Chester, england


Nov 14th, 2013, 09:02 PM
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Chester, england

What is your impressions of those of you who have spent time in Chester, England. I thought we would go but I was looking at some old posts and the reviews were not particularly favorable. There was mention of rows being good but iI am not sure what rows are
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Nov 14th, 2013, 09:38 PM
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Chester's a modestly pretty town, almost entirely reconstructed in the 19th century: unlike England's other heritage towns like Bath, York or Shrewsbury, it was right on the doorstep of the immense 19th century economic boom in South Lancashire.

Britain's other historic cities owe their charm to the fact that the economic miracle of industrialisation passed them by. Though Chester and the area around it escaped Satanic mills, the city's tax base soared, and some of this went into "restoring" its townscape.

Rows are double-decker covered arcades of shops running along the main streets. Google "Chester rows" and click on the second or third result "Images for Chester rows" and you'll see hundreds of pictures.

It's an extraordinarily effective way of squeezing a lot of retail into a small space, while keeping a street animated and protecting shoppers from Cheshire's constant warm drizzle. It's essentially the way the streets of central Chester have looked since medieval times. Never understood why the idea didn't spread.

OK cathedral (though also heavily restored), pretty walls to walk along the top of. Again: much restored, though a few bits authentically Roman.

Best of all: handy for Liverpool. Can't see why there are unfavourable results: probably because we don't hold with mindless "you'll love it" guff here, and if asked to describe somewhere, tell the truth rather than write fatuously gushing prose.

What Chester lacks, and York, Oxford etc have got in spades, is a "there" there. If you want to do anything other than gawp at the streets or shop (and its retail, though beautifully located, is pretty boring) you've got to go somewhere else.
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Nov 14th, 2013, 10:17 PM
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>>I was looking at some old posts and the reviews were not particularly favorable. <<

I find that odd. IME the times Chester is mentioned on here are almost always favorable. It is often recommended by various members as a stop over on the way to N Wales. I've been a few times but the last was more than 20 years ago. I found it lovely/interesting for a day or two. There is also a LOT of interesting 'stuff' w/i reasonable day trips.
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Nov 15th, 2013, 01:45 AM
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To me, one of its charms is the way, the ancient is incorporated into the new. For example, you might find a set of Roman pillars in a dress shop. Tourists eat in the cathedral refectory where monks would have eaten in the Middle Ages. An old rectory is part of a tea shop. Medieval crypts have been turned into coffee shops or in one case into a wine merchants
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Nov 15th, 2013, 01:56 AM
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We did as janisj suggested and stopped for a night on our way into N wales. Coming from Australia where we have nothing like this, we thought it really lovely. We enjoyed our walk around the walls. Comfortable B&B, really good meal and beer in a pub.
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Nov 15th, 2013, 04:55 AM
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I really enjoyed Chester. The majority of the buildings may not be actually as old as Bath, York, Oxford, etc, but it certainly LOOKS like it is. Small enough to see in a day or so, and as others have said, easy to combine with Liverpool and Wales. Conwy Castle is a fairly short train ride and is gorgeous.

Here are my photos from those three places :
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Nov 15th, 2013, 09:42 AM
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"Small enough to see in a day" sums up my views on Chester - whereas I will happily spend a week in York. I would maybe spend a weekend in Chester but it can wait, and I cant really say why it can wait. For me, it has a lot of charm but it still doesnt excite me.
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Nov 15th, 2013, 09:56 AM
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I also loved Chester (again what a foreign tourist may see as neat and romantic jaded locals may not) - loved the riverside setting and walks along the river and the shops arcades - just a lovely smaller town than either Bath or York, my two favorite English towns.

A great stop to or from Ireland or North Wales.
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Nov 15th, 2013, 10:33 AM
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Chester for a day is nice enough:

I prefer N. Wales and Liverpool but Chester is different enough from those that it's not a bad stop.
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Nov 15th, 2013, 01:30 PM
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We stayed overnight in Chester enroute to Conwy and were very happy we chose to do so. It was race day and a very festive atmosphere. If you are traveling between May and Sept., you might consider scheduling a stop in Chester on race day.
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Nov 17th, 2013, 12:42 AM
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We stopped in Chester a few years ago. The day started with a look around the cathedral, a stroll through town and finished off with a rather good lunch owe had a great time.
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