Roman through history in Chester

The good people of Tenerife had a whip round and sent me back to England for a 10 day break to give them some respite, so here I am in Bolton with the lovely Pam, for a whirlwind tour of England.

Where to start, well Chester sounded as good as anywhere, and just an hours drive away. My knowledge only runs to vague ideas about a racecourse and Chester City, recently relegated back to the Conference, and managed by Mark Wright, former Liverpool and England defender and ex Oxford United manager.The boy from Berinsfield, just outside Oxford, also scored the winning goal at the England v Egypt World Cup finals game I attended in Sardinia in 1990.

First impresion weaving through the tight cobbled streets, was the staggering amount of pubs, I notice the important things, The remains of the city walls from the Romans visit 2,000 year ago led past the cathedral (see pic below) and surrounding gardens where people were sprawled out on the lawns in the sunshine, personally I felt the keen wind chilling me and was glad of my jumper and coat. In the centre of town, the Eastgate clock, built 1897, Â sits atop an arch over the main shopping street, a photo opportunity to good to miss. There was an interesting antigue shop on the arch, among the more traditional paintings of local scenes, there were some with Daleks and Cybermen added in, and there was me thinking that Dr Who was fiction.

If we were going to be tourists, we thought we might as well go the whole way, so we signed upfor a 90 minute walking tour (a fiver each) from the information centre. There were just 5 of us and our guide, Gerry, sounded just like Ken and Kenneth, the gentlemans tailors from The Fast Show. As for the tour, ooh suits us, it took us out to the edge of the city centre, past the oldest racecourse in the UK, the only one where they race anti clockwise. Apparently the footie ground is nearby and the dividing line between England and Wales cuts through it. Down to the River Dee and the area known as The Groves, ducks and herons perched on the weir and pleasure boats mingled with swans as we trudged by. History oozes out of every brick and we visited the old castle and Agricola Tower, before ending at the impressive St Johns Church, built in 689.

One day down, and I didn’t need the thermals, the forecast is not encouraging but bring it on, I feel some more wanderings coming on, hmmm wonder if Pam would fancy a trip to the National Football Museum in Preston?