Spring is upon us and yet this time last year we had ‘Beast from the East’, which returned just in time for Easter Monday. I spent Easter in Sheffield, The Outdoors City, where I had not been before. I went to Castleton twice, where I climbed the local, rather steep hill to see the Peveril Castle and from there walked up the Cave Dale following the popular Limestone Way leading to Mam Tor. Then I followed the ridge all the way to Hollins Cross and then back to Castleton, sliding downhill and falling into mud every now and then. I also walked towards Mam Tor – The Shivering Mountain – directly from the very nice Visitor Centre, admiring the ruined and abandoned road A625. It seemed a little like a post-earthquake scenery.
The weather was not as bad as expected, it stayed dry until around 4 pm on Easter Sunday so I decided to skip the caves and also saved the Winnats Pass for the next time.
Castleton itself is a pretty village with lots of shops selling the unique local Blue John gemstone. It also has a fish&chips place where I ate the best scampi ever. It only takes an hour or so from Sheffield to get there and there is a good and reliable bus service (unless it snows).
I am planning to go back to the Peak District and perhaps do some walking around Hope Valley or Edale. Castleton was well worth visiting, especially between seasons, when there was still some snow on the hills. The air was surprisingly clear considering how close it was to the city. The landscape provided plenty of photo opportunities. The bleakness actually made the pictures more interesting, instead of them being merely pretty, which would have been the case if I had gone there a few weeks later, when the Beast was replaced by the heatwave which lasted till September. Fingers crossed for a reasonable and hiker – friendly summer, without floods or extreme temperatures.
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