CHESTER is a beautiful city where there is a lot to see. Start with a walk along the city walls where at times you can see the canal far below. Then there is the enormous cathedral where, in 1842, Handel heard the first public performance of his Messiah. Just walking along the streets is a pleasure, with the famous Chester Rows and Eastgate with its overhanging clock. There are plenty of shops, pubs and restaurants. the outlet for the Ellesmere Canal – hence its name. However, the Ellesmere Canal was never completed: the section from Chester to Ruabon wasn’t built; plans were changed for the length south of there, and it ended up as what is known today as the Llangollen Canal.
After leaving Tower Wharf the canal at first passes through an area of housing estates before Chester’s suburbs are finally left behind and the waterway heads out into the countryside. Despite its rural appearance, this route was busy with boats carrying oil from the Mersey refineries to the industrial Midlands as late as the mid 1950s.
Consider a stop at Bridge 134 for a short walk to Chester Zoo, one of the largest in Britain with a huge collection of animals from all over the world.
Next comes a flurry of motorway interchanges that almost overwhelm the small village of Stoak. Nevertheless, it might be worth a stop here to visit the old village pub which is well known for