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Chester has three main shopping areas. The Grosvenor Precinct is filled with classy, expensive shops and boutiques that sell a lot of trendy fashion and art items. This area is bordered on three sides by Eastgate, Bridge, and Pepper streets.

For stores with more character and lower prices, explore the Rows, a network of double-layered streets and sidewalks with an assortment of shops. The Rows runs along Bridge, Watergate, Eastgate, and Northgate streets. Shopping upstairs is much more adventurous than down on the street. Thriving stores operate in this traffic-free paradise: tobacco shops, restaurants, department stores, china shops, jewelers, and antiques dealers. For the best look, take a walk on arcaded Watergate Street.

Another shopping area to check out is Cheshire Oaks, a huge retail village of 60 shops, mainly clothing, perfume, and shoe outlet stores. Cheshire Oaks is located about 13km (8 miles) north of Chester on the M53.

Chester has a large concentration of antiques and craft shops. Some better ones include Lowe & Sons, 11 Bridge St. Row (tel. 01244/325850), with antique silver and estate jewelry; the Antique Shop, 40 Watergate St. (tel. 01244/316286), specializes in brass, copper, and pewter items.

Following the Antiques Experts -- To find a good deal on antiques, try a quick trip to the town of Boughton; every transatlantic dealer seems to go here. Along the A41, a mile from the heart of town, Boughton is filled with antiques shops along Christledon Road. It doesn't have the charm of Chester, but shopping values are often better here than in the more historic city. Some outlets have as many as a dozen showrooms, even though they often are hidden behind rather dreary facades.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.