Standing majestically on a sheer rocky crag in Cheshire, with unrivalled views across eight counties of England and Wales stands Beeston Castle. Surrounded by 40 acres of beautiful woodland, this English Heritage site boasts an abundance of wildlife and some wonderful woodland walks. With 4000 years of history, Beeston Castle brings England's past to life and offers action packed events throughout the year.
We spent a wonderful afternoon visiting Beeston Castle yesterday. The weather was pleasantly warm and Freddy was wearing his favourite accessory of the moment, his Superman cape, ready for his adventure.
After entering Beeston through the Victorian ticket office, you walk into a lovely grassy area from which you can get to the different paths leading up to the castle or to the circular woodland walk that goes around the site. We chose the least steep of the walks up the hill that followed the outer ward wall. It was a lovely walk with panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. There was plenty of scope for exploring the ruined walls and lots of space for the children to run freely.
A rather steep, modern bridge crosses the rock-cut ditch that surrounds the castle, leading you through the gatehouse and into the inner ward of the castle. On top of the hill, the views are amazing. It was a clear, bright day and we could clearly see the Jodrell bank telescope, some 18 miles away, as well as the Welsh mountains, the Wrekin, Ellesmere Port, Chester and neighbouring Pickerton Castle. It was beautiful up there.
A 100 metre deep well provided an opportunity to make our own echoes as we shouted "Hello!" down into the depths of darkness. Thankfully there is a metal mesh inside it to prevent anyone falling down the hole! Richard II used the well to hide his treasure! It is amazing to think of the history of the place, and of all the people that would have lived, fought battles and died on the ground where we stood.
The castle is remarkably well preserved and you can visualise what it must have looked like. There are walls to rooms still standing with windows looking out across the countryside. Freddy and Kizzy were enthralled with the castle, clambering up and jumping off rocks, looking at the scenery and discovering the flora and fauna. There are lots of places to hide and lots of places to peep through. Both Freddy and Kizzy absolutely loved playing together and running around in the fresh air.
It was so nice to get away from it all and just enjoy the natural beauty of the countryside and the amazing history of the area. Although it's easily accessible from the A49, Beeston is a world away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It is a great place for inquisitive children to expend energy and explore the surroundings. The shop has a "Castle of the Rock" exhibition which gave us an insight into what life was like at Beeston over the last 4000 years. A model of how the castle would have looked during its prime was of great interest to Freddy who asked if it was "how it was before it got broken?!" It was very interesting to see artifacts and learn the history of the castle.
After buying some ice creams and a toy dragon from the shop, we left Beeston feeling well exercised after our walk in the fresh air. We slept well last night!
Beeston Castle is one of over 400 historic sites run by English Heritage. They put on hundreds of action packed events throughout the year including Nature Trails, Knight Schools and combat reconstructions. Members of English Heritage receive free entry to the sites for themselves and up to six accompanying children under 19, making it a great value way to keep the family entertained. Annual single adult membership is £48.
Find out more at www.english-heritage.org.uk/
We received a Media Pass so we could carry out this review and another later in the year, when we plan to attend a Clash of Knights event being held at Beeston Castle on August 10th and 11th.
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