A Trip to Blue John Cavern
Did you know that the Peak District is home to a rare semi-precious mineral, Blue John Stone, and this is the only place in the world where it’s found? This beautiful fluorspar is coloured with bands of blue/purple and yellow, which is believed to be how it got its name – from the French bleu/jaune (blue/yellow).
The Blue John Cavern in Castleton is home to 8 of the 14 known varieties of Blue John Stone, where it’s been mined for centuries. During the winter months miners still descend deep into the tunnels here, armed with traditional picks and shovels, in search of the beautiful stone. This is then cleaned and polished to be made into jewellery and ornamental objects.
Guided tours of the cavern are conducted at short regular intervals. Each tour lasts around an hour and gives a wonderful insight into these magnificent natural cave systems. The famous Blue John Stone can be seen in its natural state, along with stalactites, stalagmites and huge, beautifully lit caverns, up to 200 feet high and 30 feet wide.
Combine your trip to Blue John Cavern with a day out in the nearby village of Castleton, where you’ll find no shortage of lovely independent shops – including the original Blue John Craft Shop – as well as cafes, restaurants and pubs.
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How do I get there?
The Blue John Cavern is located at the foot of Mam Tor just on the edge of the village of Castleton in Derbyshire. From Castleton head west out of the village and through Winnats Pass on the A6187. At the top of Winnats Pass turn right, and look out for the signs to Blue John Cavern on your right after approx 500 metres.