Castleton in the Derbyshire Peak District
Castleton is an outstandingly pretty village situated at the head of the lovely Vale of Hope, in the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District National Park.
Castleton is surrounded on 3 sides by steep hills and the mighty bulk of Mam Tor looms high, 2 miles to the north west of the village. On a hill, overlooking Castleton, is the ancient Peveril Castle.
The Celts were the first peple to settle in the Castleton area. On Mamtor, also known as the shivering mountain, are the remains of a Celtic hill fort on summit, an enclosure of 16 acres at an altitude of 1700ft. The Celts were displaced by the Romans who started mining the rich lead viens, bringing prosperity to the area. Shortly after 1066, William the Conquerer started building castles all over the country and the one at Castleton was given to his son,William Peveril in 1086, and so became Peveril Castle. The keep was added later, in 1176. It never saw battle and was occupied as a dwelling until 1480. The village grew up under the protection of the castle.
Castleton has 4 underground show caves, all worth a visit, for their own interesting features. These are Blue John Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, Treak Cliff Cavern and Peak Cavern.
Blue John Cavern and Treak Cliff contain the treasured, pretty blue and yellow fluorspar called Blue John. It was first mined at Treak Cliff and by 1770, 16 mines were extracting the stone and selling it to several firms in Derbyshire who turned it into ornaments, vases, clocks and jewellry. Blue John is only found in this area of Britain, andsmall pieces of the mineral are still plentiful, large pieces are now rare.
Peak Cavern is the source of the village river, Peakshole Water and as such it is the only Cavern that has to be closed during the winter due to flooding. In the mouth of the cave, the largest in Britain, rope makers use to live and work. Their cottages have been demolished but 'rope walks' are still to be found. The show cave is only part of a much larger cave system which attracts cavers from all over the world.
Speedwell Cavern is special because the main workings and its 'bottomless pit' can only be reached by boat along an underground canal.
Oak Apple Day, the 29th May, has been celebrated as Castleton Garland Day for many a year. It is a time of considerable pageantry with people dressing in Stuart fashions and choosing a King and a Queen for the day. They lead a procession through the village, the King covered in a great cone of flowers. Girls dance and everyone welcomes in the summer.
Aside from the castle, some of the older buildings in the village are the Castle Hotel, dating back to the 17th century, and Castleton Hall, a fine 17th house, now a Youth Hostel.
St Edmunds Church may originally have been a garrison church to the castle. It has a broad Norman Chancel Arch, Perp west tower, ashlar faced with diagonal buttresses, battlements and eight pinnacles. It was heavily restored in 1837 when the aisle was removed. It contains some excellently preserved Box pews from the 17th century with dates on.
Castleton has a lot to offer the large numbers of visitors it attracts in terms of interest and history and has always attracted many visitors. There is a large carpark and plenty of onroad parking during busy times. Castleton is famous for its display of Christmas lights and decorations during the festive season. The many shops offering everything from outdoor clothing to gifts stay open late. Castleton is popular with walkers with many public footpaths leading from the village.
A short strenuous walk up onto the Great Ridge provides magnificent views of both Edale Vale and the Hope Valley.
For places to eat and drink in Castleton and the Hope Valley see Castleton Food and Drink
Castleton Visitor Centre
Tel: 01433 620679
Easter until 31 October
9:30am - 5:30pm
1 November until Easter
10:00am - 5:00pm
Castleton visitor centre is situated at the very heart of the village. The centre houses a fascinating museum as well as a full range of tourist information services.
Castleton information centre services include accommodation bookings, local theatre bookings, brochures, up to date information on events, attractions and the Peak District National Park.
Contains changing displays in the exhibition room, which shows off the talents of local artists, photographers and crafts people.
Castleton Christmas Lights Switch On. Christmas lights will be switched on at 4.30pm on Saturday 16th November 2013
See also Edale
Castleton main attractions information at a glance
Market Place, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WQ
Carol Clemett: English Heritage
Tel/Fax: 01433 620613
The impressive remains of one of England's first Norman Castles with spectacular views across the Peak District. Historically themed gift shop at admission point.
Peak cavern Walk, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WS
Tel: 01433 620285
A spectacular cavern containing historic ropeworks inside Britain's largest cave entrance. Come and discover why it is called "The Devil's Arse!".
Winnats Pass, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WA
Tel: 01433 620512
Fax: 01433 621888
After descending 105 steps the visitor takes an underground boat ride through this fantastic 18th century lead mine visiting the world-renowned bottomless pit.
Treak Cliff Cavern
Buxton Road, Castleton ,Hope Valley, S33 8WP
Tel: 01433 620571
Fax: 01433 620519
An underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites, minerals and fossils. Home of Blue John Stone. Special events, polish your own Blue John and Carols by Candlelight.
Tourist Information for Castleton
How to get to Castleton
By bus: The 272 bus is an hourly service to and from Sheffield.
Bus times can be found in the Peak District Bus Timetable, published in March and October. It is available from any Tourist Information Centre in the area.
By railway: The nearest station to Castleton is Hope (Derbyshire) Station which is 2½ miles to the east of Castleton. For information on train times and fares on all these routes, you can call National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484950, or visit www.nationalrail.co.uk
By road: The best exit points from the motorways are:
Northbound on M1 - exit 29 to A671
Southbound on M1 - exit 36 to A61 and then on to the A57
Northbound on M6 - exit 14 to A34 and then on to the A520
Southbound on M6/M56/M60 - exit 27 on to the M60 and then on to the A6
From the east (M1/Sheffield/Chesterfield) take the A6187 into Castleton
From the west (M6/Chapel-en-le-Frith/Buxton) take unclassified road from Chapel-en-le-Frith towards Castleton
Car Parks in Castleton
Castleton pay and display car park next to the Visitor Centre. Number of spaces: 133 (8 disabled) . 2 spaces are reserved for disabled people close to the toilets.
Mam Nick Car Park
A steeply sloping site close to Mam Tor on the A625 Rushup Edge road. Pay and display, free to blue badge holders.
Blue John Cavern - This cul-de-sac at the top of the closed Mam Tor road provides parking for visitors to the Blue John Cavern and others wishing to see the remains of the road which is steadily being lost in a landslip.
A parking bay has been constructed by Derbyshire County Council for disabled people to sit and enjoy the splendid view over the Hope Valley, Win Hill and the Mam Tor ridge.
Plenty of on road parking
Doctors in Castleton
Evelyn Medical Centre Marsh Avenue, Hope Valley. Tel 01433 621557
Holiday Accommodation in Castleton
Cliffe Holiday Cottage - Cliffe Cottage nestling at the mouth of The Peak Cavern in an absolutely spectacular and unspoilt location, is a three bedroomed Peak District cottage appointed to a high standard, ideal for a family holiday or couples wanting a romantic break. The nearest shop is 300 metres away as are a number of excellent Pubs and Restaurants.
The cottage sleeps 6, split as two double rooms and one twin room all of which are on the first floor. Read more at Cliffe Holiday Cottage
Bulls Head Inn - The Bull's Head is a family run inn offering excellent food and drink and comfortable Bed & Breakfast accommodation in Castleton, Derbyshire, in the heart of the Peak District National Park.
We offer a warm welcome in comfortable surroundings. We have recently undergone a major refurbishment, but still retaining traditional features. Relax on our leather settees, or dine in front of our open log fires during the winter months. Read more at Bulls Head Inn
Swiss House B&B - Swiss House bed and breakfast is a brilliant base from which to explore the Peak District. Plenty of parking, a drying room, a guest lounge, excellent food, extremely high level of cleanliness and service all combine to make your stay the best ever.
All our rooms are en-suite and have colour TV with teletext, hot drink facility, hair dryer and radio alarm. Some rooms even have a DVD player. Read more at Swiss House Guest House
Old Workshop Cottage - The Old Workshop is a self-catering holiday cottage situated in the centre of the village of Castleton, Hope Valley, in the heart of the Peak District National Park.
The cottage has two en-suite double bedrooms and sleeps up to 4 people. One of the double beds can be made into twin beds, if required. Both bedrooms are on the ground floor. Read more at Old Workshop Cottage
For more accommodation see
Derbyshire and Peak District Accommodation
Guest Houses with B&B in Derbyshire and Peak District
Holiday Cottages in Derbyshire and Peak District
Hotels in Derbyshire and Peak District
Peak District Holiday Guide
Peak District Accommodation
See Castleton Garland Day 2007 for photographs from Castleton Garland Day 2007
For Peak District information try Peak District Holiday Guide - Peak District Accommodation, Activities and Attractions
Perveril Castle: 1904 postcard
Peak Cavern: 1904 postcard
Photographs from Castleton at Derbyshire and Peak District Photographs