Castleton is a beautiful village in the Peak District national, Derbyshire, UK. Best known for its stunning walks, explorative caves and has a banging pub crawl so you won’t run out of things to do. Not to mention the amount of Castleton accommodation that is based in pubs as B & B’s. Having been to Castleton at least a dozen times, I have compiled a list of the best places to stay and activities to do for a beautiful break away.Castleton is somewhere I love to go when I’m feeling particularly anxious as it’s such a close staycation for myself, and I can get out into nature and just focus on myself.
Castleton is only a 40 minute drive from my home town Sheffield, and within that time you can go from a busy city through Hope Valley to beautiful rolling hills, quaint villages and a slower quieter pace of life. I am so lucky to have Derbyshire on my doorstep and I can only encourage you to go see it for yourself. Even if it is only to drive through the dramatic passage that is Winnats Pass, which is a beautiful gorge, filled with dramatic scenery and sheep. I always get scared driving through as it’s so high, but I absolutely love it!
Castleton has so much to do and with a mixture of paid and free activities, so there is something for everybody’s budget. This is included for Castleton accommodation as well! Having been there for varied lengths of time it’s the sort of place you can go to for a couple of hours or even a week.
One of my all time favourite places to stay in Castleton is Ye olde Nags Head with only 9 rooms all named after areas of the district national park it really is something special. When you drive into Castleton you are met with stunning stone architecture and Ye olde nags head doesn’t fail to fit. When you walk into the main reception area you are met with locals enjoying a pint of ale, putting the worlds to right and a log burning fire on your right.
The reception area is also the bar, so why not get into the holiday spirit and order a pint whilst you check in. This Castleton Accommodation is also a restaurant with an incredibly homely menu, with posh pub grub that won’t break the bank. This is to the left where you walk in where you will also get breakfast each morning.
Each room is decorated to fit with the building’s architecture and so beautifully so. From four poster beds, to dark wooden furniture. Thankfully the en-suite bathrooms are more modern and some even host a jacuzzi bath.
Something to keep note on is that fitting with its traditional architecture the only access to the bedrooms is via stairs.
Another great place to stay is just round the corner called Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn. Situated just as you come into Castleton through hope valley on your left is this beauty opposite the main bus stop. With 10 spacious and modern rooms this hotel has everything, from single, double and rooms with four poster beds.
As this quaint property is also a cosy bar, which is to the left as you walk in. I would recommend getting a drink as you check in. Now This area of the UK is particularly known for it’s real ales, so I highly recommend trying one. The ye olde cheshire cheese is also a free house which means they can stock whatever they like, which means you may get some drinks that other places can’t stock!
Situated on the pavement this Castleton Accommodation is access friendly to get into. With a boastful menu of all homemade foods the menu can be ever changing which is great and all local produce. You will also get a home cooked breakfast in the morning!
This little beauty is one of my favourite places to eat, as well as having outdoor seating areas on both the front and back of the property, so you can while away those long summer nights. The George Inn is wonderful. Situated just off the main road. I was first introduced to this Castleton accommodation by a friend who said they always bring their visitors here as the food is so good! So being a foodie myself , I decided to go!
Now as you walk on both sides of The George are places to eat and get a nice drink. Though to the left is dog friendly. So for those of you who have a furry friend this is where to go. And again as you are checking into a pub why not get your stay started with a nice ale or even a glass of bubbly! With only four bedrooms, if you want to stay here you need to make sure you’re booked in advance. Each bedroom has a double bed and an ensuite bathroom. All rooms have modern decor whilst still keeping the original wooden ceiling beams.
A lovely cosy pub serving a mixture of traditional and more Mediterranean meals, with smaller portion sizes available for those who feel over faced with a large meal. I had the Baked Camembert when I last went and it was incredible. Now I am aware I have spoken a lot about the food here. But I think it is so important to highlight good food as well as good accommodation!
Those are my top 3 Castleton accommodation as for my staying in Castleton means, stopping in a cosy village pub, with a bar and yummy restaurant just below your room, a log burning fire to sit by and a good pint of real ale available when you check in.
There are of course other places to stay when in Castleton as here you can find lots of options for self catering cottages.
Or for those of you who admittedly like myself love to go camping you can find lots of wonderful campsites in and around Castleton here.
This beautiful Derbyshire village really has something to suit everyone when it comes to Castleton accommodation. As for someone who really struggles with their anxiety when travelling, I need to have options of where to stay and I love that there are a variety of hotels, camping, B&Bs, caravan parks, hostels close by. Ensuring that everyone’s needs, and budgets are catered for.
So what is there to do in Castleton?
There is an abundance of Castleton activities starting from free upwards, it really is an outdoors person paradise. Getting outside particularly when I am anxious is one of the things that helps ground me so much. So having this beautiful place on my doorstep is incredible. But when people think of outdoors holidays and trips, it can cause anxiety and a feeling of overwhelm as you don’t know the area, you might not have any of the equipment needed, or you don’t know where to start.
This is what makes Castleton so accessible as it has activities for all abilities. Whether you are a brand new boo or a seasoned adventure professional! So there is no need for the imposter syndrome to come out, worrying that everyone except you will know what they are doing. Because everyone needs to start somewhere and this is why I have written this post so that you can discover all these amazing activities to do!
Now for me, when I think about Castleton I think of Caves! As These are the caves I have been coming to since I was a child. One of my first memories of Castleton is going to the Blue John Cavern with my mum, aunt and 2 brothers! And of course buying a piece of Blue John. It was such a lovely day out and is also where I got a TY beanie baby called Floppsie. Therefore I will begin my list of activities with caves.
There are Four show caves in Castleton:
My favourite cave of all time is Speedwell Cavern! I fucking love it. Just going on it’s website now I get excited. This Cavern sits at the entrance of Winnats Pass, just as you’ve come through Castleton centre. And it is an underground cave, 450m underground! There is also no need to pre-book (unless it’s a really busy day such as a Bank Holiday) so you can just go as and when you like. After you have paid you will be met by your guide and taken down the 105 step stairway to a boat, where you will be given all the necessary safety equipment and then are able to board ready for your journey.
It’s super exciting, you get to experience what it was like to be a miner over 200 years ago, though be careful as at 5’1 I’m fine but you taller folk will need to keep your head low as the ceilings aren’t the highest! Once you get to the end you will get off and see the wonderful bottomless pit, an underground lake that is honestly beautiful. And don’t worry you get a chance to look around when you stop, as well as ask as many questions as you want. I highly recommend this Cavern!
Just down the road from Speedwell towards Castleton centre is Peak Cavern aka The Devils Arse. Named so because of the trump (or for those not from the UK fart) like sounds that come from it when it’s windy. Now Peak Cavern is well known for hosting concerts, performances and even weddings! As it has a huge open space as you walk in. It really is magnificent. As you get to be inside the largest cave entrance in the UK! How exciting is that? You will get a guided tour through the cave so you can ask all the questions you want. But make sure you wear suitable footwear as this is a walking tour with uneven ground! It really is a great cavern!
The next cave is Treak Cliffe Cavern As you come through Castletons main centre, instead of going straight up to speedwell cavern, bare right up, and this road will lead you to Treak Cliffe. Now this cavern is a little out of the centre, but has a cafe, visitor centre and even a picnic area. So you can have a yummy lunch whilst enjoying breathtaking views over the beautiful dales! Treak Cliffe is also dog friendly which is always a bonus and offers a very hands on guided tour. Here you get to see the beautiful Blue John explore the different caverns and visit the museum afterwards. You might even see a bat whilst you’re having a tour! As there are bats living within the cave, I absolutely love bats and I got so excited when I finally saw one on my tour. Now don’t worry they won’t do any harm at all, they will literally just fly on by. It love this Cavern!
d13870Now if you back it up to Castleton centre and go up through Winnats Pass you will then be heading to Blue John Cavern the final of the four open caves in Castleton. Now this world famous cavern was my first ever experience of a cave. And it is held dear in my heart. Here is where the most Blue John (hence the name) is found with around 14 different types available to see, and purchase in the gift shop. I love that you can see the old mining equipment and know that Blue John is still being used, this makes you feel like you’re still part of the magic that is taking place. And you know that what you buy from the gift shop was found only metres away from where you buy it. Again located deep within the Derbyshire dales you get such a beautiful view over the rolling hills it truly is breathtaking. Such a beautiful cavern as well!
Now you can do all of these caves in a day should you wish too, as each tour takes roughly an hour. Though I would recommend doing two per day as then you won’t feel rushed which lets face it is never fun with anxiety. You can take your time in between each cavern. Have some nice lunch, and really enjoy the place in the world you are in. It’s not every day you will be surrounded by gorgeous hills, beautiful caverns and be able to try some yummy real ales.
Now being in Derbyshire there are so many walks you can do in and around Castleton the most famous is Mam Tor also known as ‘the shivering mountain’ named so because of landslips that happen on it’s eastern face. Now there are two different walks that I have done for Mam Tor. One is 3 miles and circular as someone who is not a ‘trained walker’ what ever the fuck that means, I can do this walk with little to know struggles. The other is 6.5 and can be extended to 8 miles long, if you choose to extend it it will take you via Hope village and along the river. Which is another beautiful Derbyshire village. Again this walk for myself wasn’t too difficult, it is simply just longer. Both start near Ye Olde Nags Head one of the Castleton accommodation I mentioned earlier
Now for someone who has anxiety I often tell myself I can’t do it, and panic that if I’m not super fit and and don’t have all the latest walking gear, that I cant do it. That I shouldn’t do it, that I’m useless and everyone will wonder why the fuck I’m there.
WALKING IS FOR EVERYONE
If you enjoy it fucking do it, if you don’t enjoy it see everyone in the pub afterwards and get a head start! It is simple. Don’t let your mind stop you from experiencing some of the most gorgeous views in Derbyshire. Because if this chunky 5’1 mouthy bugger can do it, then so can you boo!
Now as I’ve said this walk is stunning, the views are like nothing I’ve ever seen and I am so lucky to have this so close to me. If you can I strongly recommend going on either of these walks.
So I can’t do a blog about Castleton without talking about Peveril Castle. A friend of mine got engaged here and it is so beautiful! Located just above Castleton, you can access it from the same road that the George Inn is located, and take a steady walk up to the Castle. I would recommend booking your tickets in advance as they can sell out quite quickly particularly on a beautiful summer day. Once you reach the top again be prepared for those gorgeous views, now you have the chance to wander around the castle yourself and get to see its beautiful grounds. Even pretend to be royalty for the day!
As you can see there are so many things for you to do in Castleton, from exploring caves to breathtaking walks and exploring a historic Castle. Not to mention having a walk around Castleton itself! And as mentioned within the various Castleton accommodation there is also a banging pub crawl with the three aforementioned and The Castle, Bulls Head and Ramblers Inn. Just to mention a few. And all within a 10 minute walking radius.
It really is such a wonderful place to go, and leave you anxieties at the entrance.