that run every year. Short on time? Simply take a moment to marvel at its sandstone exterior, which appears to glow pink in the sunlight.
Venture outside the city walls to discover the remains of a Roman military amphitheatre that, once upon a time, seated 7,000 people. These days the Roman Amphitheatre is used to host events and theatre productions, offering visitors a beautiful way to connect with its ancient past.
Eat and Drink
The Rows, a bustling shopping, dining and entertainment precinct located in the city centre, offers a great range of restaurants, bars, cafés and gastro pubs. Enjoy local and international cuisine or just take a break with a traditional English afternoon tea of fresh scones with jam and cream.
Outside the city walls, explore rural Cheshire and head along country roads towards the Welsh border to discover charming inns and historic pubs serving up hearty meals and beer. For a local specialty from bygone times, see if you can find a classic Cheshire pork pie, which incorporates fresh apples for a touch of sweetness. Look out for local Cheshire cheese too, and enquire about Cheshire-brewed ales at the regional pubs.
Where to Stay
Most of the accommodation in Chester is located outside of the city walls, but if you simply must sleep where all the action is there are a few options available. Beyond those, Chester serves up a number of great places to rest your head, including boutique and luxury hotels, charming B&Bs and self-catering cottages. For an unforgettable English experience, why not try a farm stay and enjoy the lush green moorlands of the Cheshire countryside?
The Rows offers a shopping experience that you simply cannot find anywhere else in the world. Running along the city’s 4 main streets, The Rows is made up of 2 levels; a street level and, above that, a covered arcade level that is accessed by steps. Both levels house lovely independent shops that are perfect for browsing or picking up souvenirs. The Rows’ charming Tudor and Victorian style architecture only heightens this unique shopping experience. Looking for big names brands without the big price tag? Head over to the Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet and shop up a storm.
Chester Like a Local
What could be more British than polo? Get involved in this national sport at the JF Polo Academy located outside of Chester. Channel your inner royal, mount your trusty steed, and learn to play polo like a champ. Beginners need not worry; introductory lessons are available.