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Chester is in north-east England in the county of Cheshire, to the south of Liverpool and close to the border between England and North Wales.
A very popular destination with visitors, both from overseas and from within the UK, it is the old town of Chester that you will recognise immediately, due to the large number of much-photographed 'black and white' half-timbered houses in the centre of the old town, but there are other important architectural highlights to discover in Chester as well:
- the City Walls form an almost complete defensive wall around the medieval centre of Chester (a walk around the walls is 3km long in total) - note that although the layout you can follow is medieval, parts of the walls are Roman in origin and other parts are more recent. Lovely walk and views, passes several interesting monuments en route, recommended.
- the Rows, a medieval building design in which some shops were set below street level, with the main shops at first floor level behind a covered walkway, in turn sheltered by the floor above, so the main shhop entrances are sheltered from the weather. Typically the remainder of the buildings is in 'half-timbered' (black and white) design. You can't miss the 'Rows' they are found in each of the main streets in Chester old town
- Chester Town hall is a sturdy 19th century building with clocktower which is designed to look much older by using gothic style arches and turrets
- Chester cathedral dates originally from the 11th century but was much modified in later centuries (including the addition of a belltower next to Chester Cathedral added in the 20th century). It was originally the church for the Abbey of Saint Werburgh, a role that came to an end with the dissolution of the Monasteries in 1541. Note particularly the different architectural styles, the closters, and (nearby) some of the original monastic buildings that were part of the abbey complex.
- Eastgate, a 17th century stone gateway and above it Eastgate Clock, a decorative Victorian addition to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria
Without wishing to detract from Chester in any way, it is important to realise that most of the 'black and white' woodwork you see and photograph is a Victorian copy or 'revival' of medieval architecture, rather than authentic Middle Ages construction.
As well as the architectural beauty of Chester - and we have only mentioned selected highlights here - it has all you would expect from a modern thriving city - plenty of museums (don't miss the Grosvenor Museum, dedicated to local history) and shops (probably one of the best shopping centres in England), art galleries and pubs, cafes and hotels etc.