Splen­did win­ter sun along­side river


THE city of Ch­ester orig­i­nated in 79 AD as an im­por­tant Ro­man mil­i­tary port and camp, called Deva Vic­trix.

At that time, the River Dee was deep enough for ocean-go­ing ves­sels to reach the port.

When the Ro­mans left around 410 AD, it be­came a civil­ian set­tle­ment.

To­day, the city has many his­tor­i­cal points of in­ter­est to re­mind us of its past. Ch­ester and the River Dee fea­tured on a re­cent walk led by Peter Ri­ley, when 14 East Cheshire Ram­blers met near the Duke of West­min­ster’s es­tate at Ea­ton Hall for an eight and a half mile walk.

Blue sky and sun­shine ac­com­pa­nied us as we fol­lowed the River Dee north­wards, ad­mir­ing some beau­ti­ful river­side prop­er­ties, and lis­ten­ing to the sounds of the river – es­pe­cially the rhyth­mic splash of oars dip­ping into the wa­ter as sev­eral groups of scullers, like us, en­joyed the warm morn­ing sun­shine.

Cross­ing the sus­pen­sion bridge, known as Queens Park foot­bridge, we came to Ch­ester’s old­est church, St John the Bap­tist.

Founded in 689 by Aethelred of Mer­cia, it be­came the city’s first cathe­dral in the 11th cen­tury, then a parish church af­ter the Ref­or­ma­tion.

Mov­ing on, we saw the re­mains of the Ro­man am­phithe­atre, then walked through the mu­nic­i­pal ‘Ro­man Gar­dens’ with their ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­ca­va­tions of Ro­man bathing halls, hypocaust and stun­ning cir­cu­lar mo­saic com­mem­o­rat­ing the 2010 golden ju­bilee of the Civic Trust.

Soon we were walk­ing on the city walls, look­ing down at the quaint, bustling streets below and en­joy­ing the views from our el­e­vated po­si­tion.

Our route took us past Ch­ester race­course, the Roodee, amaz­ingly once the site of an im­por­tant har­bour.

Af­ter our pic­nic lunch be­side the river op­po­site the weir, we re­turned through wood­land along ‘The Drive’– the for­mer car­riage­way for Ea­ton Hall, and then the pretty es­tate vil­lage of Ec­cle­ston.

We com­pleted our walk with a short stroll along the river bank, where we were sur­prised to see two hardy swim­mers brav­ing the win­tery wa­ter!

Back at the cars, ev­ery­one agreed it had been a most in­ter­est­ing and en­joy­able walk.

For more de­tails of East Cheshire Ram­blers’ pro­gramme of week­end and mid­week walks go to ram­blerseastcheshire. org.uk.

●● Ram­blers on Queens Park Foot­bridge cross­ing the Dee

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.