After thoroughly enjoying our trip away to Tenerife, myself and my girlfriend were hit with a case of the old holiday blues shortly after returning to the wonderful English weather (I mean, who doesn’t look forward to that, right?!)
We both agreed that to get over the fact that we probably won’t be heading abroad until next year, we still wanted something to look forward to in the near future. We did some research and eventually decided to visit the wonderful city of Chester.
Having previously visited another historic city in the form of York, which we found to be a lovely city, we decided that Chester would be the perfect next destination for us, given the similarities between the two, as well as hearing good things.
After some browsing of accommodation options, we took the plunge and chose to stay at the Bridge Street Townhouse. It was conveniently located close to all local amenities such as shops, bars, and restaurants which was perfect for us. It was a 20 minute or so walk from the train station, but for us, this was not an issue. Some may choose to take the bus or perhaps a taxi, but either way, there are plenty of transportation options easily accessible.
Upon arrival from the train station, we decided to walk to the hotel given the weather was on our side. We arrived at the hotel and were checked in by a pleasant and friendly young woman who made the check-in process simple and informative. She was an asset to the hotel and was one of the few positives of our stay. All staff we came across throughout the duration of our stay were extremely friendly and helpful, and in terms of their customer service, I genuinely have no complaints and cannot fault them in regard to this.
Next to the reception is a bar along with a seating area, which we found to be quiet at all times throughout our stay when walking through to our hotel room. We didn’t end up making use of this, so can’t really comment on this particular aspect of the hotel, in addition to the gym and breakfast facilities, which we also decided not to make use of. Instead, we chose to venture out into the centre.
The receptionist informed us that our room was in the annex building at the back of the main building. After check-in was completed, we made our way to the room. It was on the ground floor just behind the small car park which was part of the hotel. The room was small but cosy, and had all the necessary things you would expect from a half decent hotel room, including tea/coffee making facilities, large comfortable bed (although it was two singles pushed together, mind), decent sized bathroom with a shower and plenty of space to store luggage and hang clothes.
The issues started by the time night time came along. The sheer thinness of the walls in the annex building quickly became apparent upon returning approximately 11 pm on the first night of our stay. We could hear the TV from one of the adjoining rooms, and there were also creaking floorboards that could be heard throughout the night coming from the room above. That’s the last time I will accept a ground floor room, I thought to myself!
I wasn’t able to achieve a good night’s sleep because of the aforementioned issues, but that was only the beginning. Halfway through the night, the sound of snoring from the room next door filled my ears as I tossed and turned, trying all I could to get to sleep but to no avail. Safe to say, I needed a coffee (or two) by morning! Let’s just say a trip to Boots was in order to purchase some ear plugs, and hey presto! problem solved.
In terms of things to do we hadn’t planned anything in advance, with the exception of the two course Bella Italia meal we enjoyed on our first night, courtesy of Groupon. We just researched and discussed prior to our arrival, with two attractions in particular mentioned, those being Blue Planet Aquarium, and Chester Zoo. We eventually mutually agreed on the latter and visited on the second day of our stay.
We took the bus to Chester Zoo and spent around 3 hours here, it was thoroughly enjoyable despite the high cost of a ticket (£28!) and wasn’t too far from Chester City Centre at all. Should you wish to visit other attractions in the area such as the aforementioned Blue Planet Aquarium, as well as Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet, you could easily do so via bus, should you not have travelled via car like ourselves.
Over the duration of our stay, we visited various bars and restaurants, including The Alchemist, where I had the pleasure of catching up with a friend from university, shout out to Jack! We also visited Chima Changas where we enjoyed an excellent Mexican meal, and I would wholeheartedly recommend this place. The food was fantastic, as was the customer service. They also offered a 30% discount off the main menu and drinks, for those lucky enough to call themselves a student!
Prior to our train journey home, we were kindly offered the chance to store our luggage at the hotel, which was greatly appreciated as we were free to roam the city once more before heading home. We took a walk along the city walls which was very reminiscent of our trip to York. To top off a fantastic stay in which the weather was on our side, we walked alongside the River Dee and finally through Grosvenor Park, both equally as pleasurable.
Overall, I would highly recommend staying in Chester if you want to visit a place with many historical attractions to visit, and you are within easy reach of several other attractions suitable for all ages. The hotel we stayed in wasn’t the best, or at least our room in the annex building wasn’t. So from personal experience, I would recommend staying elsewhere in the city centre.