Tags: 'Very Severe' rock-climbing pitches, bridle path, Castleton, Cave Dale, caverns, dale, Derby Ram, Derbyshire, Dove Valley, lead workings, limestone valley, Limestone Way, Matlock, Miller's Dale, Normans, outcroppings, Peak Cavern, Peak District, Peak District National Park, Peveril Castle, pitches, ridge, Rochester, rock climbing, rock-climbing pitches, Staffordshire, Tissington, walkers, William Peveril, Winster, Youlgrave
Cave Dale, Castleton, Derbyshire
Here is a jewel of the Peak District National Park; Cave Dale is located immediately to the west of the ridge on which Peveril Castle stands. It is a steep sided limestone valley, or dale, in Derbyshire terms. Cave Dale’s steep sides are almost impossible for attackers to scale at this point, forming nearly sheer walls around 200 feet high, which is why the Normans (led by William Peveril) chose this site for their castle. Underneath this dale, there are huge cave systems such as Peak Cavern, most of which can be accessed from Castleton. The dale is scattered with outcroppings of old lead workings, and some of these can be dangerous, so walkers need to be careful. Rock climbing enthusiasts enjoy the ‘pitches’ at the top end of the dale, as some of them are rated ‘Very Severe’.
If you look closely, you will see two walkers going down the dale, several hundred feet below you; they are on the Limestone Way, which goes from Castleton, all the way to Rochester in the Dove Valley in Staffordshire . The route is extremely interesting, affording many beautiful views of the Peak District, and includes such notable spots as Miller’s Dale, Youlgrave, Winster, Matlock, and Tissington (about 50 miles, in total). If you want to tread this pretty bridle path, then follow the small, green ‘Derby Ram’ signs!