Visit Castleton, Derbyshire Peak District, UK
Did you ever consider that maybe you should find the time to visit Castleton, in the Derbyshire Peak District? This small, picturesque town, or some would say village, is worth a trip should you have never found the time before. Nestled within the Peak District, or more correctly the Peak District National Park, it is fairly accessible by road or bus, but it has no railway station.
You may want to visit during the week if you can, because it becomes an incredibly popular place at weekends. Here's three reasons why you need to find the time to visit Castleton, one of the tourist gems of the Peak District.
Initially, it will give you the chance to visit various mines where Blue John has been extracted for years and years. This semi-precious mineral is only found in this area, and has been used for jewellery since it's discovery. Principally blue, and hence the name Blue John, it is actually found in an array of hues, which are very attractive. The two mines well worth visiting are Treak Cliff Caverns and also the Blue John Mines; both a couple of minutes car ride, or perhaps a fifteen to twenty minute walk from the middle of Castleton. Perfectly safe, but not for the claustrophobic, you will be taken underground to explore the man-made and natural caverns that make up the mines from which the mineral was extracted. I understand if you think that underground exploration just isn't for you. But, I suggest you really try and overcome your fears and go to the mines. You won't be disappointed.
Walking Mam Tor
Second, visit Castleton and you will have the wonderful possibility to walk the ridge from Mam Tor to Loose Hill. The views are magnificent on a clear day from this ridge that runs for some miles, just outside Castleton, separating the Hope Valley from the Edale Valley. You may want to drive to the car park just below Mam Tor and walk from there, or if you want a longer walk, start from Castleton and walk up to the ridge. Apart from the exhilaration of the stunning views, you'll be enjoying some healthy exercise to walk off the full English breakfast, or nourishing pub lunch, you'd enjoyed earlier in the day.
Dambusters and The Reservoirs
Third, when you explore the Castleton area, you get an opportunity to visit the Ladybower, Derwent and Howden reservoirs. These reservoirs are just a short drive back down the Hope Valley and, being surrounded by wooded slopes are extremely picturesque, making for a great walking experience; definitely not strenuous hiking, but just very pleasant walks in stunning scenery. The dams for these reservoirs are magnificent structures. Not so much the Ladybower Dam, but the Derwent Dam and Howden Dam are fantastic stone built feats of civil engineering, well worth the walk. In addition to the scenery and dams, you will be steeped in history because these were the valleys used for practising the Dambusters raids during the Second World War.
So visit Castleton and the surrounding area of the Peak District National Park, and you will have the chance to explore age-old mines, enjoy magnificent views and visit some historic dams. Maybe you really should find the time to go to Castleton on the next occasion you are planning a weekend away, if you're in the united kingdom, or a holiday to the UK from elsewhere in the world!
Castleton Area Map
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