Visiting Castleton Caves

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  • Visiting Castleton Caves
  • I’ve been a regular in this area over the years but never been in the caves.

    Visiting this weekend with the family (2 and 5 year old).

    Which is/are the best to visit?

    Speedwell sounds good with the boat ride, but interetsed to know advice from others who’ve been

    Cheers in advance



    I’ve been in Speedwell, but without the boat ride. It was an adventure race, and it was about 3am when we visited.

    The path the boat takes is only about waist deep as we discovered, but the big cavern is worth seeing. Just be wary of the steps down to the boat, I seem to recall it being quite a long and steep set but that could have been my tiredness…


    I wouldn’t take a 2 year-old down Speedwell Cavern. It’s very claustrophobic through the tunnels, and if they decide to have a meltdown on the crowded boat, there’s nowhere to hide. Plus there’s a shitload of steps to negotiate at either end.

    The Devil’s Arse caves are much better. You can do them on foot and there’s plenty of room for the kids to wander. All much more relaxing.

    I haven’t done Blue John or Treak Cliff so can’t help with those.


    I was down blue john a couple of weeks back, it’s still an active mine although not much changed in a 100 years. Big hole full of shiny rocks and stalactites / stalagmites. Interesting and I think cheaper then Speedwell but definitely smaller and without the boat.


    What Muzzle said about Speedwell. Peak Cavern would be good as they get chance to experience it gradually as it has a huge entrance.

    the teaboy

    I grew up in Castleton.

    Peak is easy for kids, much less claustrophobic but not that spectacular.

    Speedwell has the novelty factor of the boat but doesn’t have great rock formations.

    Blue John and Treak Cliff have the most amazing formations but both are deep and narrow. Treak Cliff is better for stalactites and stalagmites and Blue John is better for, wait for it, Blue John.

    Personally, Blue John was always my favourite.


    Just for clarification: Devil’s Arse = Peak Cavern.


    Did Treak with 4 & 6 yr olds in summer and it was fine for them. Perhaps too many steep steps for a 2 year old – you’d probably end up carrying.

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