Posted by: travelrat | December 31, 2014

The Rows, Chester

Chester 3_copy

Chester: 17th December 2014.

So, a Dutchman gets bronchitis, and all our plans change? Well, the Dutchman was André Rieu, and we were due to go to his concert in Birmingham tonight.

But, we’d planned to go to Chester to visit the Zoo after that, so we decided, instead of staying in Birmingham, we’d go to Chester early, and stay an extra night.

The hotel we stayed at is only a short bus ride from the city centre, and I went down to see the Christmas lights and do some photography.

One of Chester’s attractions is The Rows; four streets of shops with a raised balcony giving access to the shops on an upper storey. These are listed buildings, and the feature is unique; there’s nothing quite like it anywhere in the world. They date back to at least the 14th Century, when they are first mentioned, but their origin is unclear. It was suggested that they were built so the ‘quality’ could do their shopping without walking the muddy street below. But, a more plausible theory is that the second storey was built first, on the rubble of earlier Roman buildings; the street-level houses and shops, or ‘undercrofts’ were excavated later.

Most of the shops have been sympathetically preserved, as befits a heritage site, and most of them sell higher range goods and services. So, if you visit The Rows, my recommendation is …. leave your credit card behind!

Chester 4_copy

That’s the last post for this year; where did 2014 go? Happy New Year, everyone … and I hope 2015 takes you somewhere exciting! Best wishes, Keith

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