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Castleton, Derbyshire is one of those places that you return to, over and over again. It could be the village’s strategic location at the heart of the Peak District (one of the reasons that a Royal fortress was built there, as well as the valuable lead mines) or the many walking trails and show caverns in the district, or just the stunning views over the Hope Valley. Whatever the cause, I can guarantee that once you visit, you’ll want to come back.

All that sight-seeing (or shopping for some of Castleton’s unique Blue John jewellery) will raise an appetite, and there are many eating establishments and inns in this picturesque village. However, it is natural to have a favourite or two, and the ‘Three Roofs Café & Restaurant’ is a place I don’t mind turning to when the hunger pangs strike. Here you can see the little stone-built restaurant, decorated with floral hanging baskets and colourful window boxes. It is just opposite the main car park, and close to the Peakshole Water, a crystal-clear stream which issues from the mouth of the Peak Cavern, to join the little River Noe (itself a 7 mile long tributary of the Derbyshire Derwent). Just so you can gain some other points of view about the ‘Three Roofs’, here are extracts from well-respected review sites.

“Food and drink well above average for this kind of unpretentious establishment; service is quick and unobtrusive.”

“We went there for breakfast on a couple of mornings whilst staying in Hope. It’s very ‘tea room’ in layout but the service is friendly and the food delicious!’

There you have it; the clincher for me is the sign which says ‘Muddy Boots Welcome’. To a hiker who has just slogged up Mam Tor or up and down Winnats Pass, or has reached the village via one of the many paths from Back Tor or Edale, then this is a welcome sign, indeed!

You can see the keep of Peveril Castle, and part of the curtain wall of this Norman fortress, towering over Castleton. The castle was built by William Peverel (yes, the spelling changed with time), said to be the illegitimate son of William the Conqueror (Guillaume le Conquérant), who gifted him over 120 manors (and the land attached) in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire after the Conquest of 1066. William Peverel also built the castles at Codnor and Bolsover. The castle is part of the Duchy of Lancaster (lands owned by the sovereign directly, and not part of the Crown Estate), and is now looked after by English Heritage. The zig-zag trail up to the castle is very steep, as you can see – but the view from the top is magnificent (see my diaries on ‘Cave Dale’, ‘Curtain Wall – Peveril Castle’, and ‘Norman Keep – Peveril Castle’).

As a reward for your exertions, you will be able to enjoy a refreshing cup of tea in the ‘Three Roofs Café & Restaurant’ when you get down!

Originally posted to shortfinals on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 05:18 PM PST.

Also republished by Derbyshire and The Peak District.

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