With the luxury of a long Easter weekend we decided to hop on a train to spend a fabulous 24 Hours in Chester, Cheshire- England. Living in Manchester means we’re very spoilt by all the gorgeous towns, cities and villages in our surrounding area, with Chester only a short train ride away we wanted to explore the picturesque walled city and sample some of the culinary delights! Here is a mini city guide highlighting just some of the best bits from our 24 Hours in Chester:
Despite the rain our day in Chester was truly glorious, there’s nothing quite like a change of scenery to recharge the batteries.
The Centre: Chester was founded as a Roman fort waaay back in AD79! yes that’s AD79 (not a typo) during this time Emperor Vespasian laid out the four main roads, Northgate, Eastgate, Watergate and Bridgegate, that still remain the central roads today. That’s some impressive town planning spanning almost 2,000 years.
The architecture: Chester is one of the best preserved walled cities in England with a number of medieval buildings, the streets are lined with black and white Jacobean-style buildings, some of which are actually Victorian restorations and look every bit as impressive as the day they were built.
The Rows: Despite it’s great historical significance Chester is very much a working city with all the amenities required to cater for modern day life, including some excellent shops. The Rows are unique to Chester, they consist of shops that are raised from street level and accessed by small staircases, the shops are on the first level of the black and white buildings so covered from the rain and make up a continuous walkway around the main four streets. I was very impressed by the variety of shops including some of my personal favourites Hotter, Cath Kidston, Laura Ashley, Jo Malone and oh so many more.
The Old Boot Inn: The Boot Inn was built in the early to middle part of the 17th century, opening as an inn in 1643. The ceilings are low and the walls are made partly of wattle and daub, I imagine the low-lying beams could be a little difficult if you’re tall and have had a few drinks. The Old Boot Inn is said to be one of England’s oldest pubs and offers up the lively atmosphere a traditional pub should! (9 Eastgate Row North, Chester, Cheshire CH1 1LQ)
Pause for lunch: We stopped for lunch at La P’tite France, which we had read about prior to our trip. The food, service, atmosphere and price at P’tite France was the perfect combination of friendly, relaxed, delicious, chic and non-pertinacious in a manner only the French can truly deliver. If you get chance you must eat there! I ordered the Omelette and French fries for lunch, who knew omelettes could taste so good? The perfect spot for lunch. (La P’tite France, 63 Bridge Street, Chester CH1 1NN)
Walk the walls: Chester is a walled city similar to York. You can take a while walking the entire perimeter of the city or just a portion. As it was really coming down with rain we avoided walking the whole distance, but I’m told walking the whole way around is well worth an afternoon and offers some impressive views over the city.
The Boat House: We walked along the riverside taking photos of the swans and musing about living in one of the mansions overlooking the river. We stopped at the Boat House pub overlooking the river Dee, sat by the open fire to warm up, have a drink and plan the rest of our Easter weekend. (21 The Groves, Chester, Cheshire CH1 1SD)
Stay at The Crabwall Manor Hotel & Spa: After a day of shopping, walking, eating and drinking we headed back to our hotel in a taxi. We chose to stay at the Crabwall Manor Hotel & Spa a short taxi ride out of the city centre, set amongst pretty countryside. The Crabwall Manor dates back to 1066! Having undergone a number of extensive refurbishments the hotel and spa now cater to the modern travellers every need. The swimming pool and spa are the perfect way to while away a lazy bank holiday weekend morning. Our room was large and comfy with doors that opened out onto the garden. The staff were friendly, helpful and efficient even arranging to return my jewelry that I accidently left on the dressing table! (Parkgate Road, Mollington, Chester, Cheshire CH1 6NE)
Given a little more time we would have liked to have seen the Castle and Cathedral, but as Saturday turned out to be beautifully sunny we decided to head to the incredible Port Sunlight, more on this adventure to follow!