A Day at the Races

Trip Start Nov 27, 2012
Trip End May 18, 2013

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, April 7, 2013

After leaving Edinburgh we knew we had to make our way down to London as we are to fly out of Heathrow airport. Our original intention was to say at Liverpool. We had also noticed that the Grand National horse race was coming up (which is run at the Aintree track – close to Liverpool) so we decided that this would be fun to attend. We then thought of combining this with a football game and, the day after the Grand National, Liverpool were to play West Ham at home. Too easy! That would certainly be an action packed weekend. What we didn't allow for was the fact that the football game was already sold out! Bugger! Not to be daunted, we bought the race tickets and accepted that the soccer game was not to be! (Sorry Steve – but as it isn’t AFL it really doesn’t matter does it?)

In addition to this, good accommodation in Liverpool was also virtually sold out and the rooms which were available had a very high asking price (think of accommodation costs trackside for the Gold Coast Indy.) So, being inventive travellers, we pulled out the map and looked for somewhere nearby where we could stay (without taking out a second mortgage) and our answer was .......the town of Chester.

Chester is on the River Dee and is a very beautiful town. In fact it is heritage listed. It is a walled town, full of history, with Tudor architecture and a magnificent cathedral. It is also about forty minutes, by train, into Liverpool.

On Saturday 6th April we caught the train from Chester to Liverpool and then the connecting (and very crowded) train from Liverpool to Aintree. The atmosphere at the track was amazing – everyone was in party mode with lots of the men in suits and the women in their own version of 'racewear’. (Some of this was not what we would consider to be stylish clothes for a day at the races – but that’s another story). The bottom line is that everyone was there for a good day out and it was a lot of fun. Luck was not on our side as far as the punting was concerned but when you consider that in the Grand National race alone, there are forty starting horses, running four miles, attempting to jump thirty fences, you can imagine how difficult it is to pick a winner. (By the way, the winning horse was at odds of 66/1.)

The next day (which was to have been our footy day), was spent exploring the town of Chester. We walked the two miles around the city wall and thoroughly enjoyed immersing itself in the history of the place. Of course, we visited Chester cathedral which, (like all of the churches we have seen on our trip), was a fine display of the architecture of the time. This was made all the more special by the fact that we visited it on a Sunday morning, arriving just as the service was finishing. The place was full of misty incense and the haunting sounds of the piped organ music were echoing through the building.

Once again, we did not know quite what to expect from Chester. It was not our first choice to stay at, but it is now regarded by us as one of the best places we have seen in the United Kingdom.

London now beckons once again – for the penultimate stage of our journey. After more time in one of our favourite capital cities, only Singapore will remain. However, six more nights in London sounds pretty good and we already have some plans for our time there – but that is all for our next instalment.
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Kerrie Lane on

Chester was an overnighter for is in 2011. It is a beautiful city and the wall is certainly worth the walk. We stayed in a hotel that looked just like your photo. We will be in London in 3 weeks - really counting now.

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