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, 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. 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 Castleton is a honeypot village in the Derbyshire Peak District, in England.
The village lies at the western end of the Hope Valley on the Peakshole Water, a tributary of the River Noe. Castleton’s population was 649 at the 2001 census. Castleton later prospered from lead mining; theOdin Mine, one of the oldest lead mines in the country, is situated 1. 5 kilometres (0. 9 mi) west of the village (see also Derbyshire lead mining history). This created and enlarged local caverns, four of which are now open to the public as Peak Cavern, Blue John Cavern, Speedwell Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern. A small amount of Blue John is mined locally. urrounded on three sides by hills. Most prominent is the ridge to the north. This is called the Great Ridge; it runs east from Mam Tor to Back Tor and Lose Hill, via the pass (hause) of Hollins Cross, where paths from many directions can be seen converging to cross over to Edale. Castleton used to be on the A625 road from Sheffield to Chapel-en-le-Frith, on the way to Manchester. Leaving Castleton, the western road used to go over Mam Tor, but after continual collapses and repairs (Mam Tor is called the “Shivering Mountain” because of its very loose shales) it was eventually abandoned.
The only westbound exit from Castleton is now the unclassified road over the narrow Winnats, now more frequently called “Winnats Pass”. This road is very narrow and steep, and unsuitable for heavy vehicles or high volumes. Road signage has been designed to discourage through traffic—only local destinations are shown. Thus most traffic enters and leaves the village on the eastern (Hope-Hathersage-Sheffield) road; for traffic going west this involves a long diversion via the villages of Bradwell and Peak Forest.
Castleton has a small bus station from where buses depart several times a day to Sheffield (services 272, 273 ; 274) and to Bakewell (service 173). A few less frequent bus services also serve Castleton, including service 68 to Buxton which runs just once a day. There is no railway station, but Hope station is about 3 kilometres (1. 9 mi) away, and train tickets to Hope and Edale are valid on connecting buses to Castleton.