Thursday, 14 May 2015

More of Chester.

Chester never disappoints. We spent the first couple of days moored on the bollards by the new Waitrose, very swish and surprisingly quiet. We then moved a couple of hundred yards down to the forty-eight hour moorings by the Lock Keeper pub. Contrary to what all the worriers say these moorings are as safe as any urban mooring and handy for the city.

You have a choice of two ways into the city centre, walk down Frodsham Street or, and this is our favourite way, through Kaleyard Gate. The area now occupied by Tescos and the Lock Keeper were once the vegetable gardens of St. Werburgh's Abbey but to get to them involved a circuitous walk out of Eastgate so, in 1275, they petitioned Edward 1st to let them cut a gate through the city walls. Permission was granted on condition that the gate was not large enough to allow a mounted man through and that it was closed and locked at nightfall.
This takes you into the handsome Abbey Square

and after tottering across a vast expanse of cobbles you pass through

Abbey Gateway and out into Northgate Street,

virtually opposite the City Information Centre and then the city is your oyster.

The city centre is dominated by the abundance of half timbered buildings,

in particular the famous "Rows", covered walkways with shops at first floor level and at street level another row of shops, some of which are in the undercrofts of medieval buildings and in one case, below Spud-U-Like in Bridge Street, a Roman hypocaust.

Also in Bridge Street is Three Old Arches, claimed to be the oldest surviving shop front in England.

It's not all historical though, the Grosvenor shopping centre is as modern and upmarket as any.
So having had a surfeit of retail therapy we wandered off for a walk around some of the city wall.

Jill poses in front of King Charles's Tower. Probably originally built in the 13thC. it was known as the Newton Tower, then the Pheonix Tower and it now bears the name of that unfortunate monarch as legend has it that he stood on the tower and watched his troops take a right walloping at the Battle of Rowton Heath in 1645.
Tonight we are off to the Old Harkers Arms for a meal with my nephew and his wife and tomorrow it will be back up the locks and heading south again.

Watch this space.........

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