Support our site
Castleton is one of the most picturesque locations that you will find in the UK. The village nestles in the Hope Valley beneath Mam Tor, the "Shivering Mountain". The main road used to wind up the side of Mam Tor but years of erosion, ladslides, rebuilding of the road, followed by more landslides, led to its closure.
Now, the westbound route takes you up the fantastic Winnats Pass. This steep limestone road has to be seen to be appreciated. An ever popular area with walkers, there are also a number of caverns that are open to the public.
Blue John is a mineral almost unique in the world to this tiny area. The name comes from the French words for the blue-yellow crystal formations (bleu - jaune) and you can find gift shops in Castleton selling jewellery and ornaments made of this fine material.
Click here for Blue John Crystals and Products on EBay.
CAVERNS OF CASTLETON
Caverns that you can descend in this area include Blue John Cavern, Treak Cliff Cavern, Speedwell Cavern and Peak Cavern. This is a limestone area which is characterised by the formation of subterranean caves washed out by years of rainfall.
Within the caverns you can see superb formations of stalactites and stalagmites, in addition to the veins of Blue John that are still mined to this day.
Speedwell is a former lead mining cave which is now flooded to form an underground river where you take a boat ride. The couriers propel you along the river by laying on their backs and walking along the roof of the tunnel. At the far end, you disembark the boat and look into the Bottomless Pit containing a huge lake.
Speedwell Cavern official site.
TREAK CLIFF CAVERN
Treak Cliff is a fairy grotto of Blue John, stalagtites and stalagmites, and fossils dating back millions of years. You can see The Pillar - the largest piece of Blue John ever found. Pictured on the right is the famous "Stork" stalagtite which seems to be the stork bird standing on one leg. Look out for periodical events where you can polish a slice of Blue John crystal, or sing carols by candlelight, or even hold your birthday party underground.
Treak Cliff Cavern official site.
BLUE JOHN CAVERN
The Blue John Cavern tour lasts 45 minutes and takes you deep into the hillside above Castleton. Here Blue John is still mined and deposits can be viewed with various different types of pigment throughout the walk. The cavern is open all year except Christmas Day.
Blue John Cavern official site.
Peak Cavern offers you an hour-long tour beginning at the entrace which is the largest of any cave entrances in the UK. You can see where a whole village used to live inside the cavern making ropes for the lead mines. Follow down Lumbago Walk, the Orchestral Gallery, the Great Cave, the water cascade at Roger Rain's House, Pluto's Dining Room into the Devil's Cellar to hear the source of the River Styx. Peak Cavern has reverted to its old name of "The Devil's Arse".
Peak Cavern official site.
CHRISTMAS AT CASTLETON
Christmas is a magical time at Castleton as the illuminations turn the village into a lovely sight. Father Christmas rides up and down the village on a horse drawn cart. If the weather is right, it is not uncommon for the hills around to be topped with snow. This year the lights will be switched on on the 20th November at 4.30pm. They will remain on until 3rd Janaury.
Overlooking Castleton is Peveril Castle, the ruins of which you can climb up to. The view from the castle is breathtaking (assuming you still have some breath left from the climb). Look down on the village or across Hope Valley to Mam Tor, the Shivering Mountain.
* Village Museum
* Walks around the hills
* St Edmund's Church
UK Airport Car Parking