Castleton is a small village in the heart of the Peak District Park. Affectionately labelled the “Gem of the peaks,” the village attracts countless visitors every year.
For such a small and humble place, Castleton seems positively packed with tourist activities. There are several caves in the area including Treak Cliff Cavern and Blue John Cavern. The Blue John Cavern is responsible for being the only source of the beautiful blue stone that can be seen in the cavern, in the world.
Aside from the caverns, there are nature trails, walks, cycling routes, cafés, countless gift shops, and much more to see and do around the pretty little village.
Christmas in Castleton
The combination of narrow streets, original doorways and shop windows set in Derbyshire stone-built properties and a real sense of village life makes Castleton a spectacular sight no matter what. Yet every year, towards the end of November, Castleton switches on its Christmas lights.
The sight is so spectacular, with hundreds of twinkling, dancing lights and Christmas trees that people come from all over the country to see the spectacle from November to January.
Shops stay open later to accommodate the influx of visitors who come along to the village with their families after work throughout the week and at weekends. Shop owners are just as enthusiastic about the event as anyone else and have been known to join in the festivities by holding competitions for everyone.
The Caverns are not to be short changed with the festivities either. Treak Cliff holds host to “Carols by Candlelight” every year. The air is filled with the smell of mulled wine which is given away with mince pies to the spectators of the show. In other parts of the village, brass bands play everyone’s favourite carols and even when the bands have dies down, there will be a faint humming of the songs long afterwards as people walk round the village with a true spirit of Christmas.
Places Nearby
Castleton is in the Hope Valley which is known for its long beautiful walks. For a slight change of pace, visitors may want to take a look at Buxton, home of the famous spring water. There are a number of shops in the centre, along with the Cavendish Arcade. In the Cavendish, there is the answer to all chocolate lovers dreams. The chocolate shop accosts the senses with full bodied aromas and the chocolatier can be seen in the back room performing their magic. There is also the Spring Gardens, great for families and taking in the pretty flower beds alongside the botanical garden.

Matlock Bath has a distinct “by the sea” essence without actually being by the sea. Arcades, cable car rides, fish and chips, donuts all add to the feeling of strolling down a sea front. For the water lovers, there are boat rides on the river.

This post is written by Miles Schmidt in behalf of Richardsons Boating Holidays, a company that owns the largest fleet of cruisers on the Norfolk Broads.