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A Great Little City With A Big History

Rhosneigr and Anglesey: more than just a beach holiday!

A great little city with a big history

With the uptick in domestic holidays and city breaks in the past couple of years, many of us are on the lookout for interesting new destinations. The big cities of the UK all have their appeal, but there’s something to be said for somewhere a little different and quirky. For those not already in on the secret, Chester could be just the place for your next city getaway.

A small but perfectly formed destination in the north west

With a population of less than 100,000, Chester is small enough to be easily explored on foot and you won’t be overwhelmed by crowds. At the same time, it is a proper city. The official definition requires a city to have its own cathedral, and Chester certainly delivers on that score. Chester Cathedral goes back nearly a thousand years. It began life as the abbey church of a Benedictine monastery in the 11th century. And in the centuries since, it’s gone through a series of transformations as fascinating as those of any English cathedral. Well worth a visit.

Chester’s two thousand years of history

But Chester’s history goes back much further than that. Place name anoraks will know the word ‘chester’ or ‘caster’ is found in the names of dozens of English towns and cities. It indicates they were once the site of Roman forts. Chester itself is no exception. In fact, Chester was a major Roman settlement in the first century AD. It boasted the largest Roman amphitheatre in Britain, and you can still visit the remains today. Rest assured that gory gladiatorial combat has not been seen there for some time!

The Romans also built Chester’s city walls. The fortifications were later used by Saxons and Vikings, who battled over the area in subsequent centuries. The walls were later extended by the Normans, who also built a new castle, which now serves as the county hall. You can now walk along the city walls, which are the most complete in Britain. Imagine yourself taking part in any number of battles, from Roman times to the English Civil War. Or simply admire the views.

But much more than just history!

Even if history is not your thing, Chester has plenty to offer. The oldest racecourse in Britain (sorry, more history!) lies right in the city, an easy walk from all its other amenities. These include all the shops you could want, for fashion, antiques and more. Many can be found in the (ahem, 700-year-old) Rows galleries. And there is an abundance of cafes, bars and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets.

Chester is also famous for its zoo, just a short drive or bus ride from the city centre. The zoo is home to more than 20,000 animals, spread over 128 acres of zoological gardens. A fantastic day out for families or animal lovers of all ages. Just a little further afield is the famous Cheshire Ice Cream Farm. There you will find a wide range of fun activities for kids, and of course all the ice cream you can eat!

Clearly there are plenty of reasons to visit Chester. Residential Estates have a variety of holiday lettings available in the city. Check out our listings and get ready to explore this gem of the north west.

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