Hartington YHA @ half-term – Part 3 – Underground

Posted by @ 2:01 pm on Thursday 1st November, 2012.
Categories: Great Escapes, YHA

Tuesday morning had a bit more life to it - dull and damp but with a bit of a gusty breeze. The full cover of low cloud was still there though, and there was occasional drizzle. The tops of the surrounding hills were still obscured. I didn't really expect any better.

I was a bit less grumpy this time, as sleeping on the torture-rack had been made a tad more tolerable by the padding of spare clothes that I'd stuffed under the mattress.

Breakfast was better. The twat wasn't there yet. Still no porage, but at least the bacon and sausage didn't taste of cheese and salami, and I got first dibs at a fresh batch of fried eggs which were still runny. The self-serve system had been suspended, possibly due to the arrival of a party of schoolkids the previous evening. Hell, there was even white sugar for the tea. Things were looking up!

None of us were up for donning packs and spending the whole day outdoors so we decided to head for one of the Blue John caverns and spend at least part of the day under cover. The hostel staff had recommended Treake Cliff Cavern, so without much delay we went off in convoy in search of Castleton. We found it huddled against a hillside, shying away from a gloomy grey sky, Here's what it looked like from Treake Cliff:



There was plenty to see in the caverns... Crinoidal Limestones, stalactites/stalagmites and other speleothems, Blue John...

For the uninitiated:

  • tites fall down;
  • mites crawl up;
  • bits of Crinoids look like five-sided stony dolly-mixture sweets,

and for those who can't spell or who just like to be contrary:

  • Blue John is a form of fluorspar, not of flourspar.


Anyway, here are a few pics, feel free to click them to see the bigger versions. I'll assume that you can figure out what's what. If you have a question please raise your hand and I'll get to you ASAP.






















After exiting the caverns we ate lunch under cover near the offices and then went on to Castleton for a walkabout. Parking there is easy - apparently it's OK to just abandon your car in the middle of the carriageway:



We considered strolling up to and around Peveril Castle but we didn't think that the views from the top would justify the walk up and the cost of entry. On a clearer and/or sunny day it would probably have been worth it, but this day we could see clag for free at ground level. We consoled ourselves with some retail therapy and a nosey around the visitors' centre.

We returned early to the hostel and had some chill-time before strolling down to The Devonshire Arms for evening meals. I liked that pub - they had a fine real open fire and the beer and service were top-notch.

Back at the hostel after that we had time for Anna to thrash us at Monopoly before bedtime.


To be continued...

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3 Responses to “Hartington YHA @ half-term – Part 3 – Underground”

  1. ChrisP says:

    I was going to pick you up on your spelling of porridge - but after googling I find that you are using the old english or scottish spelling. But yes, I missed it as well - it is just what you need before going out for a walk in the cold rain.

  2. Those rock formations look cool. Any hope of finding precious stones over there? All those crystal deposits have to produce something nice yes?

  3. BG! says:

    @The Camping Trail - No, not much chance of finding anything precious. Blue John is semi-precious stuff, used mainly for ornaments and the like.

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