The day we went to Chester. There has been a settlement on the banks of the River Dee at the place that we now know as Chester, since the Romans established a fort there in the first century AD. Much of the land and key property around Chester is part of the Grosvenor Estates, the company that manages the holdings of the Duke of Westminster. The ancestral home of the Grosvenor family is situated at Eaton Hall on the outskirts of the city.
Our visit today was in part to see the Christmas market, focused around the Cathedral in the heart of the city, and in part to catch up with Dan, Bex and Bex’s parents before Christmas. The market layout is well planned, allowing large numbers of people to move leisurely through the stalls without ever feeling that the place was over-crowded or uncomfortable.
In truth, on this fifth Saturday before Christmas, Chester was unsurprisingly very busy; but there was also a fantastic buzz about the place, helped by some of the most talented street entertainers that I’ve witnessed for a long time.
One of the great things about Chester is the architecture, drawing on styles from the city’s two thousand years of history. On a crisp, sunny, November day, the city looked magnificent (even through the lens of my smartphone).
The only challenge today, was actually finding somewhere with six spare seats for lunch! There can’t have been many pubs in the city centre that we DIDN’T walk into in the vain hope that we might find a place to sit down and get something to eat. In the end, we opted for the loiter and stare technique, snaffling some space at a table in a JD Wetherspoon’s establishment just when all hope was almost gone!
A lovely day, followed by a glorious drive home as the sun sank behind the hills to the west.