Castleton, Cave Dale & The Caverns

The Peak District National Park was created in 1951, the first national park in the UK. Walking in the Peak District can be quite varied, with the more gentle limestone dales of the White Peak and the higher, gritstone moors of the Dark Peak, meaning there’s something for everyone.

Castleton, Cave Dale & The Caverns

When preparing this walk guide, we’d forgotten just how good the walk is.  Over its 8.5km, you’ll experience the best of the limestone White Peak in Cave Dale, despite being so close to the Dark Park with its gritstone and shale. You also pass all three of the famous Castleton caverns – so take your pick!

Starting from the popular village of Castleton, the walk takes in the magnificent, hidden valley of Cave Dale, rising through the dale onto the limestone plateau. Like many paths in the White Peak, the views are surprisingly good across the Hope Valley and also to Axe Edge, further west near to Buxton. The walk descends on lovely grassy paths down to Blue John Cavern, with Mam Tor looming above, and then down a narrow but easy path to Peak Cavern.

From there, the walk contours round the edge of the hillside, passing Speedwell Cavern, before a final descent back into Castleton itself.

Walk Details

Distance – 8.5km or 5.25 miles

Ascent – 185 metres or 615 feet.

Terrain – Good paths but rocky at times up Cave Dale, steady ascents in the first 3km. Narrow path down from Blue John Cavern.

Getting There

It’s pretty easy by car, head to Castleton and the main car park. It’s Pay and Display – current charges here. If this is full, there are other car parks further up the road.

The walk is also accessible by bus from the Hope Valley. Click here for more information on bus routes and times.

Buy this Walk

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