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Any day tripper or visitor chancing upon Castleton for the first time could be forgiven for thinking that it’s straight out of a fairytale by the Brothers Grimm.
Because, quite simply this little village has everything; castle ruins, four exciting caves , unique rock formations and tales of murder and intrigue from centuries gone by.
Castleton lies 16 miles west of Sheffield at the end of the Hope Valley. Overlooked by Losehill and the majestic , also known as the ‘Shivering Mountain’. The limestone buildings huddle in neat formation around the village green with its War memorial cross. St. Edmunds is a fine example of a Norman church, restored in 1837 and well worth a look at.
The four show caves are each very different ; Peak Cavern (the largest opening in Britain) celebrates the life and work of rope makers. Because of its wonderful acoustics it has been used to host musical concerts, and one happy couple even married there!
Blue John Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern contain the Blue John Fluorspar, which you can see in its natural splendour. Small pieces are mined, polished and made into ornaments and Jewellery
Speedwell Cavern at the foot of Winnats Pass is a very different experience altogether. As you descend one hundred steps down into a dark tunnel, then onto a boat , your tour guide tells you the eerie story of the tragic young couple who were brutally murdered in 1758. The journey ends with a look at the fabled ‘bottomless pit’. (Warning this trip is not for the faint-hearted!)
The ruins of Peveril Castle built by William the Conqueror, but given to his son in 1086 clings to the side of Cavedale. The hike up there is not as steep as it looks and the views will take your breath away when you get there.
Back in the village winding lanes and footpaths all lead to the main street bustling with charming gift shops, where you can purchase Blue John and many other collectables.
Castleton boasts no less than six pubs, and many cafes serving hearty value-for-money fare.
This could be called ‘A village for all seasons’, as there are fascinating events taking place all year. The most well known being The Garland Day on May 29th. A procession through the village of a King and Consort on horseback with a huge garland of flowers is a sight to behold. Small girls dressed in white dance around the maypole as the brass band plays, a truly special occasion.
Christmas in Castleton is very magical too, as twinkling trees and lights festoon shops and houses throughout the festive period, sometimes we are lucky enough to get a sprinkling of snow to add to the atmosphere!
So whatever the purpose of your visit to Castleton, you will be spoilt for choice for things to entertain you. It really is a living breathing village.