Ok so I may be a little bias but I think Chester is one of the most charming, beautiful places that you can visit in Cheshire. So let me take you on a little tour of all my favourite bits!
Founded as a Fort, known as Deva, by the Romans in AD79, Chester is a quaint and beautiful city steeped in history and pretty architecture. Living so close I often just go and spend the day there mooching around the lovely shops, cafe's and restaurants.
So when the sun finally put it's had on last Sunday I headed off to take some photo's and enjoy what Chester had to offer. I started off with a stroll along the River Dee, which runs through Chester. It's very picturesque down by the river where you can watch people milling around, grab an ice cream (though I avoided this option on a cold February day) or take a cruise on one of the river boats or hell even a pedalo!
There's always a collection of retro bikes down by the river where the bikers congregate, look at this little beauty. There are some great great restaurants and pubs situated along the river, especially Hickories Smokehouse (hickorys.co.uk/chester). A cool little American restaurant that serves delicous American Barbecue meats and even better puddings - who doesn't love a giant Red Velvet Cupcake?! The best bit is the flying pig wallpaper in the toilets which unfortunately I didn't manage to get a picture of.
Wandering up from the river you'll discover some of Chester's real architectural gems. The Roman Amphitheatre, the Roman Gardens and the ruins of St Johns Church. It's really worth taking a trip to Chester in the Summer as these are the months when it really comes alive. Roman soldiers re-enact battles, parades bring the streets to life and an outdoor cinema and theatre draw in the crowds.
However's theres always something going on in the streets, even in February these musicians were entertaining passersby!
When your legs are weary from all the inevitable shopping you'll be doing head to the Jaunty Goat (www.facebook.com/JauntyGoatCoffeeCo). Chester is filled with quirky little coffee shops but this is my new favourite! The coffee is excellent, you brew your own tea and the staff are very friendly and helpful.
Fancy a decadent treat, head to Mad Hatters (madhatterstearooms.co.uk). An 'Alice in Wonderland' themed tea room that serve the most beautiful cupcakes. So beautiful you won't want to eat them . . . well almost!
Situated up in the rows on Chesters Upper Bride Street check out The Funky Ardvark (www.funkyaardvark.co.uk/) after you leave Mad Hatters. This is an independently run store that stocks the work of a whole host of local talent, including painters, sculpters and photographers.
There's even a gallery space upsatirs that hosts regular exhibitions from local artists. The Funky Ardvark also run a host of crafty courses and have a club for kids to get involved in. Definitley woth a visit this place is a little gem in the city!
These are just a few special places in Chester that I love to visit but there is so much more to discover. I would recommend a visit to Cheter for anyone that hasn't been, it really is a beautiful place and you won't be disappointed.