Blue John is a semi-precious mineral and can only be found in Blue John Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern at Castleton in Derbyshire. We had already visited two caves on the previous day – Speedwell and Peak Cavern. So we had to choose between the two.
I went for Blue John and although it was our favourite cave of the three I still wish I’d chosen Treak Cliff. They have some great stalactites and stalagmites at Treak Cliff which was something we were missing from the other three caves that we visited. Still, it’s a great excuse to return someday and I’d love to walk up Mam Tor as well.
Review of Blue John Cavern Castleton
Speedwell and Peak Cavern are walking distance from Castleton. Blue John is a lot further and I can highly recommend that you take a car there. The scenery in this part of Derbyshire is simply stunning. There is parking near to Blue John but as the entrance is set down in a valley you will have to park and walk a short distance. There is not a huge amount of car parking and when we returned to our car there were no spaces left so people were parking along the roadside. Only staff can park down at the entrance.
I can highly recommend arriving for opening time as you will be on a lot less busy tour. There was only around 10 of us on the first tour which for a lot of the smaller spaces this was just fine. The tour after us must have had around 30 people. We were all glad we’d arrived early.
There is a small cafe, shop and toilets on site.
When you enter the cave you descend some steps to an area with old mining equipment. Our tour guide then talked to us about all the different tools they used and how they mined for Blue John. A large piece of Blue John is worth a lot of money.
This cavern has really high ceilings in most places and it was a good cave to visit with little ones. You enter into a variety of different caverns. Some of them with different colours and others where a lot of the Blue John has already been mined. They have left some Blue John In situ so that visitors can see it in the rocks. Some of the caverns have also been formed by water which was interesting to see. The tour lasted for around one hour and tours go down into the cavern every twenty minutes.
Photos from inside the different caverns.
It was the most interesting of the three cave tours that we went on in Castleton. It also was our favourite tour of the three. Our tour guide was very informative and encouraged questions from the little ones.
Please check their website for opening times of the day you want to visit. We arrived for opening on the day at 9:30am and we were on the first tour of the day at 9:45am. The cafe is only open on Saturdays and Sundays. Children under 5 go free and all children are welcome. Babes in arms must be in a sling or carrier. Dogs on leads are also welcome. Although we weren’t especially impressed with the dog that kept plowing into us on the way down.
An adult ticket is currently £14.00 and £6.00 for children aged 5 and over.
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