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Then and now: Exploring 7 South Carolina counties’ rich history and exciting present

It’s time to explore the Olde English District — known as the gateway to SC’s past, present, and future.

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The Winnsboro Town Clock, the the longest continuously running clock in America.

The Olde English District consists of Chester, Chesterfield, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Union, and York counties.

Photo provided by Olde English District

Table of Contents

While you know how much we love Charleston, we also enjoy branching out to see what the rest of our state has to offer. Today, we’re taking you to the Olde English District to explore the past and present of the district’s seven counties (hint: the present is filled with foodie experiences and outdoor adventures).

Here are sights, restaurants, and more reasons to explore the north-central area of the state (and the history that came before).

York County


The textile industry was a huge factor in York County’s early years. By the 1950s, it was the largest employer in the county.


York County is full of restaurants and buzzing breweries. Visit the five-story Pump House for a locally-sourced, Southern-inspired meal and signature cocktail, along with a view of the Catawba River.

Chester County


Chester County was the scene for several Revolutionary War battles, including Beckhamville, Fishing Creek, and Fishdam Ford.


This area offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures. Hit the water, take a hike, or have a picnic at the 448-acre Landsford Canal State Park. (Pro tip: It’s almost strawberry-picking season at Cotton Hills Farm.)

Kershaw County


Kershaw County is home to some of the state’s most notable prehistoric sites as well as the oldest inland city, Camden.


The vibrant city of Camden is filled with great foodie options — we recommend Salud Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Lounge for yummy bites + hand-crafted drinks in a beautifully restored building.

Lancaster County


Notable Lancastrians include Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States; Charles Duke, astronaut and moon-walker; and Nina Mae McKinney, actress and Broadway star to name a few.


Bask in the rich arts community of Lancaster County by visiting galleries and collectives like Bob Doster’s Backstreet Studio, or enjoy nature while checking out public art on the Lindsay Pettus Greenway.

Union County


Known for its rich military history, several Revolutionary War battles took place in Union County, including the Battles of Musgrove Mill and Blackstock’s Farm.


Get your adrenaline pumping at the Union County Dragway and then stop by the legendary Midway BBQ (featured in Southern Living Magazine) for a bite to eat.

Chesterfield County


Chesterfield County is home to the last state church built in SC under King George III. The Old St. David’s Episcopal Church was used by the Americans and the British during the Revolution.


Play a round of golf at the 18-hole championship golf course in Cheraw State Park. Other activities include kayaking or canoeing, fishing, walking the boardwalk, and biking or hiking through the trails.

Fairfield County


Fairfield County is known for the longest continuously running clock in America and is home to more than 100 historical buildings, churches, and homes that predate the Revolutionary War.


Plan a camping trip at the 238-acre Lake Wateree State Park, which has 100 paved campsites, an on-site tackle shop, and a mile-long nature trail.

Ready to explore the Olde English District? Start planning your trip.


Which activity in the Olde English District sounds the most exciting to you? Let us know.*

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