When I was given the choice to either stay back and spend another day in London or venture outside the city to spend a day in Chester, I chose Chester. It was the right choice! Join me as I wander the streets of Chester and all this small town has to offer.
My day started with catching the train for the short two hour ride from London. I love train travel! I got comfy in my seat and watched the English countryside unfold before me while I ate my breakfast.
From the train station, it is a short walk into the historic part of Chester. The city of Chester was founded in AD 79 as a Roman fort. This medieval town has preserved so much history. You feel like you have stepped back in time as you walk the streets. The Rows, the two leveled half-timbered buildings that line the streets, date back to the 13th century. Today they house shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. These buildings are unique to Chester and definitely add to its charm.
The Chester Cathedral is a must see and needs to be on your list of sights. It was first founded as a monastery in 1092. It has gone through many restorations through the years but has retained its awe inspiring architecture and beautiful stain glass. If you are in need of a bite to eat, make sure to stop in the 13th century monk's dining hall. The cafe serves coffee, tea, pastries, sandwiches and offers free wifi.
Another must see is the city walls. In fact, they are the oldest, longest and most intact city walls in all of England! Some parts of the wall are over 2000 years old and it allows you to get amazing views of the city. There is a paved path along the top of the walls that is approximately two miles long. Some highlights you will see are Bridgegate, several towers including the water tower, Morgan's Mount and Recorder's Steps.
Maybe the biggest highlight while walking the walls is the Eastgate Clock which was erected in 1899 in honor of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Supposedly, it is the 2nd most photographed clock in the world! (Big Ben is first)
Along The Rows there are endless choices of pubs, cafes and restaurants. I was looking for atmosphere. I found it at The Tea Press Cafe. I must admit, it wasn't the most amazing afternoon tea I've had. My biggest complaint was that their clotted cream was not fresh but packaged. What?! Am I in England?! But just look at that atmosphere. It is housed in a crypt in one of the oldest parts of the city. It was the perfect way to end a day in a medieval town. After tea, it was time to catch the train to head back to London to continue my adventures there. (you can read about my time in London here and here)
The sun sets on the city of Chester.