Anyway enough of the museum , lets get out into the fresh air and climb up to the castle.
Its a little steep but it only takes about 15 minutes to climb the hill and the views are worth it. There are two or three routes to take - two either side of the defence curtain wall and another up the middle...but they all soon arrive at the castle.
Here we are at the defence walls by the outer gatehouse - take the few steps on your left and follow me...
It can be a bit rocky at the top here, so sturdy shoes are advisable for the clambering about. This a well seen here in the pic,althought not the deep once mentioned earlier - there were not many reamins of that to be seen, certainly nothing worth taking a pic of anyway.
The medieval ruins of Beeston Castle stand on a rocky summit 500ft above the Cheshire plain, offering stunning views from the Pennines in the east to the mountains of Wales in the west. The fortification dates from 1225 when it was built by Ranulf, the sixth Earl of Chester, and contains one of the deepest castle wells in the country.
Admission is £3 for adults
29 Mar - 30 Sep: 10am - 6pm daily
1 - 31 Oct: 10am - 5pm daily
1 Nov - 31 Mar: 10am - 4pm daily
Closed 24-26 Dec, 1 Jan
The castle and the grounds, which includes its own chapel makes it an ideal and popular setting for weddings. The photots would look fantastic with this as a backdrop.
If this castle loooks strangely familiar to you it could be you have seen it on TV! The castle has been used as a film location for the Patrick Bergen 'Robin Hood' movie, 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' and 'Dr Who'.
Just a couple of miles from Beeston castle is Peckforton castle, also on a rocky outcrop. It was built between 1844 - 1851 as a functional Victorian home with the style of a 12th Century castle. This castle is privately owned and is now a stylish hotel with function suites available for hire.
This pic shows the imposing entrance - see next tip for more.
Its worth spending a short time in the museum (situated in the gatehouse where you pay your entrance fee) It will give you information about the history of the castle, which stretches back to the Bronze age when it was a hill fort.
There are some models of how the site looked in the iron age before the castle was built and this one when the castle was built
Beeston is only a small rural village but it does have some lovely typical cheshire cottages like the ones in this pic - this is on the corner of the road which you need to take to reach Beeston Castle, the main attraction of the village.
Soon we were heading back down the path - we took one of the other paths, but they all look similar to this one. I imagine much of the Sandstone Trail (See Sports tip) looks like this too.
There is a free carpark for visitors to the castle opposite its Gatehouse. This is where you need to pay the entrance fee (run by English Heritage)
There's a modern bridge leading to the inner gatehouse - even that is steep. Not sure there was meant to be a moat - its a sheer drop down the cliff below - perhaps it drew the enemies over the edge!
There are also lovely pictures of the castle in the museum. This one shows little change to how it is today...
Well what can you see from up here??
Well here's a little diagram of whats on view around you, depending upon clear weather of course.
We saw young kids playing with their bows and arrows up here...as well as some older "kids2 having fun ;-))
..and all too soon we were back where we started, at the lower gatehouse which houses the museum and of course a gift shop!