Chester is a popular town for tourists and it is very busy in the summer - ideal for a stroll around or visit some of the attractions.
The county town of Cheshire, it gave the county its name. Residents here are known as 'Cestrians'. Originally called 'Deva', it was established as fortress in 70 AD by the Roman 20th Legion.The city's four main roads ,Eastgate, Northgate, Watergate and Bridge, follow routes laid out almost 2000 years ago.
Chester's amphitheatre, build in around 86 AD to hold around 7,000 spectators, is the largest uncovered Roman arena in the UK.
One of the three main Roman army bases, Deva later became a principal town of Roman Britain. After the Romans left in the 5th century AD, the Saxons fortified the town against the Danes and gave Chester its name. The Saxon patron saint of Chester, Saint Werburgh, is buried in Chester Cathedral.
After the Battle of Hastings, Chester was one of the last towns in England to fall to the Normans. William the Conqueror had a castle built to dominate the town and the nearby Welsh border. In 1071 he created Hugh de Avranches ,known as 'Hugh the Wolf', 1st Earl of Chester.
Chester was ruled by Norman Earls until 1237, when the last Earl died. The title was claimed by Henry III and since then the first in line to the throne has held the title, so the current Prince of Wales includes Earl of Chester among his many titles.
Chester became the largest port in northern England, trading with Dublin, Scotland and parts of the Continent. At its height from 1350 to 1450, and the Bristol to Chester road was known as the Great Irish Road. A Royalist stronghold at the time of the English Civil War, but was taken by Parliamentarians troops in 1646 after a two year seige.
From the mid-18th century, the silting up of the Dee estuary and the use of ocean-going vesselsled to the decline of the port of Chester, but the city retained its status as an important regional trading centre and many elegant Georgian terraces were built for the wealthy merchants.
The Industrial Revolution brought railways, canals and new roads to the city, and the renewed prosperity saw substantial development - the Grosvenor Museum and the Town Hall are examples of Victorian architecture.
The famous Eastgate Clock, which forms part of the city walls, was erected in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Today it is the second most photographed clock in the UK, after Big Ben.
The centre of Chester remains medieval in appearence and it is the only city in the UK to have retained its original wall stretching for two miles around the city.
To the east and north the city wall is mainly Roman in construction but refurbished in the early-13th century. The wall to the south and west, demolished by the Normans, was replaced by a new longer wall with towers and gateways.
Entirely open to the public, the City Walls are worth the visit for the views over the city and surrounding countryside.
Chester is famous for its 'Rows'. These distinctive black and white timber-framed buildings date in plan from the 13th century. The unique galleries, arranged over two levels, house a range of shops, pubs and restaurants.
The stone flights of steps lead you to the upper levels, projecting out into the main streets, some of the oldest shop frontages in the world can be seen here.
Four of the streets meet at the 15th century Cross which marks the historic heart of the city. Although smashed during the Civil War the Cross was later reassembled.
In the summer the Town Crier can be seen here at mid-day from Tuesday to Saturday.
Chester was recently voted one of the best shopping centres in the country. As well as the famous Rows, there are indoor shopping centres and an indoor market.
Chester has a lively nightlife with lots of pubs, wine bars and clubs. In the summer the city hosts the Chester Mystery Plays which date from Medieval times, the Chester Midsummer Watch Parade and the Chester Music Festival.
There are many things to visit in Chester and it makes a good base for touring the Wirral Penninsular and North Wales.
Towns Near Chester To Visit - straight line distance:Hawarden (5.62 miles) Ellesmere Port (6.46 miles) Holt (7.83 miles) Frodsham (9.99 miles)
Chester Races Enjoy a day out at the races.
Chester Castle See what is left of Chester's castle.
Beeston Castle A lovely castle to visit complete with woodlands.
Cheshire Military Museum Discover the military history of local Regiments.
Dewa Roman Experience An Award-winning multi-media exhibition.
Grosvenor Museum Find out about the local history of the city.
Chester Toy Museum Step back in time at this nostalgic museum.
River Dee Take a trip on the river.
Chester Zoo Have a great family day out with the animals.