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The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version)

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The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version)
Author: Pub Walker, Published: 25 Sep 2013 Walk Rating:star1 The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version)star1 The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version)star1 The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version)star1 The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version)star0 The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version)
Cheshire, Chester
Walk Type: River or lakeside
The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version)
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version) boot The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version)
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0004_black_low_cloud The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version)Today's weather
9 °C, Overcast, Wind: 8 mph S
Next few days: Hover over icon for more info.
0018_cloudy_with_heavy_rain The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version) 0003_white_cloud The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version) 0002_sunny_intervals The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version) 0002_sunny_intervals The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version) 0009_light_rain_showers The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version)

NOTE: There are two versions of this walk on iFootpath. This one is for use when Chester Races are NOT running (see to find out the date of fixtures) as it includes the section of the riverside promenade that is closed to the public during racing.

A 6 mile circular walk from the Architect in Chester, Cheshire. The Architect is a classic pub restaurant within Chester’s city walls overlooking the racecourse at Roodee. The walking route has real variety with something for everyone: the bustling city streets, quiet suburban residential lanes, modern commercial estates, a section of the ancient city walls and very long peaceful stretches of paths alongside the River Dee.

The walk is relatively flat and follows mostly well-made surfaces. There are just a couple of short stretches which follow grass bank paths which can get a bit muddy after rain and in winter. There are no stiles or gates on route, just a few flights of steps and staggered barriers. You will be sharing the riverside paths with cyclists so take care with children and dogs. Approximate time 2.5 to 3 hours.

The walk starts and finishes from the Architect, which is sandwiched between Nun’s Road and Nicholas Street in Chester. Approximate post code CH1 2NX. There is a very small pub car park accessed from the Nicholas Street side, but whilst you are completing the walk please use one of the public car parks nearby. The easiest is Little Roodee Car Park (alongside Grosvenor Bridge and accessed from Castle Drive, CH1 1SL) which costs £3 for 3 hours (correct Summer 2013). From this car park come out of the steps to the right of the cafe, cross over the road junction into Nun’s Road and walk up past the racecourse on the left – you’ll find the pedestrian entrance to the Architect just a little way along on the right.

Walk Sections

Start to Riverside Path
Start to Riverside Path

Start point: 53.1874 lat, -2.8953 long
End point: 53.1841 lat, -2.8954 long

From the courtyard garden in front of the pub, come down the steps and along the paved path to leave the pub grounds through the gate into Nun’s Road (with the racecourse directly opposite). Cross over with care and turn left along the pavement with the racecourse and part of the old city wall running on the right.

You will come to a junction with Grosvenor Road, cross over using the pedestrian crossing ahead. Do NOT take the walls footpath ahead, instead turn right across Castle Drive and follow the steps down into the Little Roodee Car Park. At the bottom of the steps bear right, passing in front of the brick-built cafe, and continue past the coach parking to reach a T-junction with the tarmac Riverside Path – a cycleway and footpath.

Riverside Path to Mount Pleasant
Riverside Path to Mount Pleasant

Start point: 53.1841 lat, -2.8954 long
End point: 53.1817 lat, -2.9128 long

Turn right along the riverside path and follow this under the tall red sandstone arches of Grosvenor Bridge. Grosvenor Bridge, at one time the longest single arch masonry bridge in the world, was designed by the architect Thomas Harrison and opened in 1832. Harrison, born in Yorkshire and completing his early training in Rome, also designed much of Chester Castle. The Architect pub is named in his honour. He designed the pub building as his own residence, and lived there for many years.

NOTE: if this gate is closed, you are walking on a race day and you need to follow the alternative route – The Architect and River Dee (Chester Race Days Version).

Follow the path with the river over to the left and the racecourse immediately on the right. Chester Racecourse, known as the Roodee, is according to official records the oldest racecourse still in use in England. Towards the centre of the in-field is a raised mound which is decorated by a small cross known as a rood. The course’s name, Roodee, is a corruption of the term Rood Eye, meaning The Island of the Cross.

When you reach the rail bridge overhead, turn left up the steps to cross the footbridge alongside the rail bridge which leads you over the river. You will emerge to a T-junction with a tarmac lane. Turn left along the road and ignore the first turning on the right (Curzon Close). At the staggered T-junction, turn right into Earlsway. This Chester suburb, Curzon Park, is well known for having some of the city's largest and most prestigious residences. Continue for some distance along this quiet suburban road and, just after a bus stop, turn right into Mount Pleasant.

Mount Pleasant to Dee Footbridge
Mount Pleasant to Dee Footbridge

Start point: 53.1817 lat, -2.9128 long
End point: 53.185 lat, -2.946 long

Immediately after the garden fencing and brick sub-station, fork right down a signed stone footpath. Keep straight ahead at the bottom of the slope as this path passes under a pretty old railway arch. Pass through the staggered barrier and continue on the path which passes through a tunnel of trees with a golf course to the right.

As you emerge from the trees keep ahead for a few more yards to reach a T-junction of paths with the river immediately in front of you. Turn left along the grass embankment. After a little distance the path passes out through a staggered barrier to reach a T-junction with the main road within a commercial park. Cross over with care and turn right along the pavement. You have now crossed the border into Wales. Keep ahead for some distance on the road, passing a whole range of commercial and industrial businesses.

Where you reach a width restriction section in the road, bear left, cross the side road and keep right to continue on the pavement. You will pass a large superstore selling outdoor equipment on the left. When you reach the post box, turn right across the road to join the tarmac cycle path which swings left alongside the river. Keep ahead on this riverside path for some distance, and eventually you’ll reach a footbridge over the river.

Dee Footbridge to Border Crossing
Dee Footbridge to Border Crossing

Start point: 53.185 lat, -2.946 long
End point: 53.1833 lat, -2.9202 long

Turn right across the bridge towards the collection of houses known as Higher Ferry and, at the far side, turn sharp right to join the cycle path (Number 568 to Chester) heading back along the river. Follow the tarmac track with the river now to your right.

The River Dee flows for 70 miles, rising in Snowdonia and discharging to the sea in an estuary between the north-east Wales coast and the Wirral Peninsula. Historically the river provided an important industrial shipping route from the sea to the port at Chester, but over time the river silted up and became impassable.

At the second left hand bend in the path, where the industrial units on the opposite bank end, you will reach a pair of granite pillars which mark the border crossing where you re-enter England. Take a moment here to inspect the inside surfaces of these which are polished and then etched with series of pictures including footsteps, horse tracks, a lighthouse and various birds.

Border Crossing to End
Border Crossing to End

Start point: 53.1833 lat, -2.9202 long
End point: 53.1875 lat, -2.8962 long

Continue on the (now very straight and seemingly endless!) path with the river still on the right. Some people consider walking on this sort of long straight path to be lacking in interest, but I always believe a path is what you make of it. Take time to appreciate the peaceful setting and look out for the many birds that make the river their home (you may be lucky to see a heron and/or cormorants drying their wings); a great opportunity for reflection.

As the river begins to swing right you’ll come to a fork in the path. Keep right and then right again at the next fork a few paces later, with the river still to the right and a pretty line of trees to the left. At the end of the park the path swings left to reach a pavement alongside the road.

Turn right along the pavement, passing a number of new flat developments which have been created in this area of the old port. Pass over the old lock and if you look to the left you’ll see a dead end branch of the Shropshire Union Canal. When it was opened, the Chester Canal had locks down to the River Dee. Canal boats could enter the river at high tide to load goods directly onto seagoing vessels. The port facilities here at Crane Wharf made an important contribution to the commercial development of the north-west region.

Continue into New Crane Street and keep straight ahead at the crossroads, passing the old Chester Electric Lighting Station on the left (an ornate red brick building dating back to 1896, still with a carved stone crest adorning the top of the balustrade).

Keep ahead on the pavement passing under the railway arches and you’ll pass the buildings of Chester Racecourse on the right. The road swings left and you’ll come to a gate within the red sandstone city walls, Watergate. Pass under the small stone arch within the walls and turn right into Nun’s Road. Go up a couple of steps to join the path along the top of the walls. Continue for just a little distance and you’ll come to the Architect on the left for some very well earned hospitality.

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

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network The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version) Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by iFootpath and the author pubwalker and may not be reproduced without permission.

5 Comments for: "The Architect and River Dee (Non-Chester Race Days Version)"

Nice, enjoyable 6 mile walk. Lovely scenery around the river Dee. Instructions very clear.

By caroline grayson on 17 Feb 2019

Pleasant Sunday walk (Kim's cafe wasn't open unfortunately). Nice pint at The Architect. Pete&Alicia

By merricks on 29 Apr 2018

Good walk for wet winter walking as it is 90% on pavements or tarmac paths. After the housing estate and industrial estate there is a great cafe called Kim’s cafe . It is a must to call in for coffee. After the cafe the views improve walking along the Dee. Great pub to start and finish, lovely food and real ale.

By awdisp on 24 Nov 2017

Note: Curzon Close is first turning on the right, not on the left as stated. We went past and had to retrace. Great walk that crosses over to Wales and back into England.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Sorry for this mistake and thank you so much for letting us know. We have updated the guide, ready for future walkers. Glad you enjoyed the walk.

By colyn1306 on 01 May 2017

Philip Forber: Just did The Architect and river dee 6 mile walk start and finishing at Chester and it was great to just walk and see some lovely scenery

By Facebook on 15 Aug 2016

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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