Hey there 🙂
Welcome to the first travel post of 2017!
Last December I had the opportunity to visit the UK again with my bestie, Amy. Her awesome Aunty lives in Sheffield so it was a great quick getaway. All that we saved from having free accommodation we spent on shopping rest assured! However, apart from all the shopping I just had to get some sightseeing in.
The UK is a place us Maltese visit often due to cheap and an easy connection of flights, but I find it important to always try and see a new part of the country. This time, we wandered to Castleton.
So we went to Castleton, a tiny quaint town with a population of around 600 people that lies in Hope Valley (I love the name Hope Valley). The town itself is very rural, a true post-card of nature . The Peak district, within which Castleton lies is in itself a national park and so it is only natural that greenery, sheep, cows and horses are everywhere.
Amy and I woke up early, headed to Sheffield train station – destination: Hope Valley. The train ride was pretty lovely and quick, greenery and cattle decorate the hills on the sides. Once at Hope Valley Station we just had to take a few pictures!
We then proceeded to try and call the sheep over, yes I tried calling the sheep, but to my surprise not one moved closer…I guess sheep are better admired from afar. We then got on a ten minute bus ride to get to the heart of Castleton.
Seeing as Castleton is a small town it is not tourist centred. However, for those who love hiking and peace of mind it is truly the best place to be.
We walked up to the Peak Cavern to find out we had just missed a tour, and the next one would be in two hours.Not to worry! A short walk away there was an underground cavern we wanted to see so we did that first!
Now, if you are not wearing appropriate shoes and clothes for hiking, then you should take the road leading you there. However, after looking at the map the guide of the Peak Cavern had given us, we decided the only way to get there was to hike over hills all the way to the underwater cavern. Now, do not get me wrong, for me this was the best part of the day! Will we slip? Is someone going to end up covered in mud? Amy however was not as enthusiastic.
Well we did not fall over but we came very close. Basically Amy and I did not have any hiking gear on, but we managed to get across, for the sake of adventure. Walking sideways on the wet parts and very slowly on the drier parts.Walking back we took the road though, no need to risk our lives twice (dramatic.)
The Underwater Cavern
The underwater Cavern was a whole other experience. I do not like closed up spaces (scared of lifts) and I do not like spaces I cannot get out of (I hate rollercoasters). And so we went on a boat, underground, which can only travel one way down a narrow tunnel! Admittedly, my knees were shaking at first and I wanted to get out, it was too stuffy! But our tour guide was a very lovely man and a great story-teller, gets you entranced in his story and by the time you realise where you are again the tour is over. This tour, rather than beauty, is best admired for all the work miners have done and are still doing today.
We then walked back to the Peak Cavern, Arthur’s way, and stumbled upon a gorgeous field which we decided to have a closer look at from outside the gates. But apparently we were in a private residence and we were not met with friendly tea!
With some more time to spare we decided to have look around. The village is full of tiny shops, fish and chips, books, jewellery and even cafes. Truly a sight to see.
The stream running through is a haven for ducks. And ducks are awesome! I had brought lunch with me so I gave some to the cute looking ducks. Before I knew it all of them were there snatching my food and shouting threats (yep!).
It was time to visit Peak Cavern! The main purpose of this cave used to be rope making. Families lived there working day and night on making rope. To my surprise, rope smells…very particular. A particularity I am not very fond of, have you ever smelt rope?
The rest of the cave is great to tour, the ceiling is high at one point, low the next. Several movies were filmed in the Peak Cavern and some props are still kept in there. The temperature drops in there too, if you are already freezing, prepare yourself it’s about to get worse! However, the tour was great and I highly recommend it if you have never been in a cave before. It is not as claustrophobic as going underground if that is what you are afraid of .Unofrtunately I do not have any pictures of either caves, it is very dark in there as you can imagine, but the more incentive for you to visit yourself, right?
Waiting on the bus stop to go back to Hope Valley we were joined by a lovely older woman and her dog .We got the pet the dog, and ride with him later on the bus! Shout out to Tommy- and to all the dogs who keep us company.
We then headed back into Sheffield’s town centre and had one of the best dinners ever, but I will tell you all about that in my ‘What to Eat’ post. In the meantime, you can read about What I ate in Barcelona 🙂
Have you done anything whilst on holiday that was really out of your comfort zone? I would love to know all about it!