"In Search of Romans" Top 5 Page for this destination Chester by Jonathan_C

Chester Travel Guide: 488 reviews and 1,248 photos

My visit to Chester lasted only one very brief day but what a fantastic day it turned out to be! I intended to focus on Roman artefacts and ruins and had done appropriate background reading. I was not disappointed and came away with a much better understanding of what life as a legionary in Legio XX Valeria Victrix must have been like. You can see Roman headstones in the Grosvenor museum, the remains of the Roman amphitheater and a shrine to Minerva in-situ in what was an old Roman quarry. The medieval walls lie in part on top of the ruins of the original walls erected under Trajan and the layout of streets is largely faithful to the original Roman blueprint. After almost 2000 years, their influence is still felt.

Beautiful Architecture

Despite my intended focus, however, I was captivated by the beauty of Chester's medieval, Georgian and Victorian architecture. Here is a city that has retained the best of the previous centuries while keeping the ravenous forces of modernization largely at bay. To walk through the streets of Chester is to immerse yourself in ornate half timbered houses, crammed one against the other like beautiful books in an old library. The streets themselves are mostly filled with pedestrians -- tourists and locals, old and young -- in a cheerful parade of activity. You can criss-cross through town several times, always finding new streets with yet more gorgeous architecture until you are ready for a rest.

Lovely Quiet Spaces

And for this there is the other Chester -- one of solitude and serenity. You can of course stop by the Cathedral and rest for a moment in the pews or you can visit the ruins of St. John's to contemplate the ultimate fate of the works of man. You can be almost entirely alone during a walk along the canal or a visit to Edgars field across the Dee. Chester is so right sized that you can visit all of these places in a single day as I found out.

And the history here is as thick as it gets in England. From Romans to Saxons to Normans and on up to today Chester has always been a very significant location. A wonderful web site put together by a local explains it all at:


So do your homework before you come and go ahead and pick a theme for your visit. But don't be surprised if you find that Chester distracts you with everything else it has to offer.

  • Last visit to Chester: Sep 2003
  • Intro Updated Dec 4, 2004
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Reviews (23)

Comments (27)

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Jun 18, 2010 at 3:58 AM

    Thank you for some very interesting information and insights for our 3 July Meet!!! Gillybob greetings

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Aug 20, 2007 at 12:28 PM

    Oh, yes, I agree with you! Splendid!

  • bilgeez's Profile Photo
    Mar 19, 2007 at 12:29 PM

    I'm going to have to put Chester on my "wish list" of places to visit! Lovely architecture, I thought Regensburg was nice!

  • knowhowe2's Profile Photo
    Sep 30, 2006 at 6:18 PM

    Hi Jonathan, Glad you enjoyed your day in our city. Many thanks for recommending my website too! ('Chester: a virtual stroll around the walls'- www.bwpics.co.uk/chester.html) Steve

  • Jan 31, 2006 at 2:42 PM

    enjoyed reading about your day in chester ,the next you visit come in may or august and enjoy the horse racing on the roodee which was built by the romans they still have chariot racing on the race days.

  • mydreamquest's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2005 at 10:15 PM

    beautiful chester picture. I wish I could be in the middle of that pic with a cup of tea.

  • grishaV1's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2005 at 11:11 PM

    price valiant comics were always one of my faves. interesting to read your page as this week i was studying on early medieval towns...great pics and tips!

  • mariaschmidt's Profile Photo
    Apr 4, 2005 at 9:52 AM

    Chester is indeed very lovely and I am sorry I have been there only for a few hours - bye Mary

  • Feb 25, 2005 at 7:47 AM

    Your pages on Chester are absolutely amazing. Ive never been there, but looking at your pages and reading your descriptions, I feel almost as if I have. - well, I cant wait to go anyway. Wonderful job.. and the pictures are great.

  • DavidKeeling's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2005 at 8:17 AM

    Wow!!! Excellent descriptions and photos, and well-written tips. I'll simply have to make Chester my base for exploring the region.


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