Castleton is a small town in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire. Its two main claims to fame are the 12th-century Peveril Castle and a series of four show caves, where minerals including Blue John, unique to this area, have been mined. To the north lies the gritstone of the Dark Peak; to the south the limestone landscapes of the White Peak. The surrounding countryside has much to offer the walker, rock-climber and potholer.
Castleton has an excellent bus service from Sheffield and the east (there are no services through Winnats Pass to Chapel-en-le-Frith and the west), and though not directly on the Hope Valley line, train tickets are accepted on the bus between Castleton and Hope Station (which is!).
- 1 Peveril Castle, Market Place, S33 8WQ, ☎ . Opening times vary seasonally—sometimes open daily, sometimes weekends only. The only surviving Norman castle in Derbyshire (keep built 1176), spectacular location above the town and with views into Peak Cavern and Cave Dale. Maintained by English Heritage. Access via steep (but metalled) path, adults £4.60, children £2.80, concessions £4.10.
- 2 Winnats Pass (1 mile west of village; follow signs towards Caverns and Chapel-en-le-Frith). Impressive limestone gorge above Speedwell Cavern, with high crags and caves; a narrow road leads up it. The road leads up to Blue John Cavern and the car park for Mam Tor. The land surrounding the gorge is "Open Access Land"; adventurous walkers/scramblers can divert from the Castleton–Speedwell Cavern footpath southwards up a steep, unmarked and slightly overgrown gully to Cow Low and then continue along the top of the southern crags for impressive views over the valley before descending to Winnats Head Farm (consult Ordnance Survey Explorer map OL1 Dark Peak area). Free.
- 3 Mam Tor (1½ miles west of village via Winnats Pass (by car) or old main road (on foot)). Impressive hillfort with great views, owned by the National Trust. Below the summit on the Castleton side the old main road has been abandoned after repeated landslides; the ruined road is worth seeing, as are the remains of Odin Mine at its foot. From the Mam Nick car park above Winnats Pass it's less than half a mile's walk to the summit; from there a fine ridge walk leads east to Lose Hill (2¼ miles one-way). From Mam Nick a mildly spectacular road leads over into the Edale valley. Rushup Edge/Lord's Seat (west of Mam Nick) is a popular site for paragliders. Free.
- 4 Cave Dale (signposted from Bargate). Limestone dale close to village centre with spectacular crags and good views from below of Peveril Castle keep. Accessible only on foot; slightly steep and rocky at top. Circular walks are possible, returning via Winnats Pass or Mam Tor. Scenes from The Princess Bride and The Other Boleyn Girl were filmed here. Free.
Castleton is home to the only Blue John mines in the world as well as four major caves/caverns which tourists can visit. Each has a very different feel, from the natural splendour of Peak Cavern to the disconcerting underground river trip (and well-rehearsed guides' patter) of Speedwell. The four caverns are as follows:
- 1 Peak Cavern ('The Devil's Arse') (widely signposted from village), ☎ . The nearest cavern to the village centre; the huge entrance (the largest in the British Isles) is set in a spectacular gorge below Peveril Castle and can be approached along a public footpath even if you don't pay to enter the cave. The old houses around the stream issuing from the cave are pretty. £8.75 (adult), £6.75 (child), discounted joint tickets available with Speedwell Cavern.
- 2 Speedwell Cavern (1 mile west of village, below Winnats Pass), ☎ . Features an underground boat ride. £9.25 (adult), £7.25 (child), joint tickets available with Peak Cavern.
- 3 Blue John Cavern (1½ miles west of village, above Winnats Pass), ☎ . Blue John seams, craft shop showing Blue John ornaments. £9.00 (adult), £4.50 (child).
- 4 Treak Cliff Cavern (1½ miles west of village; ignore Winnats Pass turn), ☎ . More Blue John mining exhibits, craft shop. £8.75 (adult), £4.75 (child).
- 1 The George, Castle Street, ☎ .
- 2 Ye Olde Nag's Head, Cross Street, ☎ .
- 3 Peak Hotel, Howe Lane, S33 8WJ (on main road on eastern side of village), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 1 YHA Castleton, Losehill Hall, Castleton Road, ☎ .
- 2 Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn, How Lane, ☎ .
- 3 Innkeeper's Lodge, Castle Street, ☎ .
- 4 Ramblers Rest, Millbridge, ☎ .