Tuesday, May 9 – Beeston Castle

A wonderful day, I thought, as I rambled towards Altrincham. Everything was glorious, ideal to be awheel on a day like this. Through Altrincham I meandered, along the Chester road, conscious that everything was in smiling May array. One thing that struck me as I neared Northwich was the number of painted signs that hung outside the roadside Inns. The ‘Windmill’ was one such. It shows Don Quixote tilting at the windmill, while his henchman, Sancho Panza, gazes on with amazement, and a little further on is one ‘The Smoker’. This sign represents the Smoker, one of Lord De Tabley’s racehorses, whilst on the other side are the arms of De Tabley. Both these signs were painted by Miss Leighton, a niece of Lord De Tabley. About five miles beyond Northwich, I turned left at the sign to Tarporley, and after some miles I found that I was going into some lovely bylanes. These continued until I arrived at the wonderful old village of Eaton.

Set in perfect rural surroundings with ivy and roses climbing the cottage walls and complete with the famous village pump, and well removed from the bustling outer world, it was a place where anyone would linger. Again I plunged into a maze of lanes, and as I was rounding a bend I had a pleasant surprise. Perched high on a rock were the romantic ruins of Beeston Castle, in splendid desolation. I immediately fell in love with this, and was rambling on towards the castle when I was brought to a sudden reality. I was rushing into the modern village of Beeston with its railway lines. Passing through here I made my way to the Castle, but consider my chagrin when I found it closed on Tuesdays. I returned, spending much time on the road, and determined to come back again. Returned via Toddington and Warrington for 6pm.

90 miles, 7.5 hours.