Other Cities: Two of the most interesting towns in all England for any tourist are York in the north, and Chester about 3 hours by train from London. Chester is a live, busy town, York a quiet cathedra] town; but for an American sightseer, both have the charm that only great age brings. Both have Roman ruins, both have their ancient walls. Those in Chester are still standing so that the visitor may walk completely around them. York Minster is to many the most glorious church in all England, surely the most interesting cathedral with the most beautiful stained glass. Whoever sees the famed â€œFive Sistersâ€ window or some of the simpler war memorials can never forget them. Like York, Chester is an old Roman town, but busier and gayer. You can shop in the medieval Rows, the delightful two-storied arcades, shops full of antique silver, jewelry and furniture, and almost touch and feel the fourteenth century.
Try taking a train for one of these high spots the first day you can spare from London. Do both if you have time; either city can be used as a base for a two- or three-day tour of the surrounding countryside. (In Chester, the Blossoms and, in York, Royal Station.)
Wales: It is easy to go to Wales from Chester. But you should try to get to Wales, which has a hundred old castles, even if you donâ€™t make Chester. North Wales is the best. The cities of the south are grim, bleak coal-mining centers not unlike our own. Go to Llangollen for the annual Eisteddfod, which is a festival for musicians and dancers from all over the world. But it is the magnificent Welsh singing such as you heard in â€œHow Green Was My Valleyâ€ which rules the occasion. Llangollen is in Denbighshire, where flows the River Dee. Go to Betws-y-Coed in Caernarvonshire. Visit Colwyn Bay, and Llandudno, modern resorts with good hotels and fine beaches. Try the Imperial, St. Georgeâ€™s or Craigside Hydro.
Caernarvon Castle is where the first Prince of Wales was presented by his father, Edward 1. The castle is forbidding and majestic. North of Caernarvon are the resort towns of Llanfairfechan, Penmaen-mawr and Bangor. The highest mountain in England and Wales, Snowdon, is in this county which is famous for its steep mountain ranges and its mountain climbing. South of Caernarvon is Montgomeryshire, which is in Central Wales where the Wye and the Severn Rivers start their course. There are some charming towns and excellent fishing in the streams of Vyrnwy and Wye.
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