The view from our boat this morning. Beeston Castle in the sunshine.
The plan for the day was to go walking across the fields up to the castle, so at 9.30am with a packed lunch, we set off across the field with the castle always in view. One of the fields had heffers in with a bull, which appeared to be snoozing. When I was growing up on a dairy farm, a notice was always shown on the gate when a field contained a bull, does this not apply today? Because it should do.
We paid our £5.70 each, had a coffee and then went walking around the castle.
Beeston's crag attracted prehistoric settlers long before it was a castle. The 'Castle of the Rock' was built in the 1220s by Ranulf, Earl of Chester, one of the greatest barons of Henry III's England. From looking at the sheer scale of the castle, it is hard to see how anyone could actually get into the castle when trying to attack it. The inner bailey, is defended by a deep rock-cut ditch and a huge double-towered gatehouse.
From the inner bailey there are breath taking views across eight counties, from the Welsh Mountains to the west to the Pennines in the east and on a morning like this morning we could see most of them I think.
Peckforton Castle peaked out of the trees. Originally the home of Lord Tollemache. It is now the home of the Naylor family and a fantastic hotel.
Whilst we were walking around the castle in the sky, we heard that a steam train would be coming past from Huston station to Chester. So we settled down to eat our lunch and waited for the Britannia Class 7 to arrive.
There is something majestic about steam trains.
I prefer them to the new trains.
I always feel very excited when I see a steam train, because they are so special.
After the excitement of the steam train we got back to walking around the castle and the woodland walk.
The woodland walk took us down to the caves, which were made by the quarrymen. Both Keith and I enjoyed our visit to the castle, it was well worth the effort of walking across the fields and up the hill. But if you are not very sure of foot then the walk is not for you because a lot of it is up hill and over rocks. I would definitely do it again.
Back at the boat I made us a coffee, whilst Keith checked online to see when Britannia was coming back. The answer was 26 minutes past 4, so there I was with my camera, standing in the rain waiting for her to arrive. The rain died out thankfully as she appeared under the railway bridge.
How can you not like that imagine? I felt like I should be sat on the fence waving, like the children in "The Railway Children".
My day was complete having seen her on her return journey to Huston station. Back on the boat, I prepared dinner, fetched in wood and coal as it is going to be a very chilly night tonight. The TV is on and all is well with my world.