The charming Peak District village with a castle which is just over an hour’s drive from Manchester

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Castleton is nestled in Hope Valley, a particularly scenic area of North Derbyshire.

The Peak District is renowned across the country for its rolling hills and stunning scenery. For people in Greater Manchester, the Peak District is never too far away, and one area which I was fortunate enough to spend a day and night in was a town nestled in the Hope Valley. 

Castleton sits within looming hills and is a resting spot for hikers, cyclists and ramblers as well as being a charming spot for anyone interested in a night or two away. My journey to Castleton saw me drive down and down into the valley, only to emerge at the bottom of a small hill which leads right through the village. 

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My girlfriend and I arrived in Castleton after a day of hiking elsewhere in the Peak District, and after getting booked into our hostel at Losehill Hall (a stunningly refurbished gothic mansion on the edge of the village) we made the short walk in. Fans of quirky pubs will not be disappointed with a visit here, as several line the narrow streets. 

Most serve food, and after our dinner in Ye Olde Nags Head we made our way down the main street. It was a warm night, but with it being midweek there weren’t too many other tourists treading the streets. Along our wander we called in at The Peak Hotel and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn for drinks, both brimming with their own character even on a quiet Tuesday night. 

Castleton’s Castle on the hill

You might think Castleton wouldn’t be living up to its name without a castle, and luckily there are the ruins of one which you can enjoy. The English Heritage-run Peveril Castle site sits on a hill which commands amazing views of Castleton and the wider Hope Valley area. Admission is paid at an office building at the bottom of the hill, and you can then make your way up the zig-zag path to the top. Prices are £6.80 for adults, £3.60 for children aged 5 to 17 and concessions are £5.90.

The day I went up was hot and humid, and plenty of water was needed and probably will be needed no matter what time of year you make the climb up. Keep in mind also, the path is steep in places but if needed, there are benches for you to make use of on the way up or down. 

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The keep is the part of the castle which is still most intact, and I took advantage of being able to walk down the original spiral staircase to the lower level. Standing since 1176, the structure stands tall above the rest of the castle, the village, and the surrounding area. Make sure to look out the back of the castle for even more amazing views of rolling Peak District hills.  

Getting to Castleton from Manchester

The green scenery from the keep at Peveril Castle (Photo: ManchesterWorld) The green scenery from the keep at Peveril Castle (Photo: ManchesterWorld)
The green scenery from the keep at Peveril Castle (Photo: ManchesterWorld) | ManchesterWorld

Castleton is a gem in the middle of one of England’s most beautiful areas. It is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of towns and cities, and its quirky streets are home to a wide range of independent shops, cafes and restaurants. A day trip from Manchester is possible, by car leaving the city you can join the A6 which will take you most of the way to Castleton. 

The journey time in the car varies from under an hour to around 90 minutes. This all depends on what time of the day you set off.

If you don’t want to worry about driving the sometimes narrow roads of the Peak District, you could get the train. From Piccadilly, you can get a direct Northern train service to Hope which will take around 50 minutes. 

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From Hope, you can either walk to Castleton or hop on the 272 Sheffield’s Peak Link bus which will take you to Castleton in less than 10 minutes. If you feel up to it, the walk between the two villages is around 35 minutes.     

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