When it comes to the most charming countrysides in England, the small village of Castleton is usually what comes to mind. While those with a countryside wanderlust might not realize that Castleton is the destination they've been dreaming of, it's home to one of the most picturesque landscapes in the country.
Short stone fences surrounding stone and thatched-roof homes line up one right after another in this small town, with cobblestone streets running in between. It's rare that there's ever a traffic jam, and the crowds that come with a trip to London are nowhere to be found on the quiet sidewalks of this Derbyshire gem.
Here's why Castleton is the perfect English countryside getaway.
Things To Know About Castleton
The small village of Castleton was founded in 1086 after the Peveril Castle was built by William Peveril. William Peveril was the son of William the Conqueror, and it was during this time that the village grew the most during its historic beginning. Originally, the village was home to only farmers, men at arms, and shop owners. According to the Peak District government website, the village also held a significant position in regard to mining and marketing, as well. Today, the village stands as a conservation area, its history obvious throughout its architecture and layout.
- Fun Fact: The oldest part of the village of Castleton is on the Peakshole Water near the Cavern Walk.
What To Do In Castleton
There's plenty to do in this village despite its size, and not much is better than staring out at rolling green hills and fields while doing it all. One thing that Castleton is known for is its show caverns.
These caves exist throughout the countryside and are open to the public:
- Treak Cliff Cavern: This cave is also home to an active mine that continues to find ornamental gems from Blue John Stone to this day. On the 40-minute tour, visitors will see some of the region's most impressive stalactites as well as have access to the cave's gem-filled gift shop and an on-site cafe.
- Speedwell Cavern: This cavern exists partially underwater and tour-takers will be treated to an underground boat tour of its tunnels. The cave was once a lead mine more than two centuries old, and it can be found at Winnats Pass.
- Peak Cavern: This cavern is more of a traditional cave and was given the nickname of the 'Devil's Arse' by the cave's rope-makers.
- Cave Dale: While Cave Dale is more of a scenic walk than a cave tour, there exist smaller caverns that can be found throughout this hillside.
Visitors can also tour the medieval Peveril Castle to learn more about the village's centuries-old history. Another way to experience the charming history of Castleton is to take its Castleton Walk, which will bring newcomers past the town's oldest and most impressive architectural landmarks.
Where To Stay In Castleton
According to Tripadvisor, there are 23 properties that one can stay at in Castleton. Of those, these are the top-rated options:
- Innkeeper's Lodge: Starting around $152 per night, this historic accommodation was built back in the 1800s and still maintains all of its charm and aesthetic. To add to that, it's said that certain spirits still haunt its halls, making for an interesting stay for those interested in all things strange and unusual. A continental breakfast is included and guests are centrally located between Manchester and Sheffield.
- Speedwell House: This Coach House, circa 1860, has been recently renovated by the owners and has been awarded TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Awards for the years 2018 and 2019. In 2020 and 2021, the Speedwell Lodge was given the TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Award, 2021 Good Hotel Award, and the Rural Accommodation of the Year 2020/2021. With two dog-friendly renovated barns and a romantic atmosphere, this is the perfect stay for couples. The Speedwell House also offers views of Peveril Castle, Back Tor, Mam Tor, and Lose Hill without ever having to leave the confines of the accommodation.
- Four Seasons Guesthouse: Formerly known as the Four Seasons B&B, this cozy accommodation offers guests spacious rooms in a gorgeous Victorian villa-style abode. With several rooms to choose from, guests will have versatility whether they're traveling solo, in pairs, or as a family. Its friendly atmosphere also encourages guests to explore the local food scene, including its tea houses and cafés and has become a Castleton community staple. With sweeping views of the countryside, this accommodation is a great way to experience all the village has to offer.