The castle is managed by English Heritage and dates back to 1220 although a fortification has existed here since prehistoric times and is said to be one of the most dramatic sited castles in England.
Situated high above the Cheshire plain on top of a 500ft rocky sandstone outcrop it dominates the landscape….especially as much of Cheshire reminds me of Holland, almost as flat as a pancake and walking around Beeston reminded me very much of the castle in Valkenburg (which I visited earlier this year) situated on a rocky crag in the mountains of Holland!!
The castle was besieged for many months during the English Civil War between 1644 and 1645. After its surrender, the castle was partly demolished….a fate that was common to medieval castles and fotifications across the land. In the 19th century Beeston became the site for the celebrated Bunbury Fair attended by thousands of visitors.
When you do manage to climb up to the top of the 500ft crag and into the heart of this impressive fortress you are rewarded with magnificent views across the Cheshire plain and able to see 30 miles in all directions……Liverpool can clearly be seen 22 miles away to the north, but also in almost the opposite direction south east the Peak District National Park, the hills of North Wales to the west 30 miles away and to the east the ground-breaking Jodrell Bank radio telescope about 18 miles away.
It’s been almost twenty years since I last visited Beeston with Catherine and it bought back happy memories when we both walked along the long distant footpath the Sandstone Trail from Delamere Forest to Beeston…..a round trip of almost 30 miles IN ONE DAY!!!. A fantastic walk along Cheshire’s famous sandstone ridge; The only thing was that when we got to the castle we just didn’t have enough energy to go in, so we only saw it from a distance, this was our first trip inside the castle….long overdue in my opinion!
After a couple of hours at Beeston we headed to the medieval walled city of Chester about 9 miles away and had a meal in The Watergate Bar…..a medieval crypt dating back to 1180. Quite wonderful really, and after refuelling we walked it off by ‘walking the walls’ in the early evening about 2 miles around the city. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day.
All photos were taken on my iPod Touch using the Hipsatmatic App in random shake mode!
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