Chester, UK

Following on from my article about may stay at the iconic Queen Hotel, what of the Roman city of Chester itself?

I visited on an overcast day, but this did not detract from my enjoyment of the my few hours there at all. So much so that I am arranging to take Mrs Wilbur there between Christmas & New Year.

By virtue of its Roman origins, Chester is proudly flanked by its city walls and entry gates built in 70-80 AD. I took a stroll along part of the walls, past the motte & bailey castle and down to Bridgegate. There was a palpable sense of following in historic footsteps, oft since trodden by legions of tourists of course. I will do more of the wall when I return.


The Remaining Castle


The Castle As It Was


A Section Of Roman Wall

The wall path brought me down to the scenic River Dee & Bridgegate, now passed through by motor horse power rather than by horse power alone.



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I skipped the Roman Amphitheatre to save for next time (couldn’t find it and as I am a bloke I refused to ask for directions!) and headed instead to the cathedral, which was indeed a splendid affair, founded as a Benedictine abbey in 1092 and later rebuilt as a gothic cathedral from 1250.

I had arrived on a special day by chance, Chester University was holding its graduation ceremony that day and as well as presenting the bright young things with their certificates, they were also bestowing an honorary degree to Olympic & Tour de France medal winning cyclist Mark Cavendish.

This made part of the cathedral out of bounds during my visit – I will rectify this next time.


Graduates Pose

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The best part of Chester is just strolling about the historic centre. The higgledy piggledy tudor buildings, the interesting shops, the independent restaurants & cafes, the canal linking Chester with Nantwich, the atmospheric pubs, in a similar way to Winchester, York & Stratford-upon-Avon, this is the main pleasure of the city, even more so than the variety of museums, exhibitions and cultural events on offer.

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All in all I would give Chester a huge thumbs up as a city break destination.


  1. I can’t believe I’ve not visited before. There’s so much to Chester than I thought. Must make a trip sometime. I love all the winding streets and historic building. Thanks for linking #citytripping

    1. The horse racing is pretty good too if you like that kind of thing.

  2. I totally agree with you about it being a wonderful city destination – and that the best part is just walking around through the beautiful centre. It’s just the right size too – and so very pretty (even in the rain!)

  3. largerfamily · · Reply

    Had to laugh at your reason for missing the Roman Amphitheatre! #citytripping

  4. The riverside walk looks great and I love try mock Tudor architecture. How pretty! #citytripping

  5. Lovely! Looks like one of those very typical English cities, wonderful.

  6. I’m dying to visit Chester for their half-timbered houses but glad to know there are Roman ruins there too! Too funny that you refused to ask for directions though haha! #CityTripping

  7. Beautiful Chester! I have only visited briefly a couple of times. Would love to explore the city some more. It has some wonderful history. #cutytripping

  8. It is a great city and your post does it proud!

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