Market place Castleton
Found in the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District National Park, Castleton village
is the most famous honeypot village in the esteemed district. Castleton as it is
known today dates from approximately the 11th century and has developed over
the years to become one of the most treasured and revered areas of any National
Park in the UK.
Like many of the attractions in the region, Castleton has a nickname and is known
as the ‘Gem of the Peaks’. Castleton more than lives up to its name
and has a well deserved reputation as a beautiful, tranquil and fascinating rural
hill-village with a wide variety of all year round activities, attractions and unique
landmarks to satisfy the curiosity of any visitor.
During a visit to Castleton, there is a plethora of sites to see and things to do.
The most famous landmark in Castleton, Peveril Castle, was built in 1080 and is
the centrepiece of everything that is historical, absorbing and spectacular about
Castleton. The village also has four ‘show caves’ - Peak Cavern, Blue
John Cavern, Speedwell Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern – that are especially
popular with tourists and Castleton locals alike.
With other milestones, such as Odin Mine, St. Edmund’s Church and Castleton
Hall, complimenting the notable local amenities and, of course, the beautiful scenery,
Castleton is rightly considered the pick of Peak District.
Castleton is situated at the western end of the Hope Valley, just off Peakshole
Water, which is a tributary of the River Noe. At one point, the Hope Valley that
eventually finds its way to Castleton is adjacent to the Hope Valley Line railway
that runs from Sheffield to Manchester, and is itself a popular tourist destination.
From its place at the head of Hope Valley, Castleton lies on the boundary between
the Dark Peak and White Peak areas of the Peak District. The Dark Peak lies towards
the north and is known for its peaks with Gritstone edges, with Froggat Edge and
Kinder Downfall the most renowned landscapes. To the south of Castleton is The White
Peak, where the limestone is drier, making the area more inhabitable. The White
Peaks are home to many of the Peak Districts better known towns, covering the Staffordshire
and Cheshire Peaks as well as the Derbyshire Peaks where Castleton is situated.
Castleton is surrounded on three of its four sides by steep hills, the most prominent
of which lies just two miles to the north-west of Castleton and is known as the
Great Ridge. The most imposing section of the ridge is Mam Tor, which is a popular
tourist destination for many visitors to Castleton. The Great Ridge eventually converges
with paths from many other directions to cross over to nearby Edale.
At the last census in 2001, the population of Castleton was said to be just 1,200
people, although at almost any time of the year the popularity of the village amongst
tourists guarantees Castleton is a busy, effervescent place, with visitors keen
to discover the varied and captivating delights Castleton has to offer.
The reasons that Castleton is so admired by tourists are obvious. A place steeped
in rich heritage and tradition, Castleton offers any potential guest an inimitable
experience, with its spectacular scenery, pretty village and welcoming atmosphere
much appreciated by those who stay. Add to that natural beauty an abundance of tourist
attractions (including the four famous underground show caves), unique walking opportunities,
family-orientated annual events, excellent shopping facilities and recommended eateries
and pubs, and Castleton has everything that makes thousands of holiday-goers choose
to stay every year.