Chester, Cheshire Sunday 26th November 2017

Today’s Walk

There are toilets and a cafe at the coach park but we are unsure whether they will be open. If not, we will have to walk into the city centre to use those there.

Strenuous Leader : No one at present

Map(S) will be provided

Leisurely Leader: Joan McGlinchey     Distance : 7.50 miles

This walk is ideal for November. Flat and fairly dry.
We start our walk along the weir. Passing a number of fields we eventually come to the bridge for the A55. Once under this bridge we turn left and start making our way back up the Roman settlement – up the Chester Approach. After crossing the road we join the weir again and make our way back into town.

Easy Leader : Jackie Gudgeon     Distance 5.00 miles

Today (after a cafe visit for tea or coffee) we will cross over the River Dee to follow the river bank for about three miles, admiring the smart houses across the way. Return is along Chester Approach, one of the access drives to Eaton Hall (home of the Duke of Westminster). Unfortunately, we won’t be going far enough to call in here for tea! Any deviation from the flat is minimal, although we will encounter plenty of mud. One or two escape routes along the way if the going gets too bad (although I can’t guarantee they’ll be much better mudwise!).

Notes On The Area

Chester probably needs no introduction as it is a very distinctive city which most of us will have visited. It is a walled city in Cheshire, in Northwest England, on the River Dee, close to the border with Wales and is the biggest settlement of Cheshire West with a population of about 350,000. Chester was granted city status in 1541.

It was founded as a Roman fortress in 79 AD with the name Deva Victrix in the reign of the Emporer Vespasian and was one of the main army camps in Roman Britain and is known for its extensive Roman walls made of local red sandstone. A Roman amphitheatre, with ongoing excavations, lies just outside the city walls. In the old city, the Rows is a shopping district distinguished by 2-level covered arcades and Tudor-style half-timber buildings.

Deva later became a major civilian settlement. In 689, King Ethelred of Mercia founded the Minster Church of West Mercia, which later became Chester’s first cathedral, and the Saxons extended and strengthened the walls to protect the city against the Danes. It was one of the last cities in England to fall to the Normans. William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a castle, to dominate the town and the nearby Welsh border.

There are many reasons to visit Chester and so it attracts lots of visitors from around the world. As well as the almost complete Grade 1 city walls and the unique 700 year old shopping Rows, it has the oldest racecourse, the largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain, a 1000 year old cathedral and the UK’s number one zoo which is the most visited attraction outside London. Also, there are very pleasant rides along the river to escape from the bustle of the city.

It has a number of medieval buildings, although some of the black-and-white buildings within the city centre are Victorian restorations. The Industrial Revolution brought railways, canals, and new roads to the city which saw substantial expansion and development with the Town Hall and the Grosvenor Museum being examples of Victorian architecture from this period.

If anyone would like to visit Chester car parking is bad but for it is possible to buy, from Southport or Ormskirk, a ticket on the train for about £6.50 return or a family ticket for about £10.