Chester Rows, Bridge St, Watergate St, Eastgate Street, Chester, CH1 1NG – Visit Now
Chester is renowned for some of the most attractive and elegant shopping streets in the world and The Rows have a historic appeal that puts them on a par with Edinburgh’s Prince Street, The Shambles of York and the Old City of Bern in Switzerland.
The Rows run along Watergate Street, Northgate Street, Eastgate Street and Bridge Street and are a unique construction of two-storey, 13th century buildings, with half timber bay windows and continuous balconies. It’s an eclectic combination of Medieval, Georgian and Victorian architecture that evokes a special kind of ‘wow’ moment from first-timers.
These charming shopping arcades of yesteryear must be one of Britain’s most prized ancient treasures. Many of the buildings are listed and The Three Old Arches in Bridge Street is believed to be the oldest surviving shop face in Britain, with sections of the building dating back to 1274. Some are Victorian copies of the original black and white frontage, but still attractive to look at and awash with plenty of old-fashioned character.
The Rows adds to Chester’s status as a prime shopping destination and are home to a wide selection of independent traders, famous names and speciality stores. Stroll along the historic walkways and discover some of the city’s finest cafes and bars, as well as the best in boutique fashion, unusual antiques, hand-made chocolate and quirky gifts.
Lots of traders open late into the evening and the streets are just as magical after dark, with plenty of spots to duck inside and warm up. The Rows offer much more than just retail therapy and are one of Chester’s most photographed attractions for a good reason.
Even if shopping isn’t your thing, this part of the city is well worth a visit to see the wonderful architecture which has been so well preserved.