As promised, we continue our adventure in Castleton and this time we are going underground! Taking under consideration the English weather, this is definitely one of the backup plans you want to have up your sleeve. After arriving in Castleton you can leave your car in the main car park next to the tourist information or, since The Peak Cavern and the Speedwell Cavern have their own car parks, you can park a bit closer to the cavern you are about to visit.
A tip for all you bargain hunters, if you buy the tickets for both cavern in one go, you are entitled to a lovely discount! Just ask for the ‘Family’ and ‘Combined ticket’ options at the ticket office. Before your visit make sure to check the opening times online as The Peak Cavern is the only Cavern that has to be closed during the winter due to flooding.
After leaving the car we decided to start our tour with the Peak Cavern which is also bares the lovely name of The Devil’s Arse. Walking the narrow path, leading towards the main entrance, is already an amazing experience. The high walls of the mountain and wild nature around create a mysterious and magical atmosphere.
At the entrance, which is the largest natural cave entrance in the British Isles, you will be able to see an exhibition of historic rope making equipment. Since the whole tour is guided, you will be able to find out more about the life of the workers and history of the cavern itself. It is also worth mentioning that the cavern has a natural amphitheatre and hosts numerous musical events during the year.
On your walk you will pass through many chambers and be able to admire the stalactite and stalagmite formations. All chambers have quite unusual names so be ready to move on your walk through a perpetual water cascades at Rogers Rain’s House leading to Pluto’s Dining Room and eventually ending up at The Devil’s Cellar. According the official Peak Cavern website, in the Devil’s Cellar ‘you can hear the source of the river Styx’ but I guess you will have to visit the place yourself to find out if it is true.
Each tour lasts about an hour and is suitable for people of all ages. Fun fact! A scene from the TV series, The Chronicles of Narnia, was shot inside the Peak Cavern! Therefore, the slide inside one of the chambers, should definitely be on the ‘must see’ list of every fan of the Kingdom of Narnia.
After the tour is done you can either move your car to the Speedwell car park or just take a walk to your next destination. Personally I have decided to do the Speedwell cavern on another day but if you have limited time and are only in the area for a day you can see both caverns in one go.
So get ready as soon I shall take you on a boat trip to the 'bottomless pit'!