Colour Fest A brief Stay in Chester

It’s mid September and we are off island. While on the Mainland we took the opportunity to visit family in the historic city of Chester. The present day city is the lastest development of the Roman fortress and town known as Deva Victrix.

Matchstick Men and Women

With blue sky for most of our stay colours were especially vibrant. The Eastgate Clock on the city wall is a prominent landmark and it is said to be the most photographed clock in England after Big Ben.

The Historic Eastgate and Clock

The Eastgate and its clock were just as photogenic as the sun was setting.

The Eastgate at Sunset

The Shropshire Union Canal and the River Dee both flow through the centre of the city. Our walk to the family home took us along the bank of the canal at sunset. This was very much part of the Chester 'colour fest'.

Chester's Canal at Sunset.

As we made our way along the towpath the colours and reflections simply got better and better . . . and better.

Canal boats moored for the night

The problem was knowing which photographs to include!

Reflections that entrance

Leaving the canal-side we crossed over the railway and once again we were impressed with the view of the station and the backdrop of the evening sky.

Chester Railway Station

The following day we caught the train for the short journey to Liverpool where our son is the artistic director of one of the city's theatres. Liverpool and Glasgow have much in common. Both stand on rivers, both have a proud maritime tradition, both are university cities, both have diverse populations but probably above everything else it is the people who make both cities.

'Ferry Cross The Mersey'

The waters surrounding the Isle of Tiree where we live are crystal clear and often an azure blue. How different the River Mersey - it is a murky brown! However, the Mersey Ferry that sails between Liverpool and Birkenhead/Wallasey on the Wirral Peninsula is certainly colourful, perhaps bizarrely so.

Reflecting on Liverpool's Revival.

Once again the sun shone down us as we made our way towards the Royal Albert Dock at the vibrant heart of Liverpool's historic waterfront, The sky was so blue and the water in the remnant of one of the basins acted as a mirror for the renaissance skyline.

A statue in memory of Liverpool's Carters' Horses

There is so much colour to the Albert Dock Area. Against this colourful backdrop a robust grey statue is erected in memory of Liverpool's Carters' horses.

Just right for a hot sunny day.

Replica buses serve as markets for street food and they bring a real touch of colour to the fest.

Sundrops keep falling on my head.

In the very heart of the city, in Church Alley, two hundred colourful umbrellas are suspended over the street. The striking rainbow display is there to raise awareness of ADHD. Imagine our surprise, in an adjacent street, to meet someone, a student, from Tiree. We don't know who was more surprised them or us!

A colourful shrub close to the city centre.

Chester is an attractive city that is a pleasure to walk around, especially on the its historic walls. However, on our final full day before starting our journey home to the Isle of Tiree, we chose to escape to the country. We took the train to two stations down the line to Delamere, the 'Forest Station'.

Delamere - The Forest Station

Delamere Station has the strap line - the forest station - from tracks to trails. The station and the cafe housed in the former station buildings are very colourful. What a marvellous introduction to the forest and its walks.

Adding colour to the tree trunk

We were fascinated by the presence of butterflies appearing to tree hug. It was as if they were dancing round the tree. They were there as we began our walk and still there on the way back.

A squirrel finds a place of safety

With us was the family pet, Columbo, a one eyed rescue dog. He was the first to sense the presence of a squirrel. It was not long before the squirrel sought refuge, lying out on a sturdy branch high up in a tree.

'Berry Good'

With it being mid to late September, many of the trees bore witness to nature's bounty. Hips, haws, and berries were present in abundance. Some brambles were ripe enough to pick and eat. Our walk, or climb, was up Old Pale Hill which rises to a height of 176 metres. It is situated to the south of the forest and forms the high point of the northern mass of the Mid Cheshire Ridge. The high point has many markers and standing stones which serve to point out the view spread out before you.

The centre stone - Cheshire

Views from the summit of Old Pale hill include the forest, the Cheshire Plain, Frodsham and Helsby Hills, the Jodrell Bank Observatory , the Shropshire hills of Long Mynd and Wrekin, the Derbyshire hills and the Liverpool skyline. On a clear day views of seven counties unfold and it is possible to see Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Shropshire and Staffordshire in England, and Denbighshire and Flintshire in Wales.

Trees! Trees! Trees!

The Isle of Tiree has very few trees so it was a real pleasure to be in the forest and to look down across a landscape populated with tree after tree.

The railroad runs through the middle of the forest

There was a children's song that spoke of the railroad running through the middle of the house. Here at Delamere the railway runs through the middle of the forest. After our excursion or escape into the forest, we caught the train back to the city.

Unbroken blue sky almost turns the canal blue

Our time in the colourful city of Chester was characterised by blue skies and warm weather. In a very real sense we saw the city at its best, whether walking its historic walls, wandering through its streets, or walking alongside its waterways.

Colour in the most unexpected of places

Colour can be found in the most unexpected of places. Our brief stay in the city was almost over, when we were excited to observe a flower growing out of a crack on the doorstep of a pub in 'the village' of Hoole, a district close to the centre of Chester. Our time in the city and the surrounding area was indeed a festival of colour.


Created By
Alan Millar


Photographs are the property of Alan and Ursula Millar - please seek permission before copying.