Date published: February 27, 2017
Student blog: My day trip to Chester
Maryna Loznieva is a 25-year-old student at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany studying Translation. Maryna is currently an Erasmus student on a placement at the University of Salford. In her free time she is probably making another list of places to visit, buying loads of stationary for her filofaxing hobby, watching The Walking Dead, or fangirling over Ed Sheeran and Coldplay.
We all hit a wall sometimes, where you have fallen into the same old routine and you just feel like a change of scenery might do you the power of good. In this case, travelling somewhere is always the best solution for me. I had quite a lot of assignments to finish but since I could feel a burnout coming, it was time to take a much-needed break. Later on I met with a couple of friends and a day trip to Chester was decided upon as a tonic to our assignment woes.
The fact that it was a last minute decision didn’t influence our trip neither in terms of travel or places to go. We took a direct train from Salford Crescent early in the morning for quite a good price (around 17£ both ways) and arrived in Chester Central station just an hour and a half later.
Chester Walls is regularly thought of as the best way to see the city, so we made this our first stop. You can start a walk at any point and you can stop at any point. It is completely free, so no worries about tickets or queues. I don’t want to go through the whole historical blah about these walls but I have to mention that Chester's city walls are the most complete circuit of a Roman and Medieval defensive town wall in Britain, construction of which was started by Romans back between 70 and 80 AD. That’s it, no more historical facts from me. So the point where we started was Chester Cathedral. I have to say two words to give you an impression of this building: squirrels and Hogwarts. It is of course a lot more than this, but these were two things which came up in my mind. Since I love animals, I just couldn’t get enough of these squirrels and tried to take as many pictures of them as I could but they are super-fast so I didn’t succeed in this.
The Cathedral itself is huge and looks so unreal, whether you are religious or not, you just have to go inside and explore this building. You will be definitely amazed by its architecture and secret garden. And if you get lucky, you can listen to organ music. There is no entrance fee for the cathedral but you might consider doing the tower tour, which is reasonably priced (1 hour tours – £8.00 Adults | £6.00 children; 30 minute tours – £6.00 each).
Next to the Cathedral there is a falconry which is totally a must. You’ll have to pay for entry but it is just 2 or 3 pounds so it is not expensive. You will get to see different kinds of birds of prey such as owls, falcons, hawks and vultures, and watch daily flying displays. Falconers are always ready to answer all your questions and give you all the information about their beloved predator birds. If you are brave enough, you can hold a falcon on your gauntlet! I was actually quite a coward but my friend dared me to do this and I appreciate that now. It is definitely something you should have on your bucket list. Buck, this cute falcon I was honoured to hold, was very calm and his falconer was telling funny stories and interesting facts about him while I held him.
From the falconry we went to Eastgate and Eastgate Clock which is the second most photographed clock in England, as you can guess London’s Big Ben holds first place. We used Eastgate to go down to the shopping street which is actually not just one, but a chain of streets called Chester Rows and it is completely different to any shopping street I’ve ever been down before. Medieval buildings now house modern stores, cafes and pubs.
There were still plenty of things to discover which we unfortunately didn’t have enough time for, such as Chester Roman Gardens, Ness Botanic Gardens, The Grosvenor Museum, Cheshire Military Museum or Chester Zoo.
Cold, tired but totally satisfied we took the train back to Salford certain that we would definitely visit Chester again.