Chester, United Kingdom
103 people found this review helpful
The journey by car from Bristol took 3 hours. We had pre-booked two nights for the car in the Premier Inn secure basement car park so we could forget about it during our stay. We arrived about an hour before check in time but the staff kindly let us park there then. We chose the Chester City Centre Hotel because of its position just outside the City Walls. We were thirsty on our arrival so we walked across the road to the Cellar where we were given a friendly welcome and a free bacon butty each with our drinks. They happened to have this free offer on the Sunday we arrived – what luck! We felt this start could not have been better for our short break. After this refreshment we were able to check into our hotel. We decided to talk around the City Walls that afternoon – a distance of about 2 miles (3km). This was often above street level – some 39ft (12m) in places – so there were some grandstand views such as Chester racecourse, known as the Roodee, on the site of the old Roman harbour. It is reputed to be one of the oldest racecourses in the country. Other places of interest included, the Goblin, a medieval tower, Chester Cathedral, views of the River Dee, the Chester Canal, the Welsh hills etc. en route. This wonderful walk gave us lots of ideas for places to see the next day. We breakfasted on both Monday and Tuesday at Weatherspoons, the Square Bottle. In our opinion you really couldn’t beat their prices, service and range of breakfasts. We also really liked coffee refills being available at no extra charge! On Monday, after breakfast we window shopped within the City Walls. It was wonderful to see so many unusual shops that were unlikely to have been in other cities and towns. The jewellery and clothes shops were of particular interest. Browns of Chester, a very old departmental store has now been taken of by Debenhams, who have acknowledged its importance in bygone days. The five star Grosvenor Hotel was situated nearby and looked very grand as we walked by the limousines dropping off various visitors. We then decided to visit Chester Cathedral which stands on the site of the 10th century minster dedicated to St Werburgh. This year a guided bookable tour has been introduced which seemed to be very popular. However we felt it was a bit ambitious for us to try as part of it included climbing 216 steps to the tops of the tower. We wandered around looking at the colourful stained glass windows, the 14th century quire stalls, the Victorian organ etc. Then we heard Elizabeth, one of the volunteer guides, announce that she would be showing interested people around the Cathedral shortly. This was a softer option and did not include the 216 steps. There was no charge for this less arduous tour but we were asked at the end to put in a donation in any of the boxes around the place. Elizabeth was so knowledgeable about the Cathedral and pointed out areas that we would probably not have found on our own. She also explained the significance of various artefacts as we walked around. The tour lasted about an hour but it was well worth doing. Later we wandered around the attractive Roman Gardens which contained many Roman remains excavated in the City and then we visited the nearby Grosvenor Museum but only had time to cover the rooms devoted to the Romans. Their collection of Roman gravestones is really fascinating and the largest in Britain. We chose Moules a Go Go for our evening meal. It was value for money, had a great atmosphere and the staff were attentive and knowledgeable. In hindsight a two night stay was not long enough to do the city justice. We hope to come back again and enjoy a boat trip on the River Dee, try the Moonlight Flick and the Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, listen to the Town Cryer and shop until we drop!
103 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.