Peak Cavern, Castleton

Peak Cavern

Known locally by the irreverent name The Devil’s Arse, Peak Cavern is a hugely impressive show cave in the pretty Peak District village of Castleton. It’s only a short walk from the centre of the village and well-signposted.  

The entrance to Peak Cavern is the largest cave entrance in Britain, standing at 60 feet high, 100 feet wide and 340 feet long.  

Peak Cavern 1

The cavern is made up of a number of chambers, each with their own natural features. The chambers are well lit to highlight the beauty of their rock formations, and guided tours are available to help you get the most out of your visit.

Peak Cavern 2

The route for visitors starts in the large entrance chamber, known as The Vestibule. It then continues on to two main caverns, The Great Cave and Roger Rain’s House, and into a further passage known as Pluto’s Dining Room.

Unlike other caverns in Castleton, which were formed by mining, Peak Cavern is almost entirely natural. It’s also the largest cave system in the Peak District.

Fascinatingly, until as recently as 1915, Peak Cavern was the home of the last cave-dwellers in the UK. A group of rope-makers lived in houses built inside the mouth of the cave and sold their wares to villagers and the lead mines. 

The name ‘The Devil’s Arse’ arose because of the graphic flatulent noises made inside the cavern when flood water is draining away. It was changed to ‘Peak Cavern’ in the late 1800s when Queen Victoria visited for a concert, to avoid offending her!

Peak Cavern is home to many events and concerts throughout the year, including an annual candlelit Christmas carol concert. At certain times of the year it also becomes a cinema with film screenings.

Image credits: Peak Cavern