To find our Christmas getaway for 2019 I did the usual research of what places had Christmas markets and if they were any good. I had visited the city of Chester before when I travelled England way back in 2006. To be honest on this visit I didn’t really recognise much…
Chester has a historic town centre, with nearly every building being of significant age. Usually this is nothing but a positive statement from myself, but this time round we had a 9 month old baby with us and it wasn’t until we became parents that we fully realised how inaccessible so many places are everywhere! We had trouble in Derbyshire back in June of this year, which didn’t surprise me as we were in Derbyshire villages such as Bakewell and Matlock, so I knew it might have been difficult with a pushchair. But what took us by surprise in Chester was the high percentage of shops that had stairs leading up or down to them.
It is nice what Chester have done, by keeping the historic buildings, but without adapting them for modern times it literally meant we couldn’t access some shops and restaurants, unless one of us went in while the other waited outside with the baby. This didn’t stop us every time though, as we still ate at Nandos on our last night, which had a couple of steps going down into the restaurant once through the door. It just meant a waiter had to help us open the doors and get us down the steps and visa versa when we left.
We were told that some shops had better access round the other side of the buildings, however, this we didn’t have a chance to explore, so we are not sure which or how many shops had disabled access.
However, if you have no pushchair or wheelchair then there’s a lot to see and explore. Many shops are rather interesting to be in because of being in beautiful old buildings and then there’s the cathedral and all the Roman history, with the amphitheatre, Roman garden and museums.
The Christmas market was next to the cathedral, it was relatively small, but had quite a few stalls of Christmassy food and gifts. Emma bought herself some fudge and I was delighted to find a stall selling fresh macaroons.
I have fond memories of Chester when I visited back in the mid noughties and I still think it’s a lovely city with a lot to explore if you’re into history and architecture.