Beeston Castle perches atop a rocky crag, looking out over the surrounding Cheshire Plains.
Families can call in at the English Heritage gift shop before entering to stock up on chain mail and weapons then sneak up through the woodland to attack the medieval castle. After paying the entrance fee, of course.
There are 40 acres of woodland park to explore so it’s good fun recreating your own historic battles among the trees. If you haven’t frightened them off with all that axe-brandishing, there are foxes and rabbits, buzzards and bats, and even peregrine falcons in the park.
The highlight of Beeston Castle is probably the deep castle well. Drop a stone in and wait until you can hear it land. The well is reputed to be the hiding place of Richard II’s lost treasure but it might all be buried under little stones now.
As well as all the medieval history and the stunning views (on a clear day you can see all the way from the Welsh mountains to the Pennines) Beeston Castle is also the site of some much older history.
Human settlements here date back over 4,000 years and there is now an amazing full-size replica of a Bronze Age roundhouse. You’ll be surprised at just how cosy and comfortable it looks.