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“One amazing little British city!”
Review of Walls of Chester

Walls of Chester
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US$ 171.74*
and up
Chester Independent Day Trip by Train from London
Ranked #6 of 107 things to do in Chester
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 20 September 2011

First, I did not visit solo but rather with my 24-year partner and her mother. TA did not offer a category of travel partners that just says "FAMILY". Secondly, my review is not just about Chester's walls but about ALL of this amazing little city.

CHESTER is, like Napier, New Zealand, unique! While Napier is an entire city of art deco architecture, Chester is almost entirely Elizabethan/Tudor, surrounded by Roman, medieval-enhanced walls, contains both a remarkable cathedrals and the equally intriguing Norman-era St. John's Church, sits picture-perfect on the River Dee, and is just plain fun to wander thru or above.

Above? Well, the central 8 or so square blocks of the city are surrounded by a mainly still-intact ring of Roman and medieval walls. Atop the wall -- roughly 1-1/2 stories aboveground --, you can walk where Roman and medieval guards paced, around the entire city center! The beautifully-executed explanatory embossed plaques found frequently along the walltop walkway, the views, the revelations as you pass by hidden gardens, canals, King Charles' tower, schools and cathedrals, and look down on the urban bustle in this flashback place are wonderful.

The city center is mainly of Elizabethan half-timbered buildings that feature continuous balconies thru each block one story above ground, so that you can shop not just all the ground floor storefronts, but you also find an entire additional row of shops and offices one story up on these unique raised arcades called the "Rows".

Walking the cobbled streets leads you to military barracks, a university, two cathedrals, and even a uniquely beautiful early 1900s auto dealership-turned-public-library. Narrow lanes, arcades, church grounds featuring granite trackways left over from carriage days -- Chester is a genuinely unique, intact and lovely Tudor town.

Oh, and a Roman town, too. After all, "Chester" is like "caster" -- another variant on the Roman word for "castle". Just outside the walls you'll find the recently unearthed and restored Roman amphitheater.

A wide range of lodgings, restaurants, snack spots, antiquing, walks, even watching world-class horse-racing or barging, kayaking, or shelling on the Dee are available in Chester. The town attracts all ages, and everyone seems to be in a good mood there -- its easy, in such an amazing place. I watched seniors watching squirrels, critics watching artists, teens watching teens, then stumbled on another teen skillfully practicing the upcoming Sunday's service on St. John's huge old pipe organ.

And if all this isn't enough for you, you can drive (or ride a train) for just a few hours into Wales and up to the rhododendron-covered slate mountaintop town of BLAENAU FFESTINIOG, where you can then board the oldest still-operating railroad in the world for a beautifully scenic 13+-mile trip down to the Atlantic coastal town of Porthmadog and back. And home to Chester in time for a sunset dinner.

"Attraction" doesn't begin to explain Chester. What a gem! I hope you find a chance to see this cool town -- you'll need at least 2-3 days.

1  Thank StoneyBaroque
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"lovely walk"
in 399 reviews
"the river"
in 802 reviews
"interesting walk"
in 132 reviews
"complete circuit"
in 57 reviews
"race course"
in 198 reviews
"takes about an hour"
in 54 reviews
"information boards"
in 137 reviews
"few steps"
in 73 reviews
"points of interest"
in 73 reviews
"wall walk"
in 89 reviews
"clock tower"
in 58 reviews
"walled city"
in 56 reviews
"roman gardens"
in 151 reviews
"eastgate clock"
in 125 reviews
"lovely city"
in 67 reviews
"sunny day"
in 83 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 71 reviews
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5,129 - 5,133 of 5,400 reviews

Reviewed 14 September 2011

Having never visited Chester before I found the wall around the city very impressive. Its an excellent way of seeing the city from above and its free!!. It was closed in parts due to renovations but we were able to navigate our way around easily. Well worth taking a walk around even if you only do part of it.

1  Thank KevinA19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2011

An easy walk of approximately 2 miles around the city walls and a very pleasant way of seeing Chester and taking in some of its history. Combine it with a trip to the Cathedral for an interesting afternoon. Wheelchair acces is available.

Thank Vaturne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2011

What a beautiful city centre Chester has, the walls/trail just add to the experience of it. It isn't a particularly short walk about 2 miles, but what I love about the cities which are walled is the perspective of the town you just wouldn't see at ground level. Saying that certain parts do seem to be at pavement level (nun's road next to the racecourse and city walls road) there is also repair work taking place on Water Tower St, it does say that this will be completed in winter 2011.

Thank jayteel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 September 2011

Lots of interest to see from the walls. Apart from one area which is being refurbished the walls are complete and well maintained.

1  Thank tjgorrie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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