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Chester

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Cheshire  /  Chester
(4/5 based on 22,000+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: zoos & aquariums, historic sites, sightseeing
Chester is a walled city in Cheshire, England. Lying on the River Dee, close to the border with Wales, it is the largest and most populous settlement of the unitary authority area of Cheshire West and Chester, which had a combined population of 328,100 according to the 2001 Census, increasing to 329,608 at the 2011 Census. Chester was granted city status in 1541.Chester was founded as a "castrum" or Roman fort with the name Deva Victrix, during the reign of the Emperor Vespasian in AD79. One of the three main army camps in the Roman province of Britannia, Deva later became a major civilian settlement. In 689, King Æthelred of Mercia founded the Minster Church of West Mercia, which later became Chester's first cathedral, and the Saxons extended and strengthened the walls, much of which remain, to protect the city against the Danes. Chester was one of the last cities in England to fall to the Normans. William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a castle, to dominate the town and the nearby Welsh border.Chester is one of the best preserved walled cities in Britain. It has a number of medieval buildings, but some of the black-and-white buildings within the city centre are Victorian restorations. Apart from a 100m section, the listed Grade I walls are almost complete. The Industrial Revolution brought railways, canals, and new roads to the city, which saw substantial expansion and development – Chester Town Hall and the Grosvenor Museum are examples of Victorian architecture from this period.
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Where to stay in Chester

Chester is not only steeped in Roman history, but also packed with a wide range of modern lodging options. The selection of hotels runs the gamut from family-run operations to luxury big-name brands, known for offering spacious rooms upstairs and Michelin-rated cuisine downstairs. Most of Chester's finest hotels are located within the diminutive city center, which makes them an ideal base for exploring everything this urban area has to offer. A wider variety of less expensive options, including cozy B&Bs and traditional inns, is located a short walk from the town center.
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