The name often has children and adults alike giggling as they queue to enter; once you’re inside it’s no laughing matter. For those of you who are claustrophobic, this may not be the adventure for you. In the centre of England is the Peak District, and here you’ll find The Devil’s Arse Cave; or more commonly known as Peak Cavern. We stumbled upon this gem whilst on a visit to Castleton; not knowing what lies behind the gates we eagerly joined the queue for a tour. What followed was the eeriest tour I think I’ve ever been on that didn’t revolve around dead people.
We were put into small groups then all instructed to put on our hard hats. After this, we were led down a small corridor carved into the hillside and down what felt like hundreds of damp slippery steps. On the way down we learnt that this cavern is the only all natural one in the area; The layouts we were being shown were made completely by natures flowing waters. Waiting for us at the bottom of the stairs was a tiny little boat floating on a narrow river running through the rock; it was beautiful and creepy all at the same time. I nervously boarded the boat and hoped that the small children in our group were well-behaved. I wasn’t above shouting at a child if they rocked this tiny vessel.
The little boat chugged along the river deeper into the walls. Wall which continued creeping closer and closer to the side of the boat. I didn’t think that was possible; at the smallest part of this water tour I could stretch my arms out and put both hand flat on the walls…… yea. Like I said. Not for the claustrophobic. It was hard to not start singing ‘just around the river bend’ from Pocahontas as we twisted around what was apparently the final bend to our intended destination.
What awaited was fascinating when you think that it was made solely by nature… A huge open cavern. We had 10 minutes off the boat. Yay! While we stood admiring nature’s handy work it was hard to not feel tiny. We were told hundreds of facts about the cavern but to list them all would ruin the tour for you, so we boarded the tiny death ship one more time and headed back towards daylight safe in the fact there would be no oncoming traffic.
Castleton is quite a drive away from London, but if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, or see more of what England has to offer it is definitely worth a visit, there’s more to see than just The Devil’s Arse