Cave dale is every bit as dramatic as Winnats Pass with the extra dimension of Peveril Castle teetering on the clifftop.  

Park on Old Mam Tor Road around the entrance of Dunscar Farm. Head up the road away from the village, looking out for a brown fingerpost on the left signed for Speedwell Cavern.  

Go through the squeeze gap in the drystone wall and climb up through a field to Arthurs Way (the approach to Winnats Pass).  

Turn left and almost immediately cross the road through a gate onto signed National Trust land – Longcliff.  

The path follows a drystone wall, then splits. Veer right to follow the wide grassy path uphill towards Peveril Castle, hidden in trees.  

Great British Life: Cave DaleCave Dale (Image: Tony Leech)

Close to the keep, the path sweeps round to climb a rise above Cave Dale. Continue through a field gate, then drop down into the valley. Turn sharp left here.  

The route is straight-forward from this point, the rubbly limestone path funnelled between towering cliffs.  

Views of the towering Perveril Castle open out. The atmospheric ruin is one of England’s earliest fortresses, built by Henry II in 1176 as an administrative centre and a base for visiting monarchs (who rarely if ever made an appearance). William Peveril was the king’s agent for the Royal Forest of the Peak – basically a large hunting playground given up to the royal family.  

Continuing down the hillside, you’ll notice caves – more accurately old lead mines and rakes – on either side of the dale, giving the ravine its name.  

As you walk down towards Castleton, it’s hard to believe this part of landlocked Derbyshire used to lie at the bottom of a deep lagoon in Carboniferous times – around 330 million years ago.  

The cliffs around you were part of a limestone reef, teaming with sea life. At the bottom of the dale, head out of the gate, and suddenly, the village is in front of you.  

Drop down Bargate, passing Market Place (seating round a spreading tree for those with aching limbs).  

Head through the Stones – the chippy on the left a tempting stop – over the bridge and right into a car park leading to Buxton Road.  

Turn left and walk the pavement back to Old Mam Tor Road and your starting point after a short but satisfying 3.3-mile ramble. 

To see more photos and walks around Cave Dale, join the Peak District and Derbyshire walks Facebook Group

The history of Peveril Castle

Standing high and imperiously above the pretty village of Castleton, Peveril Castle is one of England's earliest Norman fortresses. Widely believed to date back to the 11th century, it was, according to Sir Walter Scott's Peveril of the Peak, ruinous in 1823.

In its heyday, the castle was the administrative focus of the Royal Forest of the Peak.

Nowadays it is clearly much diminished and little of the original structure remains - although parts of the gateway, the perimeter walls and the remains of the Keep - built by Henry II in 1176 - can still be found.

Despite this, the site, which is run by English Heritage, is well worth a visit - not least for the stunning Peak District views which surround it which include some of the area's most loved beauty spots.