Tag: Chester

Vote for Chester: Britain’s 15 best high streets for Christmas shopping

Feeling festive? My nomination for Chester made it into Britain’s 15 best high streets for Christmas shopping via Telegrpah Travel.

Read my guide to the city for your next Christmas-shopping weekend break.

Here’s a taster of the text:

Chester was voted the most beautiful city in the world earlier this year in a survey based on Google Street View. Walking the half-timbered main streets is a promenade through 2,000 years of history from the Romans to the modern day. The Xmas market opened November 18 on central Town Hall Square, while nearby examples of Tudor buildings, Georgian townhouses and Victorian flourishes complete a history-spanning backdrop to mooching, gift hunting and hot-chocolate supping.

Find more about Chester (and the other 14 places) here — currently no paywall at this link.

And scroll to the end to vote for Chester (second out of 15 to York when I last checked).

A preview of my Dark Chester tours for Halloween with the travel blog Go Eat Do

An interview with the travel blogger Stuart Forster for his blog, Go Eat Do.

The feature is about ideas for a weekend visit to Chester but, with Halloween approaching, previews my new Dark Chester tours [pictured above].

The tours run Saturdays at 6pm and delve into the dark-tourism heritage of the city, exploring 2,000 years of plague, poltergeists and religious persecution.

Talking about St John’s Church, a Saxon site of worship from 689AD, I describe how:

“Cestrians, the people of Chester, call it ‘the thin church’. It’s a reference to the fact it’s one of those places in the city where the world we know, and another we can’t explain, is at its thinest point. It’s a place to step across the supernatural threshold.”

We also discuss, amongst others, the Chester Mystery Plays and the Chester Heritage Festival (both returning in June 2023).

Plus wider ideas for things to do and see during your visit.

Read the full story at Go Eat DoHaunted places in England: Chester walking tour.

Dark Chester: a walk through the shadows of our dark-tourism history

We took a walk on the dark side a few days ago.

It was the inaugural outing for my new Dark Chester tour [pictured above], a walking tour through the shadows of Chester’s 2000-year-old history.

Think Horrible Histories meets Inside Number Nine with a dash of the Uncanny podcast.

In other words, an evening storytelling stroll with tales of plague, persecution and poltergeists.

For some more background, read this blog I penned for the British Guild of Tourist Guides:

Chester: take a walk on the dark side.

This first tour was an exclusive event for the Chester Heritage Festival, which runs until July 27 with lots of free activities, as well as paid-for tours.

As well as leading the tour, I also worked with the Heritage Festival team to livestream stories from two of the tour stops.

You can watch the livestream from Chester’s Roman Amphitheatre here.

The livestream from The Bear & Billet is here.

Plus I had some great initial feedback, including this comment:

 

The plan now is to take Dark Chester weekly.

So join me. Let’s take a walk on the dark side.

Why the hidden-treasure town of Nantwich should be your next staycation

Spring finds me driving the rural backroads of south Cheshire.

I’m here on assignment for Telegraph Travel, writing a postcard from Cheshire as part of a series of articles by writers around the UK.

Each one is about an under-the-radar destinations for UK staycations with a sprinkle of celebratory stardust.

My journey took me to Nantwich, the historic market town, and the Combermere Estate on the Cheshire-Shropshire border.

I also visited the new Three Wrens gin distillery, where I met distillery dog, Rocky [pictured above].

Here’s a taster of my article:

The historic market town of Nantwich has all the history of county-hub Chester, albeit on a smaller scale.

The jumble of cobbled streets and half-timbered houses have hosted Norman lords, survived medieval fires, and been occupied by the Parliamentarian forces during the mid 1600s when Nantwich defied Chester, coming out against Charles I during the Civil War.

The Market Hall has been singing the praises of Cheshire Cheese since the town’s genteel Victorian era.

“I think visitors appreciate the slow-travel tranquillity of South Cheshire while being surprised by the quality of its local produce,” says Sarah Callander-Beckett, the owner and current lady of the manor at Combermere Abbey.

“This region is steeped in rural heritage but has moved with the times to offer high quality and an individual experience.”

Read the full story, The charming Cheshire town that hasn’t yet been ruined by WAGs.