Castleton village is one of the best places to explore the Peak District National Park. To the north, it is bordered by the gritstone Dark Peak and the limestone White Peak to the south. There are plenty of walks you can take from the village. The diversity of options is further enhanced by the proximity of Hope village, which is also nearby and is home to more interesting walks.
Castleton is named after Peveril castle, which was built by William Peverell. It’s among the main tourist attractions for visitors coming here, along with numerous caverns. For mountain walkers, Castleton is home to plenty of exciting trails.
Mam Tor from Castleton
This 4-hour, 13.5km walk is one of the must-do walks for anyone visiting the Hope Valley. The route takes you through the entire Great Ridge from Mam Tor to Lose Hill through Hollins Hill. Although the term ‘Great Ridge’ can be intimidating, it’s only 3km long, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in quality scenes.
The route is very convenient with plenty of facilities around the village including pubs, toilets and cafés. However, you should know that there are no facilities along the route.
Peveril Castle, Cavedale and Caverns Walk
The Peveril Castle is an impressive fortress that capitalises on the presence of the sheer Cavedale Cliffs as part of its defences. This walk starts from Castleton, right under the Peveril Castle and takes you through Cavedale.
There are plenty of caves to visit during the walk and numerous caverns on the return route. This is a moderate walk that is about 8.09km walk with a 285m ascent. It is just perfect for most walkers who aren’t looking for a strenuous scramble.
Win Hill Walk from Castleton
This is yet another moderate walk. It’s slightly longer, covering 13.46km and about 382m of ascent. The route is steeped in history, tracing its steps back to the Roman, Saxon and Celtic warriors eras. They are names on the Win and Lose hills on the opposite side of the Hope Valley. Folklore has it that each peak was used as a camp for the opposing armies of King Edwin of Northumbria and Cuicholm the King the Essex. Because Edwin won, his hill was named Win Hill.
You could also take this walk from Hope and feast your eyes on the fascinating properties that range from modest cottages to majestic mansions. Along the way, you will also come across the remains of a Roman fort and trace the same steps followed by legionnaires centuries ago.
The Derwent Watershed Walk
The Derwent Watershed walk isn’t the most popular. But it’s perfect for walkers looking for a challenge in Castleton. The walk takes through 62.76km and a 1,578m ascent. How fast you complete the walk depends on your fitness and experience in mountain walking.
Navigation on this route can be difficult, and almost half of the ground on the return leg is boggy. The walk covers the whole watershed around the Derwent reservoirs. If you’ve tried the Yorkshire 3 peaks walk, this one is very similar in terms of effort.
The walk starts at the Yorkshire Bridge. It ascends to Win Hill before moving on to link up with Lose Hill, then to the Mam Tor ridge, Rushup Edge, Brown Knoll, and finally landing on the western edge of Kinder Scout down to Stanage Edge.
A mix of rugged landscape and greenery are among the physical features that will keep your eyes satisfied as you take on the walk.
Speedwell Cavern Circular Walk from Castleton
This path follows the low-level circuit of the head of the valley. It offers excellent views of the Great ridge and ensures you can see the large landslip on the flank of Mam Tor.
The path covers 5.89km. It is relatively flat and easy to walk with a height gain of just over 150m. However, it’s worth noting that the path can be extremely slippery in wet weather and you should exercise extra precaution. The walk starts at Castleton, which is a tourist hub. There are plenty of amenities here, and you can grab a few refreshments before embarking on your walk.
Cave Dale and Winnats Pass from Castleton
This is yet another Peak District walk from Castleton. It takes you south, crossing some of the typical limestone scenery common in this area. You also get to enjoy some scenic views across the valley to Castleton’s Great Ridge.
The path also takes you through Cave Dale and finally descends through the dramatic Winnats Pass. Like most of the paths around Castleton, this one is also relatively easy. It should take you about three hours to complete the 7.33km path that will take you through a height gain of about 254m. As usual, you can enjoy some refreshments at Castleton before heading out, and you can also take advantage of the Tourism Information Centre before taking on the walk.
Castleton to Mam Tor via Winnats Pass
This 14km walk is not the easiest in the region but is definitely among the most rewarding. The walk starts from Castleton, taking the limestone way through Cave Dale. It has a picturesque scene with numerous steep climbs for walkers who love a challenge.
From Cave Dale, the walk heads to Mam Tor flanking the Great Ridge to Back Tor. From Back Tor, the walk goes towards Blue Jorn Cavern, followed by an ascent to Winnats Pass, then over the field back to Castleton. Some of the notable climbs along the path include Mam Tor and Back Tor. Brace yourself for some rocky terrains and descents as well.
A pair of sturdy walking boots offering ankle protection is necessary for this walk because of the rocky terrain and the muddle areas. It’s also advisable to be always prepared for rapid weather changes.
Castleton offers excellent walking paths. There are numerous routes radiating from the village where walkers are drawn to the tranquil nature and peaceful environment. Most walkers angle towards the Castleton Ridge to the north. But there are some well-hidden gems to the south as well.