Setting off from the Beeston Castle Car park.
On he Sandstone trail with blue skies above Peckforton Castle.
One of our first views of Beeston Castle.
Time for a rest for some. Still on the Sandstone Trail.
It doesn't look quite so sunny in Liverpool!
Skirting round one of the rather boggy section of the route.
A few noisy Rooks in a wood we were passing just before lunch.
A view of Beeston Castle from the South.
One of the better views of Peckforton Castle.
Being instructed on how to use a pair of secateurs.
The only lambs we saw today, and they didn't like the look of us!
Our final approach towards Beeston Castle.
On Wharton's Bridge watching a narrow boat going through Wharton's Lock.
I think they were just putting off the final climb up the fields to Beeston!
Walk stats: Distance: 9.5 miles. Climb: 641'.
Time: 5 hours 15 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Wendy, David S., Annie, Paul, Sue and Dave P.
This was a glorious day for walking, almost a day for being in shorts! However at times when the suns rays didn't get to us, it did feel a little on the cool side, but most of the group at some time needed to remove some of their outer garments.
The views today were superb, and we even had distant views of distant hills decked in snow as well as seeing Liverpool Cathedral on the skyline. Our views of Beeston Castle couldn't have been better, we had views from every direction, but the view from the South was probably the best.
To our surprise some of the field paths were water logged, and some towards the end were muddy too. Hence the first job on arriving home, after watching the West Indies beat India in the T20, was to clean boots, but at least it could be done outside in the sunshine.
Lunch was taken on the side of a track near Willis's Wood, and just as we were leaving Michel noticed it was Badgers' latrine!
Just after lunch Sue and Dave P headed back to the car and the rest of headed of on the second part of the walk. Paul decided to head back a mile or so later and then briefly rejoined us near Bate's Mill Bridge before heading along the towpath and back to Beeston along the Sandstone Trail.
The rest of us carried on towards and as we crossed fields towards Huxley Lane, I was given the opportunity to remove thorny sections of a hedge that had partly blocked a stile. This was the first time that I had used my secateurs, carried for the last few months for just an occasion as this.
Birds seen or heard today included: Goldfinch, Common chaffinch, House sparrow, Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Eurasian jay, Great spotted woodpecker, Blue tit, Great tit, Common buzzard, Common blackbird, Jackdaw, Common pheasant, Woodpigeon and Rook.
We arrived back at the car, knowing we had had a really good walk, with legs on the tired side and looking forward to a refreshing drink.
We made the mistake of trying to park in a car park at Tarporley that was used by "school run cars", and only just managed to get in before they started to leave.
e all enjoyed drinks at the Swan, where brews from the local Weetwood brewery were sampled. Wendy's tea was even made with "real tea leaves" and a tea strainer supplied too.