Today, we're taking you on a virtual tour of a place that's close to our hearts, a place that feels a bit like stepping back in time - the enchanting village of Castleton.

A day (or a weekend) in the beautiful village of Castleton should feature in the itinerary of every visitor to the Peak District. 

Tucked in the heart of England's stunning Peak District, Castleton is as captivating as it is charming. Picture a labyrinth of quaint streets lined with gorgeous stone cottages, a perfect setting for the stories you'd love to lose yourself in. But the allure of Castleton stretches far beyond its photogenic exterior.

A myriad of experiences await you here - from intriguing natural wonders, interesting historical sites, to local pub grub that will tickle your taste buds and leave you craving more. Castleton is a place where narratives of yesteryears dance with the vibrant present.

The mysterious Peak cavern lies just beyond this traditional Castleton cottage

Things to Do in Castleton:

  • Savour the flavours of Castleton's local cuisine from quaint, family-run establishments.
  • Discover historical gems like the magnificent Peveril Castle.
  • Enjoy the beautiful outdoors by exploring the Winnats Pass or going on Mam Tor walks.
  • Experience fascinating traditions and community events like the annual Garland Day.
  • Find adventure by touring natural wonders such as Speedwell Cavern and Peak Cavern.
  • Stay in a beautiful, dog-friendly luxury cottage. Maybe this one?

Are you an adrenaline junkie itching to delve into the village's fascinating caverns, or maybe a history enthusiast keen to unravel the mysteries of an ancient castle? Or perhaps, a food lover on the lookout for an authentic local bite? Or are you, like us, someone searching for a tranquil escape in nature's lap? Castleton promises a warm embrace for everyone, and you’ll soon see why it’s one of the Peak District’s most popular destinations.

Peakshole Water runs through Castleton, a tranquil home for happy ducks

In this guide, we're opening the doors to Castleton's highlights. We'll walk you through its streets, share personal anecdotes, point out the beauty spots, and give you a taste of why this enchanting village is an absolute must-visit. Whether you're planning your next cottage getaway or just interested in a really pretty village, we hope our little virtual trip stirs your imagination and warms your heart. 

So, welcome to Castleton – not just a place to visit, it’s a truly memorable destination.

Natural Beauty - Winnats Pass and Mam Tor Walks

Hello there, adventure seekers and nature lovers! Have you ever woken up with the desire to be swept off your feet by stunning landscapes, rich history, and perhaps a touch of magic? If so, Castleton, with its breathtaking natural beauty might be calling out to you.

Picture this: The morning sun, gentle and golden, begins to peek over Winnats Pass. The limestone gorge, bathed in a warm glow, radiates with promise, offering a day filled with exploration, awe and a lot of sheep. It's a sight that'll leave you standing, coffee in hand, completely enthralled. The pass is a road that winds through the edge of the valley with almost-vertical rocky slopes on either side. The road is narrow so take care if you value your alloy wheels!

The steep footpath leading up the side of the pass

For those looking to get their boots a little muddy, the Mam Tor walks are a must-try. Pull on your walking gear and prepare for an unforgettable adventure. Climbing Mam Tor with our young daughters to watch the sunrise was an experience we'll treasure forever. We set off when the sky was still full of stars and reached the summit just as dawn broke. The world seemed to hold its breath as the sun emerged, casting a shimmering light across the undulating landscape. You should try a sunrise on this 500-metre summit at least once!

It's these moments that make life beautiful, isn't it? Fantastic scenery, fresh air, fair weather, and maybe a pub lunch at the end of it…

There are lots of different walking routes up Mam Tor from Castleton, and we’ll explore some of them in one of our next guides.

That's just a glimpse of Castleton's natural beauty. Let’s delve into a little of the historical and cultural highlights of our favourite village.

Mam Tor is popular for its beautiful views and is often visited by hikers and outdoor enthusiasts

Historical and Cultural Highlights - Peveril Castle and Garland Day

Castleton offers a delightful blend of historic charm and cultural richness. 

Perched atop a steep hill, Peveril Castle has watched over Castleton for nearly a thousand years. Each stone here tells a story, each pathway a testament to the lives and times of the people who've walked it before us.

And the view from the top? Simply breathtaking! But be prepared, the climb can be a bit challenging but, as they say, the best views come after the hardest climb.

When we visited Peveril Castle with our children, they found their own unique way to enjoy it - by rolling down its lush green hill! With squeals of laughter echoing through the air and faces beaming with joy (and summer dresses covered in grass stains) it was a moment of pure happiness. Peveril Castle isn't just a historic monument; it's a playground for the imagination, where even the youngest visitors can create memories that last a lifetime. 

When it comes to cultural experiences, Castleton doesn't disappoint either. One of our favourites is the Garland Day.

Picture this: a king (not the actual king, mind you), donned in beautiful floral decorations, parading through the village on horseback, followed by an entourage of merry villagers. It's a spectacle you won't forget, commemorating the restoration of King Charles II in 1660, and representing the oak tree in which he hid after the Battle of Worcester. Every Garland Day is a heart-warming celebration of Castleton's spirit of community and love for its traditions. 

And a great excuse for a day out!

Whether you're a history buff or someone seeking cultural enrichment, Castleton offers a treasure trove of experiences. Soak in its historic charm and cultural vibrance, and let Castleton's stories become a part of your own. There’s even stories to be found under the ground… let’s take a trip down to Castleton's famous caves.

Photo: Garland King and his consort, Castleton, Derbyshire, c1976, Simon Garbutt

Exciting Adventures - Speedwell Cavern and Peak Cavern

Oh, dear explorers, hold onto your adventurous spirits, because we're about to dive deep into Castleton's intriguing underground world! The village isn't just picturesque above ground; below its surface lies a world that's equally spellbinding and full of fun adventures. From navigating through secret river passages to getting spooked by stories of devilish inhabitants, Castleton's caverns promise an adrenaline rush like no other.

Let's start with Speedwell Cavern, a place that took us on a journey into the heart of the earth, on a day that was hot enough to make us forget about layering. And oh, did we pay for that! As we descended deep into the chilly cavern on a boat, the world above seemed like a distant memory. The further we journeyed, the chillier it got, making us long for those warm layers we'd left behind. But the shivers were well worth it! To explore the hidden depths of the earth, to see the ancient lead mines that are a testament to the industrious spirit of the miners from centuries ago - it was a truly awe-inspiring experience. A little advice from us: if you're visiting Speedwell Cavern, do bring layers, regardless of how hot it is outside!

Speedwell Cavern Top Tip: Wear something warm!

Next, let's take you to another remarkable cavern - the Peak Cavern. Known locally as the "Devil's Arse" (much to our kids’ delight), it's home to the largest cave entrance in Britain. But it's not just the size of the cavern that'll make you say ooo, but also the spine-tingling stories that come with it. The enthusiastic guides, with their captivating storytelling, had us hooked as they painted a picture of villagers from years ago, believing the Devil himself lived at the back of the cavern. The echo of their tales still sends a shiver down our spines...

Peak Cavern Top Tip: Look out for a stone dragon

Embarking on an adventure in Castleton's caverns is like stepping into a different world, a world that's steeped in history, mystery, and a fair bit of chilly charm. It's an experience that'll make your heart race, your imagination soar, and leave you with stories you'll love sharing. So, if you're ready to add a dash of thrill to your Castleton trip, the caverns await your exploration. Just remember - bring layers and leave your fears behind. And maybe not an adventure for the family dog.

I don't know about you, but all this talk of outdoor adventure has left us a bit hungry.

The Best Places to Eat and Drink in Castleton

Let's talk about something we all hold dear to our hearts - food!  

Whether you're a casual diner or a culinary connoisseur, Castleton's dining scene will leave you spoiled for choice and craving for more.

First up, let's whisk you away to a place that's a little slice of heaven for those with a sweet tooth - Tilly's of Castleton. Now, Tilly's cakes are not just any cakes. They're a celebration of all things sweet and delightful, creating a symphony of flavours that'll make your taste buds dance with joy. Whether you're sinking your teeth into their classic Victoria Sponge, indulging in a slice of their rich Chocolate Fudge Cake, or sampling a unique seasonal special, Tilly's will have you falling in love at first bite. Paired with a cup of locally sourced coffee or tea, your afternoon in Tilly's promises to be one you'll remember fondly.  Be warned though, it can be very busy on a warm day.

But what's a visit to Castleton without unwinding at a local pub? The George Pub, with its stunning views of Mam Tor and Peveril Castle, is the best spot to relax, sip on a pint of local ale, and soak in the mesmerizing landscapes. As you immerse yourself in the pub's hearty hospitality, you'll find that it's not just about the drinks, but the conversations, the laughter, the shared stories - that's the real charm of The George. And the pizza!

For a special occasion or just because you deserve it, 1530 restaurant is a treat for all senses. We took our parents there for a Mother's Day meal, and oh, it was an experience to remember! From the elegant ambiance to the scrummy dishes prepared with fresh, local ingredients, every detail at 1530 whispers of a passion for food and a commitment to creating unforgettable dining moments. Trust us, their culinary magic will leave you under a spell.

Our Recommendation: the roast cod in cumin & turmeric tomato sauce!

The beautiful thing about Castleton is that it's not just about the food on your plate. It's about the warm smiles that welcome you, the stories that are shared, and the memories made. Come, join us on this delicious journey, and let's savour the taste of Castleton together. Bon appétit, friends!

Where to Stay in Castleton?

We've taken you through the quiet charm of Castleton, its delightful eats, captivating landmarks, and thrilling underground adventures. But where, you might ask, should one retreat to after a day filled to the brim with these great experiences? Well, we have just the place for you, a sanctuary nestled in the very heart of this picturesque village - our very own Lodge Cottage!

Lodge Cottage at a Glance:

  • Sleeps 9
  • 5 luxury bedrooms
  • Copper bathtub
  • Traditional fireplaces
  • Wood burners
  • Free WiFi
  • Dog-friendly
  • Free parking

Picture this: You've spent a memorable day exploring the sights of Castleton. Now you're ready to unwind, take off your boots, and sink into the comfort of a place that feels like home. That's precisely what Lodge Cottage offers. It's our little piece of heaven right here in Castleton, designed to make your stay as serene and luxurious as possible. 

Our Lodge Cottage is more than just a place to rest your head. It's a rustic haven that comfortably sleeps nine, offering a blend of traditional charm and modern luxury. Here, you can wake up to bird songs, take your morning coffee in the serene garden, and end your day soaking in a copper bath, reminiscing about your Castleton adventures. 

Oh, and did we mention? When you stay with us, you're not just a guest, you're part of our family. We'll ensure you're equipped with everything you need, from logs for a cosy fire to a range of teas and, yes, even board games and a Smart TV with Netflix.

So, as you plan your trip to this enchanting village, consider adding a touch of rustic luxury to your experience.

Book our Castleton Cottage

Head over to our booking page to check the latest availability and secure the best rates for your stay at the Lodge Cottage. You've seen the beauty of Castleton through our words, now it's time to experience it first-hand, with our little sanctuary as your home base.

So, when are you packing your bags for Castleton? Trust us, it's a chapter in your travel diary you won't want to miss. And when you get there, remember to soak it all in - the sights, the flavours, the stories, and most importantly, the feeling of being a part of something truly special. Until our next adventure, stay curious, stay excited, and keep exploring.

Happy travels, everyone! 🌍🎒🌟


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