Derbyshire - Castleton

Between the Dark Peak and the White Peak- a fabulous walking experience

 Hathersage and Castleton

Hathersage is one of the more interesting villages in the area, with historical associations to Robin Hood and the Eyre family. The village centres around a road junction above the River Derwent, where the road to Sheffield branches off the route which follows the Derwent downstream. The ancient centre of the village was just above the church, which itself stands above and to the north of the modern village centre. On a knoll next to it there is an earthwork called Camp Green, which is probably Danish in origin.

Hathersage is a popular centre for walkers and rock-climbers, for on its east side the village is overlooked by moorland and a line of gritstone edges of which Stanage Edge is the largest. There are also spectacular tors, such as Higgar Tor, and the enigmatic hillfort at Carl Wark, which has so far defied archaeologists' attempts to date it. Several of the edges were quarried and the area was a major source of millstones for grinding corn and metals.

Until the late 18th century Hathersage was a small agricultural village with cottage industries making brass buttons and wire, but in 1750 a Henry Cocker started the Atlas Works, a mill for making wire. By the early 19th century there were several such mills in operation and activities had spread to the manufacture of needles and pins, for which Hathersage became famous. 

Castleton is one of the most beautiful villages in the Peak District and like many attractions in Derbyshire, has a nickname  'Gem of the Peaks'

 It has an array of natural and historical features both above and below ground, and is surrounded by superb walking country. Whatever the weather Castleton has something to offer everyone. High above the village stand the imposing ruins of Peveril Castle. The castle was completed in 1086 for William Peveril, a favoured knight of William the Conqueror .

To the west of Castleton lies Mam Tor, locally known as the shivering mountain. Topped by an iron-age hill fort, who's ramparts are clearly still visible, this shale hillside looms large over the valley. From there runs The Great Ridge, past Hollins Cross to Losehill Pike at the eastern end. Overlooking the two valleys of Hope and Edale, and giving stunning views.

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What Others Said...

AlanBelatedly getting round to sending this email to thank you and the team for a great weekend in Church Stretton last month. I had a fabulous time, both walking and socially. It was great that you had plenty of leaders so that the group could split up to cater for varying fitness levels (or perhaps the amount of alcohol consumed in the hotel bar the night before !) You, Barbara, Trevor and Ian were really friendly and knowledgable about the area.  I struck lucky with my accommodation at Mynd House, with the four poster bed, spa bath etc etc !!  A lovely place to stay, the new owners were really friendly, and the breakfast was excellent (delicious local bacon and sausages, yum).  Having local products in the mini bar was great too, varities of Woods ales at a sensible price, so I had to try them all ! I didn't get the chance to sample the lounge and bar at Mynd House, but they looked very welcoming.The weather that weekend was also beautiful, so I was really pleased with the photos I took, now uploaded to Facebook, and my profile picture is of me on Caer Caradoc ! I had intended to take the easy route back to Church Stretton, but I'm glad I made the effort, the views were great. I enjoyed the pub lunches too, good value and good beers. The tea shop after the walks was excellent too, wish I had sampled the cakes, but the tea was good and it was homely and friendly.I thought that the walking was taken at just the right pace, plenty of stops, and no rushing. Even the not very fit walkers seemed to cope - I would happily  recommend Secret Hills to people with little walking experience.  We had a good group socially too - Amanda and Margaret from Chesterfield were a laugh, and of course the Bexley "lads", and we had a good time in the Longmynd hotel until we took the hint that they wanted to close the bar !! But there were quite a few ladies who were happy to leave after dinner, rather than join in the drinking, and that was OK too.All in all, it was a great weekend, everything ran smoothly even though the group was dispersed around various B&Bs, and I will definitely have other holidays with Secret Hills. Maybe even Majorca in October (Eileen was very persuasive !!) Great value, too. Here's to the next time.Maria KellyRochester, Kent

Maria Kelly