Finding ourselves with a few extra days away and unable to book into the same site on The Wirral we found an amazing site in Caerwys, North Wales (White Gates – click for my review). What an amazing find! Not just the site itself either – the town is full of history too (and we also liked The Royal Oak – just saying…)
It’s also not too far from Chester – probably 30-40 mins drive. We did drive into the town centre initially but gave up on finding that it would cost £7.80 to park for 3 hours. So we headed back out to one of the Park and Rides (as we had been advised before we even left home…) and made our way in from there (on the bus of course).
Our first view on getting off the bus was the city walls crossing the street with an ornate clock atop the bridge. Very impressive 🙂
We also noticed a number of stalls lining the streets as we walked towards the centre. We had chosen Chester Pride day to visit! Which meant that part way through our day as we descended from a walk around the city walls ready to visit the cathedral (free), we were able to watch some of the parade as it wound through these ancient streets. Very colourful. And loud!!
The cathedral is definitely worth a visit, but you don’t need too long set aside. On leaving the cathedral we made our way towards The Rows – these are shopping malls occupying the first floor of the shops (see the main picture), so you have steps up to balconies and shops and eateries off these balconies – very unusual; I’ve never seen anything like it before.
We ate in ‘The Old Crypt’ whose interior was simply stunning (my sort of thing to be fair!) I asked about ghosts (of course!!) and was given a sheet explaining the history of the place (I love it when historic buildings provide this information – how often do you sit wondering about history and unable to actually get any detail?)
Once our appetites were satisfied we headed off to find the ampitheatre. This is pretty much in the City Centre and overlooked by a Travelodge! What an amazing space! Across the road there are also some other Roman remains. Next stop is the river where there are all the usual activities – boats, pedaloes, river trips etc. Also a nice wide riverside walk, a bandstand (where there were people playing Beatles covers), ice cream (of course) and all overlooked by the city walls.
Walking further along we found the riverside entrance to the castle (free entrance). We did go in but didn’t really get to see much of it as the whole area had been taken over by Chester Pride, so it was very much like a carnival in there.
So it was back to the Park and Ride to pick up the car and take a different route home, via Flint Castle (which was closed) and finding a large ship – The Duke of Lancaster – abandoned on the shore. Read it’s history here.
We were thinking that we would head on to Prestatyn, but were flagging by now so just headed back to the van instead! A good night’s sleep was in order as we were finally off towards Liverpool and Port Sunlight in the morning 🙂
Chester is absolutely well worth a visit – go if you can 🙂