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Beautiful Town, Beautiful Scenery.
Castleton in general
Member Name: daseaford
Castleton in general
Date: 11/05/01, updated on 11/05/01 (111 review reads)
Advantages: Great attractions., Interesting shops., Beautiful scenery.
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.
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