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, ☎+44 1433 620613. 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.
- 1 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.
- 1 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.
- 1 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.