The steep climb to Peveril Castle to enjoy the breathtaking views over the Hope Valley is a highlight of a day out in Castleton. The romantic ruins of this Norman fortress are situated high on a rocky crag overlooking the village, and the views of the surrounding Peak District are truly breathtaking. Mentioned in the Domesday Book, Peveril is one of England’s earliest Norman stone fortresses. The keep was built by Henry II in 1176. You can explore the remains of the keep including the garderobe (a medieval lavatory), which sits somewhat scarily over the gaping void of Cave Dale beneath. Displays in the visitor centre tell the story of Peveril as the administrative focus of the Royal Forest of the Peak. Sir Walter Scott featured the castle in the opening lines of his novel, Peveril of the Peak.
Facilities – at a glance
Assist dogs allowed
- Parking nearby
- Access limited to ground floor of visitor centre for wheelchair users or those with walking difficulties, although located at top of short steep slope. 10-15 minute uphill walk to the castle from the visitors centre
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Open Oct, daily 10-5; Nov-18 Feb & 24 Feb-29 Mar, Sat-Sun 10-4; 19-23 Feb, daily 10-4; open daily Feb half term. See website for opening times from Mar onwards. Closed 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan
Also in the Area
About The area
The natural features of this central English county range from the modest heights of the Peak District National Park, where Kinder Scout stands at 2,088 ft (636 m), to the depths of its remarkable underground caverns, floodlit to reveal exquisite Blue John stone. Walkers and cyclists will enjoy the High Peak Trail which extends from the Derwent Valley to the limestone plateau near Buxton, and for many, the spectacular scenery is what draws them to the area.
The county is well endowed with stately homes – most notably Chatsworth, the palatial home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, with its outstanding collections of paintings, statuary and art. Other gems include the well preserved medieval Haddon Hall, the Elizabethan Hardwick Hall, and Kedleston Hall, whose entrance front has been described as the grandest Palladian façade in Britain.
The spa town of Matlock is the county’s administrative centre and other major towns of interest include Derby and the old coal mining town of Chesterfield, with its crooked spire. Around the villages of Derbyshire, look out for the ancient tradition of well dressing, the decorating of springs and wells – the precious sources of life-sustaining water – with pictures formed from flowers.
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