Castleton is a small village located in the heart of Derbyshire, England. The village is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country and offers plenty of things to see and do for visitors. If you’re looking for an enjoyable day out or weekend away, Castleton should be top of your list! Here are 8 of the best things to do in Castleton.
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In This Post
Castleton: A Brief History
Castleton is built on the site of an ancient Roman fort, and its name comes from the Latin word for fort (castellum). In the Middle Ages, Castleton was an important market town, and its market charter was granted by King John in 1214.
The town’s most notable landmark is Peveril Castle, which was built in the 11th century by William de Percy. Castleton is also home to several caves, including Blue John Cave and Speedwell Cavern. These caves were once used for mining, and Blue John Cave is still mined for its namesake mineral. Today, Castleton is a popular tourist destination, known for its picturesque setting in the heart of the Peak District National Park.
Things To Do In Castleton:
1. Check Out The Visitor Centre & Museum
One of the first things to do in Castleton is to visit The Castleton visitor centre and museum located in the centre of the village. This place is a great starting point giving you a great opportunity to learn about the history and culture of the area.
The centre has a range of interactive exhibits that tell the story of the village and the surrounding Peak District National Park from its earliest days including its history, geology and wildlife. There is also a café on site, which is the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring Castleton and the surrounding area.
The Castleton visitor centre and museum are open every day from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm (1 May- 30 September). Admission to the Castleton visitor centre and museum is free.
2. Check Out The Show Caverns
If you’re looking for an underground adventure, Castleton is the place to be. The town is home to four show caverns, each with its unique features.
The Blue John Cavern is particularly famous for its rare blue mineral veins. Peak Cavern is the largest of the four caverns and is known for its impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Speedwell Cavern is home to a subterranean lake, and Treak Cliff Cavern offers spectacular views of the local landscape.
Whether you’re a caver or just looking for a fun day out, exploring the show caverns in Castleton is an unforgettable experience.
3. Visit Peveril Castle
Peveril Castle is one of my favourite spots in Castleton and a great place to explore if you’re interested in English history. The castle is managed by English Heritage, and there are plenty of Perveril Castle-specific activities and events that take place throughout the year.
You can also just explore the castle grounds on your own. There’s a lot to see, including the remains of the castle keep, the outer bailey walls, and the Peveril chapel. The views from Peveril Castle are also pretty spectacular, you can see for miles! If you’re visiting Peveril Castle, make sure to allow yourself plenty of time to explore. It’s a fascinating place with a lot of history. Be warned though it’s a bit of a steep walk to the Castle grounds!
4. Conquer Mam Tor
Mam Tor is a popular climbing destination in the Peak District National Park. The summit offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside, and the climbing itself is relatively easy, making it a great choice for beginner climbers.
The best way to reach the summit is to start from the village of Castleton. From there, follow the path that leads up through the valley. The path is well-marked and easy to follow, and it should take around two hours to reach the top. Once you arrive at the summit, take some time to enjoy the views before heading back down. With a little bit of preparation, climbing Mam Tor is a great way to spend a day in the Peak District National Park.
5. Drive Through Winnats Pass
Winnats Pass is a spectacular road that winds its way through the Derbyshire Peak District. The route takes in some of the most stunning scenery in the area, including Winnats Head, a limestone peak that offers breathtaking views across the Derbyshire countryside. The road then descends into the picturesque valley of Castleton, where it passes by several idyllic villages before finally reaching its destination.
Winnats Pass is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike, and its popularity is no surprise given the incredible scenery that it has to offer. Whether you’re driving through Winnats Pass on a sunny day or a foggy day, it’s sure to take your breath away.
6. Take A Walk Through Cave Dale
Cave Dale is a lovely spot for a walk, especially on a sunny day. The deep and narrow valley was formed by glacial action during the last Ice Age, and it is now home to a variety of wildlife. Cave Dale is also home to several archaeological sites, including Cave Dale Cave, which is thought to be one of the oldest human-inhabited sites in the Peak District.
The walk through Cave Dale is relatively easy and well-marked, making it a great option for families or groups with varying fitness levels. The valley is full of wildflowers and the views from the top are truly stunning! It’s easy to see why Cave Dale is such a popular spot for both locals and visitors alike.
If you’re feeling energetic, you can continue your walk through Winnats Pass up to Mam Tor.
7. Enjoy Some Delicious Food & Drink
If it’s food you’re after there are plenty of options too, whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit-down meal you are spoilt for choice. For breakfast, you can’t go wrong with the full English at the Three Roofs cafe. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, try one of the delicious pastries at the Peveril Stores Bakery. For lunch and dinner, there are plenty of great pubs, restaurants and cafes to choose from, including the Ye Old Nags Head and the Cinnamon Bear Coffee Shop.
8. Browse The Shops
If you’re looking for some interesting souvenirs in the Peak District, then Castleton is the place to be. There are plenty of shops to choose from, however, you won’t find the usual high street shops here, instead, you’ll find quaint little boutiques and jewellery stores.
If you want to get your hands on some of the famous Blue John stones then Castleton is the place to be. This gemstone is only found within the caves of Castleton and can be purchased in many of the shops around the village. Why not treat yourself and take home some beautiful Blue John either in a beautiful ornament or some stunning jewellery?
How To Get To Castleton:
Castleton By Bus
There are a few bus routes in and out of Castleton, mainly the 173, 272 & 273 routes from Sheffield. For more information on bus routes and timings check out the timetable here. You can also check out this map detailing all bus routes within the Peak District
During the summer months, there is also the Hope Valley Explorer, a hop on hop off bus service linking Castleton with other surrounding towns in the area.
Castleton By Train
The cities neighbouring the Peak District all have regular intercity rail services from destinations across the country. From these cities, it’s easy to make onward journeys to Hope train station which is 2.5 miles away from Castleton. For more information on train services and times check out The Train Line.
Castleton By Car
The car is probably the easiest way to get to Castleton, however, be warned the village can get extremely busy in the summer months which means parking can become difficult. If you do plan to visit during peak times then try to arrive early if you want a parking spot!
The exits to take from the motorways are as follows:
- Northbound on M1 – Take exit 29 then go along the A671
- Southbound on M1 – Take exit 36 then go along the A34 and then the A57
- Northbound on M6 – Take exit 14 then go along A34 and then the A520
- Southbound on M6/M56M60 – Take exit 27 onto the M60 and then onto the A6
Car Parks In Castleton:
There are a few carparks in and around Castleton:
Castleton Visitor Centre – Pay and display, 50 spaces including disabled parking. This is the most central car park in town and is recommended for those who wish to stay close to the centre of the village.
Castleton main car/bus park – 133 spaces including disabled parking, pay and display. Also located in the heart of the village.
Mam Tor car park – Along the A625, Pay and display but free to Blue Badge holders. Best for those wanting to climb Mam Tor.
Blue John Cavern – Mainly for those visiting the cavern but it’s also a great spot for views of Mam Tor and the surrounding area.
There are also lots of on-road parking as well.
Where To Stay In Castleton:
Although you can enjoy a visit to Castleton in just a day, it’s well worth spending a few days in this lovely village. Spending more time gives you a chance to see all that Castleton has to offer and a chance to visit some of the surrounding areas such as Buxton or Chatsworth House.
A few great accommodation options include:
The Castle by Innkeeper’s Collection – This former coaching inn has a beautiful location less than a minute’s walk from Peveril Castle, which you can climb to enjoy breathtaking views over the Hope Valley. Rooms at The Castle by Innkeeper’s Collection are traditionally furnished, with some retaining original features. Each also benefits from a TV, desk and tea and coffee-making facilities.
Ye Olde Nags Head – Boasting a bar and free WiFi, Ye Olde Nags Head is situated in the heart of Castleton. There is a restaurant serving Pizza, and free private parking is available. The rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom with a hairdryer and free toiletries.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn – Surrounded by the Peak District countryside Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese inn is situated in the heart of Castleton. Each room has a flat-screen tv and tea and coffee facilities as well as an en suite shower or bath with hairdryer, towels and complimentary toiletries. Hot and cold food is served daily with a large variety of meals available. Guests can also enjoy a wide range of real ales, traditional ciders, whiskeys and spirits at the bar.
For booking accommodation, I recommend using Booking.com. This website offers the best-priced accommodation catering for all budgets and styles. Just pop in your requirements and it will give you a list of available accommodation. Perfect for picking out the best hostels, B&B or even some luxury escapes.Booking.com
All in all, Castleton is a must-see destination for anyone looking for a unique and unforgettable experience. From soaring mountaintops to vast valleys and the breathtaking array of activities to choose from, it’s easy to see why people from around the world flock here year after year! From outdoor sports enthusiasts to nature lovers and more, there’s something for everyone here. Whether you’re searching for adventure or relaxation, Castleton has everything you need, so why not come and explore this glorious location today? You’ll be glad you did!
Thanks so much for stopping by, I appreciate every one of you who takes the time to read and make it to the end! I have lots of exciting new content coming in the next few weeks so make sure you pop back to catch up!