Castleton is a lovely little village just to the west of Sheffield nestled in the Hope Valley in the Peak District National Park and is perfect for a day out or a weekend away. Be aware though that it can get very busy during holidays so if you're planning on going get there early to ensure a car parking spot in one of the two pay and display small car parks that are on the far edge of the village. There is meter parking on the road out of the village but that can become full too.
The main car park has a small visitor centre with a brief history of the area and a gift shop which has a range of Castleton branded items such as pens, pencils, rubbers, note pads etc as well as other items such as maps, tea towels, and preserves. There's also a small refreshment outlet which sells ice creams and drinks. As well as seperate male and female toilets.
There's lots to do in Castleton, as well as there being many lovely walks through fields filled with sheep and lambs, if you go at the right time, you can also visit Peveril Castle which stand on a hill looking down on the village. Please note that there is a long steep path which zig zags it's way up to the castle and there is a charge to get it. There are also four caves which you can visit, Speedwell where you go on an underground boat ride. Beware that you have to go down and then back up a flight of steep stone steps which can become very wet and slippery and if you don't like dark confined spaces then avoid this attraction. Peak Cavern, also called The Devil's Arse, where you are shown how rope was made many years ago. This cave has low ceilings in some parts and the floor can be very wet and slippery. Blue John Cavern famous for it's Blue John Stone which is still mined there today and finally Treak Cliff Cavern again famous for Blue John. Like all caves, the floors can be very wet and slippery and there are quite a few steps to up and down. All the caves have an admission fee, to get in, but some do offer a discount if you want to visit more than one cave in a day.
If you're feeling adventurous you can always walk to the top of Mam Tor also known as the Shivering Mountain because of it's many landslips. Or if you're not that adventurous you can alway drive you car up Winnats Pass to a small car park about half way up and then walk the rest of the way on a well defined stone path. The view from the top is spectacular.
As for eating and drinking in Castleton then there are plenty of pubs and coffee shops to temp you with anything from cream teas to hot dogs, gammon, chips, the list goes on. There is also a selection of shops selling jewellery, tea towels, hats, gloves, postcards, calenders, old fashioned sweet and trinkets as well as shops that specialise in walking and hiking gear.
Castleton is a great place to visit for both young and old, it offers a variety of walks for all abilities, whether you want to stay on the flat or go up in the hills. Or you can visit the caves or castle, or simply stroll around the village. You can even feed the ducks in the little river that runs through the village and round the car park.
Castleton is a great place to visit for a day or weekend. If you get chance visit Hope on the way - another lovely village.
Castleton lies in the peak district national park. This is just west of Sheffield. It is quite a long and winding road to Castleton but there are numerous places to stop and take in the magical views. There are also a number of good pubs on the way.
The village in itself is an attraction. Take a walk along the winding streets and to the church in the centre. It is open most days to tourists. Some interesting independants shops can be found in the centre of the village - the book shop is particuarly good.
The caverns are an obvious attraction. Speedwell and Blue John Mine are the most popular but not cheap at around £8 per person!
The castle on the top of the hill is also worth a visit. Although not much of it remains there is a wealth of informaion in the tourist office.
Lots of places all wanting your custom. Most serve good quality home cooked food. The one opposite the church is particually good for Sunday lunch. Look out for homemade icecream - its delicious.
Hotels / Guesthouses
Lots of places to stay. If youre looking for a cheap bed check out the Youth Hostel - very central and a historical building in itself.
I visit Castleton between 3/4 times a year. It a lovely little village with a great history. If you get chance do one of the many walks or take a bike to explore the local area.
I have had the pleasure of spending a whole summer working in and around Castleton and it is such a beautiful and friendly little village where you can forget the stresses of living in a big town.
I lived in the local YHA hostel while I was working on a childrens holiday camp and the hostel is pretty good. it has retained its historical features and looks impressive from the outside. many of the rooms have retained their fireplaces, although purely for show.
the village has a very small population of a few hundred, but has many pubs!there is such a local community spirit. a couple of the pubs happily have lock-ins most nights of the week. the local primary school has just 2 classrooms!
there is a very good tourist information centre where you can get some info on good walks. the peak district in general is great for walking in caves and caving. castleon is home to a famous cave/cavern where a young boy in the 60s got trapped and died and was never rescued. his remains are still in the rocks.
there is also bottom-aching but well worth it walk up a steep hill to the remains of a castle where there some terrific views across the valley. the village is a short drive from hope valley train station which has good connection to manchester and sheffield. the local bus takes just under an hour to get to sheffield.
a good tip: drop by castleton one evening around xmas when all the decorations are up and its cold. the pubs do some great xmas food and the atmosphere is totally unique and if you are lucky you will get a lock-in somewhere!
On a recent trip to Castleton I was amazed how hospitable this place was. I was less than impressed when we were visiting my sister in law and she suggested a visit to Castleton, I don't do history, walks or anything like it.
So off we went with me moaning quietly, as I didn't want to offend the family, the weather was miserable and so was I as we stepped out of the car. We decided to visit one of the caverns located within Castleton itself, WOW I s was so surprised I totally loved it, yes it's not my usual scene but I found myself picking up leaflet after leaflet and reading about the place.
We visited caverns and had a really good look round before settling in the local pub for a great British pub meal and a few beers.
My impression of this lovely little place has totally changed and I can't say enough about it, I now need to learn not to judge before I try things.
Castleton, like many attractions in Derbyshire, has a nickname; 'Gem of the Peaks'. Castleton lies in the Hope Valley between the Dark and the White Peak areas of the Peak District. The Dark Peak to the north is the area of the Gritstone edges, some of the more well known being Froggatt Edge and Kinder Downfall, whereas the White Peak to the south is the area with the Limestone plateaus.
Castleton has a population of around 1,200 people and is a very popular place with visitors. This may be due to Castleton having almost everything a visitor could want. It has spectacular scenery, a ruined Norman castle (peveril castle) dominates Castleton, fascinating Geology, good walks for all abilities, a pretty village, many events throughout the year and a large car park.
Castleton itself dates from 1198 and is named after the castle (Castle town)! The earliest known settlement was the Iron Age fort on the top of Mam Tor, although it is thought that the there was settlement in the Bronze Age (around 1,400 BC). Even earlier traces of Stone Age man has been discovered in some caves on Treak Cliff - less than a mile from the centre of Castleton.
RERVIL CASTLE. This Norman castle was built by William the conqueror's son, William Peveril in 1080. It was built to oversee the King's Royal Forest of the Peak, although little of the forest now remains. Originally it was a wooden building but was rebuilt in stone around 1175 and this is the keep we can see today. The present keep was built under the direction of King Henry II. It was here in 1157 that Henry accepted the submission of King Malcolm of Scotland.
At the moment Peveril Castle is run by the English Heritage. It is open every day from 1st April to 31st October and Thursday to Monday from 1st November to 20th March. It is closed on Christmas Eve to Boxing Day and on New Year's Day.
There is a visitor centre which opened in 2006 and tells the story of Peveril as the focal point of the Royal Forest of the Peak, a hunting preserve for the Monarchs. Entrance to the castle and visitor center costs £3.50 for adults and £1.80 for children.
FARMERS MARKET this is a selection of local farmers selling local produce, this market takes place in Castleton on the first Sunday of every month.
PEAK CAVERN DEVILS ARSE CAVE This cave was formally known as the 'Devils Arse' before being called Peak Cavern and was recently renamed to the 'Devils Arse'. It is in the centre of the village. It has the largest natural cave entrance in Britain and the second largest in the world! It even claims to have had a pub in it at one time.
Rope was made in this cave system, the damp atmosphere being a favourable environment for rope making. Bert Marrison, the last rope maker in Castleton, worked here. His ashes, along with some of his tools, are buried in Peak cavern.
People that would like to visit both peak cavern and speedwell cavern can purchase a joint ticket, with a 15% reduction on combined entry prices.
Peak cavern is open 7 days a week from April to the end of October. It only opens at weekends for the rest of the year. Entrance is £6.75 for adults and £4.75 for children. A family ticket is available (2 adults and 2 children) for £20.00.
SPEEDWELL CAVERN is at the foot of Winnats Pass. Being only 1000 metres (0.6 miles) from the centre of the village of Castleton, it is a very gentle walk along the road.
This cave began life in the 18th century as a lead mine, but due to the limited amount of lead it closed after 20 years. During the lead mining period the system was flooded. So, unlike the other show caves, this cave can only be explored by underground boat. This underground canal is about 800 metres long and takes the subterranean seafarer to a so called bottomless pit.
Entrance cost is £7.25 for adults and £5.25 for children. A family ticket is available (2 adults and 2 children) for £25.
TREAK CLIFF CAVERN has the nicest formations. Treak Cliff Cavern has wonderful names for the caverns within it - names such as Witches Cave, Aladdin's Cave, Fairyland, the Dream Cave and the Dome of St Paul's all with an abundance of stalactites and stalagmites.
Treak Cliff cavern was opened to public visitors 1935. Entrance to this is near the gift and coffee shop in Castleton. Exit from the cave system is through an adit driven during the 1920's spar mining operations.
Admission is £7 for adults and £3.60 for children.
BLUE JOHN CAVAN clearly shows how the caverns are formed in limestone and how the limestone itself had much earlier been formed by the deposits on the floors of great oceans which have long since receded, as the fossilised remains of marine animals now show.
The Cavern is well illuminated by electric lighting. It has been suggested that the Blue John Cavern is the finest that can be seen by the general public in Western Europe. And in my opinion the best to visit.
This too costs £7 for adults and £3.60 for children.
MAM TOR THE SHIVERING MOUNTAIN
The A625 is the road used to run at the foot of Mam Tor Shivering Mountain. The Mam Tor is composed of horizontal layers of shales and gritstone. As water and ice work their way into these layers, they start to crumble, and the hill side is said to shiver ( hence the name shivering mountain). This had caused many problems for road engineers as the crumbling leads to land slips. These land slips have made the road unstable. Often in the past the road suffered from the land slips and has had to be rebuilt, the road had to be closed. Making the Winnats Pass the only road to the west of Castleton, since the closing of the Mam Tor road.Winnats Pass gets its name from Wind Gates and is a spectacular limestone gorge.
It is possible to still walk along the remains of the Mam Tor road that, in places, is reminiscent of an earthquake zone.
Mam Tor was a late Bronze or early Iron age hill fort, although there is little evidence nowadays. It is a steep climb to the top of Mam Tor, but well worth the walk. From the top of Mam Tor, extensive views of the Hope valley are possible.
It is also possible to walk along footpaths back to Castleton. From Mam Tor, follow the footpath along the ridge for about 700 metres to where several footpaths meet at a point called Hollins Cross.
To the left is Edale, directly ahead is the hill known as Lose Hill, and to the right is the Hope Valley. In the dip of the ridge, at Hollins Cross, is a marker stone that shows the paths off of the ridge. Take the path to Castleton that is only 1.5 miles away and all downhill. Which is a must in my book.
Castleton is very easy to get to and very well sign posted, it is ideal for great family days out and is great entertainment at affordable prices. If you try Castleton you can just go for a walk and browse the surrounding scenery at no cost. But I would highly recommend a visit to at least one of the caverns.
Castleton has a number of pubs and coffee shops, which cater for all your needs. I would highly recommend the castle hotel for affordable real pub grub. It is all homemade and tastes amazing just what is needed after a day in the caverns.
There are many little souvenir shop located in the town, the sell semi precious stones, blue john ornaments and keep sakes ect. So if you want to take away a memory of Castleton I would advise you buy from these little shops as they are a little cheaper than the caverns and visitor center.
I will defiantly visit Castleton again, as I found a day there was not enough as there is plenty to do and see.
Well, I love visiting Castleton and have done since my very first visit in 1985, when I stayed in the youth hostel in the centre, at the foot of Peveril castle.
The small village is so beautiful that it has to be re-visited as often as possible as there is always a new area to walk each time.
I first stayed in Castleton before our attempt at crossing the Pennines in the world record of what was then 9 days, (to which we were not very successful, in fact we failed by 16 days due to unforeseen circumstances). We were based at the youth hostel for the start before we would clamber over the east Mam Tor, (or the shivering mountain) and into Edale, the start of the Pennine walk, near the Nags head.
I could tell you about the first time I visited Castleton, testing the few pubs for quality and style on the first night. The Castle Hotel, nearest the Youth hostel, being warm and friendly, its glorious open fire making you feel welcome as you walked through the door.
From there you cross the road into the Bulls head, another friendly welcoming bar.
Just along the road from here would lead you to the old nags head and the George hotel, again, very warm and welcoming public houses.
Considering this was our first night in the small village we were treated with respect and made to feel as welcome as if we were locals.
I know that my first visit was 23 years ago but each time I have gone back the place may have changed slightly, (thanks to health and safety and liberal do-gooders) but the people of the village are still as welcoming.
Anyway, to get into Castleton you can either take the A6187, over the Winnats pass from Chapel-en-le-frith or through Edale, along the Edale road into Hope then right onto Castleton road, through the gates and into the village.
Or via the train to Either Edale, (then a bus through to Castleton) or Hope, (again, connecting with a bus into Castleton).
Castleton is an historic village and even has its own ghost, (a young couple who were murdered along Winnats pass for there gold wares...allegedly).
What has Castleton got to offer?
Peveril castle, situated at the top of a snaked walk way. You have to pay a fee to walk up to the castle but the view is worth the strenuous hike.
Speedwell cavern, situated along Winnats pass. Take the boat through the hundreds of metres of cavern, allowing you to relax whilst trundling through the beautiful, if dark, cavern.
Treak cliff has some beautiful sights as you walk through caverns, the 'witches hat', the 'Fairyland', 'Aladdin's cave' and the 'dome of saint Paul's'. All sights created by the many stalactites and stalagmites.
Blue john mines, which most of the local shops will sell items made from the infamous blue john.
The peak cavern, (or 'Devils Arse') is situated deep inside the village, passed the beautiful buildings, along the trickle of a river which runs through the village.
The entrance to the cavern is along the rocky cliff face below the infamous Peveril castle.
The many welcoming public houses and the friendly welcome from the locals makes Castleton a lovely place to visit and to stay over.
There is plenty of car parking spaces in and around the village. The main car park being a Pay and display, other parking can be found along the road leading towards Treak cliff and the Mam Tor road.
I always simply enjoyed walking along the foot of Peveril castle which can be accessed between the cottages in the village and is such a beautiful walk that you can get lost in the beauty of the scenery.
There is just so much scenery and beauty in and around the small village of Castleton that when you visit you will want to return.
Oh and when you do visit, try the little fish and chip shop on the road near the entrance to Peveril castle, there is a few seats inside the shop and a couple of wooden benches outside, but on a sunny day there are lots of places to sit and eat.
I live in a lovely part of world! I am near enough to towns and cities for shops and I am on the edge of the Peak District for all the beautiful scenery and history. A short bus or car ride puts me in the heart of the countryside and I love to visit the villages nearby. One of these lovely places is Castleton.
~~~WHERE IS CASTLETON?
Castleton (as I said before) is in the Peak District National Park. Though firmly in the countryside, it is within relatively easy reach of surrounding towns and cities. It is located between the two regions of the Peak District known as the Dark and White Peaks ~ the Dark Peak consists of dark gritstone edges lies to the north and the light limestone to the south. The place where it lies is called the Vale of Hope and the village is surrounded by steep hills to three sides.
The spa town of Buxton is around 10 miles away and Sheffield is about 15 miles west (along the A6187). We usually get a bus from Chesterfield (First or Stagecoach service 272 or 274) or a train from Sheffield (there is a line that goes past loads of these pretty Hope Valley villages) to Hope and then a bus to Castleton. Times vary between a Summer or Winter timetable, so it is best to check before travelling.
It is a bit easier if you can get a friendly driver to make the journey. There are a few Pay and Display car parks to the north of the village (to cater for the large number of visitors who go there, especially in summer) and a large central car park ~ it is best to pay and park because the traffic wardens are extremely keen. It is also fairer on the residents of the village if you dont block their streets and driveways!
~~~WHAT IS THERE TO SEE?
Once you have paid to get there (and to park if going by car), the scenery is one of the free attractions. The countryside surrounding the village is gorgeous and the views form the top of the castle are just breathtaking. It doesnt cost anything to look at the countryside and one look will tell you why Castleton is known by the name Gem of the Peaks.
If you look up from the village you will see the impressive Mam Tor (a hill known as Shimmering Mountain) ~ which is gradually being eroded away as the years pass.
Peveril Castle dominates the landscape and overlooks Castleton like a guard watching over the village. It was built under the orders of William Peveril (son of William the Conqueror) in 1080 to protect the Peak Forest, but the present impressive Norman keep (the first one was wooden) dates from King Henry IIs time (1175). The village itself was named after the castle ~ CASTLE TOWN became shortened to CASTLETON.
The castle is now under the protection of English Heritage and there is of course a charge for entrance (only a couple of quid though). It is a long trek up a steep windy hill to reach it ~ well worth the effort for the view, but not suitable for anyone with mobility problems or anyone who cant manage the hilly terrain. They do have a number of special events throughout the year. We went to a display of medieval combat there a couple of years ago ~ a wonderful setting and amusing to see the ingenuity that the re-enactors had to use to get the equipment over to the castle!
Please see the information on the English Heritage website for opening times, current entrance costs and this years special events (http://www.english-heritage.org.uk).
Most people who come to Castleton are probably there to visit the various caverns. I wont go into too much detail about these because they are all worthy of a category and opinion in their own right. The caverns of Castleton comprise of the Blue John Cavern, Treak Cliff Cavern, Speedwell Cavern and the Peak Cavern (there is also a collapsed cavern called the Cave Dale). Peak Cavern (the largest) is just outside the village and the others are around Winnats Pass (a narrow limestone gorge leading towards Castleton).
Peak Cavern is the most impressive in terms of size (and you do get to see the Devils Arse!), but my favourite is the Treak Cavern where you will see some wonderful examples of Blue John in the Witchs Cave. I also like the Speedwell because you get to go in a boat underground into the various caverns. You can spend a whole day touring each of the caverns in turn ~ this is recommended, but dont neglect the rest of the village!
The village is built up around a central square and the village has a lot of pretty and historic buildings. These include St. Edmunds Church; a rather fortress like Norman church that was restored in the 19th Century, the Castle Hotel; a 17th century pub and Castleton Hall; a 17th manor house that is now the local Youth Hostel. Look out for the Town Ditch (near the main road) too ~ a defensive earthwork built to defend the village in Norman times.
If you are planning a visit I would recommend going there slightly outside the high summer months. It gets really busy with people visiting the caves and castle. I have been in May and have had good weather and more space to look round. The 29th May is Castleton Garland Day (or Oak Apple Day) ~ it is a lovely celebration in the village where people dress up and choose a village king and queen. I would seriously recommend that you try and visit for this and help the villagers welcome in the summer!
There are lots of interesting little gift shops ~ many are a little on the pricey side as you would expect from a place catering for tourists. There are also quite a few places to eat and have a drink, along with a couple of pubs. The village also has a few B&Bs and guest houses, as well as the Youth Hostel and caravan sites nearby.
Castleton is an excellent place for a day out and also a good base for exploring the surrounding area, whether on foot or by car. I recommend that, if you are planning to visit the Peak District, you make sure you put it on your itinerary of must visit places!
Peveril Castle at Castleton is an English Heritage site in the heart of the Peak District in Derbyshire. As it is situated high on a hill above the town, with a very steep winding path, it is definitely not suitable for wheelchair bound visitors or disabled visitors with severe mobility problems. People with pushchairs and small children may also struggle. The Castle is an early example of a Norman keep with many instances of the herringbone pattern made famous by William the Conqueror and his followers. According to an edition of “Heritage Today”, the quarterly magazine of English Heritage, Peveril Castle is one of the earliest examples. Head Custodian Carol Clemett stated that “It is a good example” in a recent magazine, which members receive free. If you enjoy walking in the Peak District, then this would be an ideal place to stop and visit, as there are plenty of footpaths as well as places of interest to visit in the Castleton area, including the Blue John and Speedwell caverns. Mam Tor is an interesting hill made of shale from the local area (and is not fully open anymore), a steep walk but worth it for the view. The church is very interesting to view but check whether there is a service on before entering, we went during Harvest Festival time so thought it would be a good idea to view the offerings and the children’s work only to enter just as a service was about to begin! We then had to take part in the service or look silly by walking straight back out! There are plenty of car parks in Castleton but they are all pay and display. However, it is not worth parking on the roads to avoid these costs as there are plans to put street wardens in to charge for on-street parking in the Peak District. We parked in the car park directly below the Castle, as we were interested in the English Heritage event of Meet a Viking, this car park site is near the river and there is a towpath walk which is very p
leasant, too. We have visited Peveril Castle for other events including Norman training methods/jousts and minstrel singing. Opening hours are 10am to 4pm daily all year with extensions to 5pm in October and a 6pm closure between April and September, but closed 24-26 December and 1 January. Entry prices £2.50 adults, £1.90 concessions and £1.30 children. For more details, contact 01433 620613 (Price correct as per 2003 handbook). Nearby is Hathersage, the reputed resting place for Little John in the parish churchyard. Apparently, his gravestone is still there for people to look at, but I’ve not yet had the chance to visit. There are plenty of craft shops in Castleton itself, mostly selling Blue John jewellery and other local craftwork. I understand from my father that there was a café that caters for those on a gluten free diet, but I am not sure if this is still there. Castleton is 15 miles West of Sheffield on the A6187 and can be accessed by bus (First or Stagecoach service 272 or 274) from Chesterfield. Castleton train station is approx 1 mile from the castle and trains are available to Hope 2 and a half miles away.
Castleton is a beautiful town situated in the northern part of the Peak District in Derbyshire. The town is famous for the Blue John gem stones that are found in the caves to the north of the town. Within the town there are a variety of small, interesting shops, mainly aimed at the tourist trade, with very reasonably priced gifts and locally made arts and crafts. There are also a number of very good restaurants, pubs and coffee shops along the main street and hidden away down the little side roads of the town. The town is of course dominated by the surrounding countryside with magnificent scenery in very direction and an abundance of walks and places of interest surrounding the town in every direction. There are four sets of caves in this area and any of these are well worth a visit, to see their fantastic displays of stalagmites and stalactites and to learn more about the history of the caves and mining in and around Castleton. Just outside the town (within walking distance) are the Speedwell Caverns. A visit to these caves is very unusual because after descending a long flight of stone steps, you get on to a boat and are taken along the cave complex in the boat. The guide lies on his back on a raised platform at the front of the boat and propels the boat along by pushing with his feet on the roof of the cave. Close by to these is the Treak Cliff Cavern, one of only two places where the Blue John gemstone is still mined. (I have written a separate opinion about these excellent caves). A bit further out of the town (about 1 mile) are the Blue John caverns. Even if you are not planning on going down these caves, the drive to them is still worthwhile, as there are spectacular views as you drive up the Winnats Pass to the caves. Within the town there is the Peak Cavern. This cave has an enormous entrance and is famous for the rope making that was undertaken in this cave. Peakshole Water is the stream that
flows from the cavern and through the town, and feeding the ducks on this beautiful clear stream is a popular pastime for visitors. The local shops will be more than happy to sell you bags of duck food. Standing on the hillside above this cave are the ruins of Peveril Castle, and if you are feeling fit then the climb up here is worth while. A castle has stood on this site since 1080, but the ruins left standing today are mostly from the Norman era. All around this area there are fantastic views over the hills and valleys and on a clear day you can see for miles. From the nearby hilltop (Mam Tor), hang gliders can be seen gliding from the edge of the mountain and then gracefully floating above the valley below. In the town there is a large car park but this fills up early in the morning by people who are using the town as a base for hill walking. But, on the northern side of the town there are a number of pay and display car parks, which recently have been extended, so you should not have a problem when trying to park and the short walk back into the centre of the town is all downhill. Castleton is a lovely town, set in a beautiful part of the Peak District. You can easily spend a whole day here, wandering in and out of the little shops, have a great pub lunch, and then walk it off with a stroll on the surrounding hills, and maybe even a visit down a cave.