A Christmassy Castleton, High Peak, Derbyshire

Castleton is described as one of the most beautiful villages in the Peak District, and it’s easy to see why.  From the quaint architecture to the unspoiled natural features surrounding the village, the whole place is pleasing to the eye.  The welcome from and interaction with locals here was very friendly and relaxed too, making it a place we will return to.

http://www.peakdistrictinformation.com/towns/castleton.php

* The Caravan Club recommend that you don’t use SatNav on the approach to the village and list on their website a recommended alternative route *

We approached from the west side of the village via Winnats Pass which was an impressive sight as the narrow, winding road passed through some spectacularly high limestone rock faces.  This road isn’t suitable for vehicles over 7.5 tonnes or towing caravans.

Driving through the towering limestone pinnacles of Winnats Pass

Driving through the towering limestone pinnacles of Winnats Pass

"Are we nearly there yet?"

“Are we nearly there yet?”

A rainy arrival into Castleton

A rainy arrival into Castleton

On our return journey we took the road out through the village of Hope in the opposite direction as you turn out of the club site.  This was due to foggy weather and although the route also took us high over the tops it was a wider road.

image

A daunting drive through the fog on the way out of Hope Valley

A daunting drive through the fog on the way out of Hope Valley

For our 2 night stay, we pitched up at the Castleton Caravan Club Site, a 10-minute leisurely walk from the centre of the village.

Perfect weather for the site ducks 💦

Perfect weather for the site ducks 💦

The Caravan Club site reception trimmed up for Christmas

The Caravan Club site reception trimmed up for Christmas

Jolly pitched up on site

Jolly pitched up on site

This site is open all year round and we were surprised at how busy it was for the end of November.  That said, this is good walking country all year round and the village is also known for being particularly pretty at Christmas time with lights adorning the streets and the festivities drawing in visitors.

Festive charm in Castleton

Festive charm of Castleton

It’s a lovely time to visit.  There were still plenty of good size pitches to choose from and as the site is located just at the edge of the village there was no noise.

Wildlife on site

Wildlife on site

http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/caravanclubapps/applications/uk-caravan-sites-and-parks/SiteDetails.aspx?csid=21925

The ruins of Peveril Castle stand majestically overlooking Castleton at its foot.  The Norman Castle was built 1080-1086 for William Peverel, a favourite Knight of William The Conqueror (some rumours claiming he was his illegitimate son).  Unfortunately for us, visiting out of season, the Castle was only open to visitors at weekends.  Suzie was looking forward to the opportunity of some good photography from here, but still managed to capture a shot she was happy with of the Castle against a brooding moorland and sky.

The imposing Peveril Castle standing above the village

The imposing Peveril Castle standing above the village

As the Castle was closed we walked a little further on through the village.

The stream that runs the village was swollen following the recent rainfall

The stream that runs through the village was swollen following the recent rainfall

"Make sure you get my best side" 📸

“Make sure you get my best side” 📸

We walked up into the notorious Devil’s Arse … also known as Peak Cavern!  We had a very animated and entertaining tour guide who regaled us with stories of the ancient rope making works situated there in days gone by.  She was also very keen on talking quite dramatically about the cave flooding as it had done just the night before.  Bearing in mind the amount of rain that had fallen over the last few days, we were prepared for a sharp exit if the alarms started sounding!

Walk up to the entrance of Peak Cavern

Walk up to the entrance of Peak Cavern

Bri trying his hand at rope making. The hemp stinks!

Bri trying his hand at rope making. The hemp stank … quite apt I suppose, as we were in the Devil’s Arse 😉

There are around 4 show caves in the area.  Speedwell Cavern, an 18th century lead mine is worth checking out although we didn’t have time during this visit.

http://www.peakcavern.co.uk/

All this activity obviously led to quite a thirst which needed quenching.  Castleton apparently used to be overrun with ale houses, and even today there is no shortage.

We visited Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn and Suzie enjoyed her first mulled wine of the season (followed by another … and I think another …).  This is the first pub you come to when walking from the site and is a traditional half-timbered 17th century coaching inn offering B&B.

http://www.cheshirecheeseinn.co.uk/

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn

Just next door is the Peak Hotel, an independent pub which has recently been renovated and refurbished.

http://www.thepeakhotel.co.uk/peaksinn/index.html

Inside The Peak Hotel

Inside The Peak Hotel

The Peak Hotel is a gin lover's paradise. Lost count of the different varieties stocked behind the bar

The Peak Hotel is a gin lover’s paradise.  We’ve forgotten how many different varieties the landlady said she stocks

The Castle pub was definitely, in our opinion, the place to eat within the village itself.  We ate here on our last evening and were very pleased with the food and service.  If we’d known how exceptionally good it was we’d probably have eaten here both nights.  We can highly recommend this one.  Apparently the Poacher’s Arms, further out from the centre has a good reputation too but we didn’t visit this time.

http://www.vintageinn.co.uk/restaurants/midlands/thecastlecastleton

Top scran at The Castle. Yum.

Top scran at The Castle.  Yum.

The evening before we’d eaten at Ye Old Nag’s Head.  The food was fine but not of the same standard as The Castle.

http://www.yeoldenagshead.co.uk/

We also visited The George Hotel and The Bulls Head.  It was difficult not to, as they were all just a stone’s throw from one another.  Perfect! 🙂

http://www.georgehotelcastleton.co.uk/

http://www.bullsheadcastleton.co.uk/

This was another fun and memorable Jolly adventure.  The winter trips are every bit as enjoyable for us as the summer ones, there’s always something to do whatever the weather.  You really feel the changing of the seasons too when you’re adventuring throughout the year, and we think it gives us a bigger appreciation of it.

Well, another one down.  December is a busy month, so our next trip won’t be until Christmas time for Bri’s Boxing Day birthday, and it’ll be back over to Clitheroe and Waddington.  Not too long to wait.

ONWARD!>>>> 🎅🏻🎄

Suzie & Bri

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