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Peak Cavern, Castleton

A Day in Peak Cavern, Castleton | Devil’s Arse

Peak Cavern, also known as the Devil’s Arse, is one of the most popular show caves in Castleton village of Peak District. Is it worth visiting or not? Is it true that the Devil haunts the cave? What is it like from the inside? We’ve got all the answers.

We have covered everything in our day trip guide to the Peak Cavern (also known as Devil’s arse). From the car park to exploring what is inside this place.

Peak Cavern, Castleton

Let’s explore “A Day in Peak Cavern, Castleton.”

Peak Cavern

Geographical Centrality

Peak Cavern is the most monstrous cave entrance in the British Isles, 20 metres high, 100 metres long, and 35 metres wide.

Main Path Leading upto the inside of the peak cavern
Main Path Leading upto the inside of the peak cavern

The great cave has countless unusual rock formations.

Limestone Rock Formation in peak cavern
Limestone Rock Formation

The cave system is so immense and profound that part of it is still unknown to researchers!

It is renowned not only for its geographical mightiness but also for its rich historical significance.

Historical richness

Peak Cavern contains the remains of a rope makers village, who called it home for over 200 years.

The mining industry flourished during the era of the 1600s-1800s. The miners needed a Rope for climbing up and down. The thing with rope making is that rain or moisture is disastrous for the Rope’s strength, so the roper makers moved inside the cave system, which is how Peak Cavern became their home.

Carved writings on the roof by ancient cave dwellers
Carved writings on the roof by ancient cave dwellers

The beginning of the First World War ended Rope making. A memorial plaque with a candle has been placed at the entrance chamber for the last of rope makers- Bert Marrison, who died at the age of 99 in 1983.

Hundreds of years ago, the cave was named the Devils Arse as it had become a popular hiding place among bandits and thieves. It was even thought that the Devil was said to live in the deepest part of the cave.

The earliest visitors who came to see the cave mainly were wealthy people and Victorian visitors in the 19th century who were taken to tour the cave by the rope makers in a boat.

Replica of the boat used in ancient times to pass through the archway
Replica of the boat used in ancient times to pass through the archway

The cavern was visited by Her Royal Highness Queen Victoria in 1887, bringing more fame and tourism.

Car Park: Peak Cavern

There is a pay and display car park with plenty of space near the Peak Cavern.

It costs 6£ for the all-day car park, contactless or card payment is also acceptable.

Most attractions nearby, such as Peveril Castle, Peak Cavern, and Castleton town centre, take only 10 to 15 minutes to walk.

Castle-town sculpture near Peak Cavern car parking
Castle-town sculpture near Peak Cavern car parking

Let’s Explore Peak Cavern

Let’s explore the largest cave entrance in Britain, unravel the unique mysteries of Devil’s Arse, and walk with me into the fascinating world of Peak Cavern!

Saying that I was electrified to visit the most famous show cave might be an understatement- I was thrilled!

I packed all my usual stuff in my backpack and booked a 3 pm tour the night before. I took the A52 and A515 route to Peak District and was there in an hour.

I parked in the Peak Cavern All Day Car Park, but I still had plenty of time on hand, so I got myself an ice cream from the car park parlour and soaked in the sun.

Massive rocks along the path leading to the great cave
Massive rocks along the path leading to the great cave

The cavern is just a 10-minute walk from the parking, so I was there at 2.45 pm. It turned out that there were only two people, including me, in my time slot. Our tour guide welcomed us with a huge smile and escorted us inside.

Welcome to Peak Cavern
Welcome to Peak Cavern

The other tour guide was kind enough to offer to keep our bags safe, so we left them on the bench in front of the souvenir shop.

I followed the tour guide as he started by telling us about the history of the cave.

I had not done any research regarding the history of the cave, so I was surprised when I got to witness the Rope making process in person.

Wooden rope making machines made to replicate the ones that were originally used by the peak cavern rope makers
Wooden rope making machines made to replicate the ones that were originally used by the peak cavern rope makers

Wooden rope making machines made to replicate the ones that were originally used by the peak cavern rope makers

The remains of the rope makers’ houses built inside were a sight to behold. The roofs were so low that there was barely room for me to stand up, and I’m not even that tall.

Rope from peak cavern
Brought this home as a souvenir

As I walked forward, I was mesmerized by the strange and beautiful rock formations, one of which had given rise to a dragon-like structure hanging from the roof.

dragon with its wings looking down upon us
Look closely to see the “dragon” with its wings looking down upon us

On walking deeper into the cave, I passed through the Lumbago walk, where I had to slouch down for a distance of about 30 metres, and entered the Great Cave.

Here I saw a cascade of water at Roger Rain’s House.

Photoluminescent rock formations
Photoluminescent rock formations
Stones glowing in the dark peak cavern
Stones glowing in the dark peak cavern

Nearing the end of the part open for tourism, I passed through Pluto’s Dining Room into the Devil’s Cellar and heard the source of the river Styx.

girl picking up the stone in peak cavern

Things to Keep in Mind When Visiting Peak Cavern

  • Check the weather before booking your tour, as the farther part of the cave may have flood water due to heavy rains.
  • The tour tickets are booked online.
  • Do note that the gates to the cavern are closed about 5 to 10 minutes before the tour starts, and no more people are allowed to enter till the next one.
  • The tour lasts 1 hour. The schedule starts at 10 am and lasts till 4 pm with tours starting every hour.
  • The walk is fairly undemanding, but the path may be uneven and wet.
  • The rough path makes it difficult for the wheelchairs or strollers to go beyond the entrance.
  • It is very chilly inside the cavern, and the temperature falls to 8 or 9°C.
  • You must bend down (almost like a sandwich maker) to get to the other side of a part of the cave. It lasts about 10 metres. Do keep in mind if your’s claustrophobic.
  • Good news for you if you’re a dog parent- well-behaved dogs on leashes are allowed inside the cave.
  • It is suitable for all ages, but kids must be happy in the dusk and below the ground.
  • You do not need to worry about your backpacks or any luggage you may be carrying as it’s perfectly safe to leave it by the visitor centre with one of the tour guides.
Peak cavern fridge magnet
Brought this stick-on from the souvenir shop, ended up making a fridge magnet out of it
  • The cavern has no toilet facilities, but the car park (just a 10 minutes walk away) has them and little shops for ice creams, coffee, and snacks.

Last Words

I have also visited all the other show caves in Peak District’s village of Castleton, but to me, this one is awe-inspiring. It’s picturesque, rich in history, and has the best tour guides to show you through! It’ll be a trip you’ll remember for life.

You might also want to look into my previous travel guide to the Mam Tor Walks.

A Day in Peak Cavern Pinterest Pin

Dr. Mahnoor

Hi! I am Dr Mahnoor, a doctor and content writer from England, UK. I'm a doctor by profession but writing has always been my greatest passion. I'm mostly found scribbling in my notepad & that content will more likely than not be my travel diaries.

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Hello Fellows!

Welcome to Travel Club of Upminster! After taking a long gap of around four years, I have again started my journey as a Blogger, and started this blog. I am traveler by choice. I am glad to see you all here! Happy Traveling!