A great walk with magnificent views, a Norman Castle, four of Europe's most spectacular caverns and an historic village. Cave Dale is one of the most beautiful parts of Castleton with cliffs rising almost perpendicular at the start of the walk with Peveril Castle towering above. After reaching the head of the dale the route becomes more open with expansive views.
Winnats Pass is considered to be one of the most impressive features of Derbyshire limestone country with steep craggy sides rising up on either side of the road. Leaving the top of the Pass behind, the walk visits Blue John Cavern, Treak Cliff Cavern and Speedwell Cavern in succession before returning to Castleton by a scenic route and visiting Peak Cavern.
There is plenty to see and do in Castleton and it is worth rounding off the day by visiting Peveril Castle.
Length: 4.5 miles.
Start/finish: Castleton Village Car Park on west side of village.
Location: On A625 Sheffield to Chapel-en-le-Frith road.
Terrain: Long rocky climb up Cave Dale which can be very wet underfoot after heavy rain. From then on fairly easy going but with some steep descents.
1. Leave the car park at the bottom by a stream to walk between a group of houses before turning right at the end and then straight on over the main road.
2. As the main road bends to the right, continue straight on past the church and the village green to follow the road as it swings left. Soon after, take a footpath sign on the right between two cottages.
3. Follow the rocky path up steep sided Cave Dale past Peveril Castle continuing in the same direction through several gates, eventually with a wall on the right as the walk begins to level out.
4. At an Information Board turn right through a metal gate stile and continue close to wall on the left to another stile leading into a large field. Cross the field diagonally to a stile by a gate to walk down a farm track for a short distance.
5. At the end of the farm track go over a stile and turn right along a wide walled lane and then right again at a lane junction to walk for about one mile to the B6061.
6. Follow the road round to the right towards Winnats Pass and just past Winnats Pass Farm on the left go through a stile and head back behind the farm buildings.
7. Take the path indicated by the sign in the centre of the field down to Blue John Cavern, continuing on to head down the hillside to Treak Cliff Cavern.
8. Take the concrete path to the right from the cavern, going through a gap in the rail signed ‘Winnats’ across the fields to Speedwell Cavern.
9. Just below the cavern, by the side of the road take the path beside a National Trust Sign. Then keep close to the wall on the left all the way all the way back to Castleton.
10. On reaching Castleton take the first road on your right and walk round to the entrance of Peak Cavern. On the return journey keep close to the wall on the right down to the bridge over Peakshole Water.
11. Cross the bridge and go left to follow the stream down to the main road, where the entrance to the car park you started from is straight in front of you.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Caverns without doubt the most spectacular collection of caverns in the country is within easy walking distance of Castleton. Speedwell (Tel. 01433 620512), Blue John (Tel. 01433 620638), Treak (01433 620571) and Peak (Tel. 01433 620285).
Chestnut Centre (Tel. 01298 814099) houses Europe’s largest collection of multi-specied otters and owls including Britain’s only pair of giant otters. Situated in wooded parkland. Shop and Tea Room. For further information website: www.ottersandowls.co.uk
Edale where the Nag’s Head Inn is the traditional starting point of the 270 mile Pennine Way Trail, as it winds its way north to the Scottish border at Kirk Yetholm. The Peak District National Park’s Field Head Visitor Centre is also here.
The Castle Hotel (Tel. 01433 620578) goes back over three centuries and was once a calling point of the Wellington Express coach between Manchester and Sheffield. Four ghosts are claimed to be in residence. There is a family room and food is regularly available every day of the week.
The Three Roofs Cafe (Tel. 01433 620533) is situated opposite the main car park. Open daily, serving homemade food and refreshments. Parties welcome.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
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Frequently referred to, as the gem of the Peak, Castleton is one of Britain’s most appealing villages, set in a magnificent location with wonderful views in all directions.
Castleton is most famous for its caverns of which only Peak Cavern is a true cave. It once contained houses and there is still evidence of soot from the chimneys on the roof. There is even a report in 1794 of an alehouse in the cave. The entrance was used for hundreds of years for rope making and some of the equipment used still remains.
The village is a delightful cluster of old stone cottages that invite exploration. The sparkling little stream leading to Peak Cavern takes you through the oldest part of Castleton. Along the main street are a large variety of gift shops, cafes and restaurants to suit all tastes.
At Christmas the village takes on a magical appeal with pretty lights, decorations and an array of Christmas trees, which attracts visitors from far and wide.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.