Ah, Chester! This city in England is one of my favorites with its lovely black and white rows, or magpies as I like to call them. The city walls are also a favorite, and were first built by the Romans. They are some of the best-preserved walls in the United Kingdom, and have a Grade I Listed status (buildings of exceptional interest).
It was time well spent for me in the charming city of Chester- walking along the tops of the ancient walls, strolling through the quant streets, and surrounded by impressive magpie buildings. It was a jetsetter -travel nerd girl’s dream come true.
Chester is well known for its Victorian city center with its restored black-and-white rows, which originate from the Black and White Revival movement. The medieval central shopping area is picturesque with unique rows or galleries (two stories of shops), which are considered to include the oldest shop fronts in England.
The city walls of Chester are some of the best preserved that I have seen in the UK and Europe. The walls which run about two miles long are the most complete in England, apart from a 330 foot section. They were originally built by the Romans, and then extended by the Saxons during the 10th century.
There are several interesting features along the wall including the King Charles Tower, also known as Phoenix Tower. The tower is listed on the National Heritage List for England and was built during the 13th century. There is a plaque stating that King Charles had once stood on the tower on September 24, 1645, and watched his soldiers being defeated at the Battle of Rowton Heath. There have been historians who have doubted this story, but it is a good story none the less.
The city of Chester also houses fine examples of Victorian architecture including the Chester Town Hall, and Grosvenor Museum. The Chester Cathedral is a beautifully detailed Gothic style church that was founded as a Benedictine Abbey in 1092, and still offers worship services today. The Eastgate Clock is another favorite, and is the most photographed England clock after Big Ben. The clock’s official opening was on May 27, 1899 on Queen Victoria’s 80th birthday.
Today, Chester is a well visited tourist city for all the right reasons. The Rows offer great shopping from independent owners, as well as many delicious restaurants and pubs. Chester is lovely and one of my favorites, it is one English city that I have talked about with people who are looking to travel outside of London. You really do need to visit Chester, it will be an experience like no other!
For travel information – VISIT Chester & Cheshire
It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey…– Ralph Waldo Emerson
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