DAY 4: THE HOPE VALLEY AND LYME PARK
After a drive through some spectacular Peak District scenery, we arrived at Castleton, a picture book village, overlooked by the ruins of Peveril Castle at the western end of the Hope Valley. We walked through winding lanes and footpaths to reach the entrance of Peak Cavern Gorge, although there was not enough time to look around inside. However, we were able to visit a small exhibition about the town and the famous ‘Blue John’, a semi-precious mineral found at only one location in the world, a hillside just outside the village. It is a form of fluorite and was discovered as miners were exploring the cave systems of Castleton for lead.
Lyme Park is near Disley, Cheshire. The estate was granted to Sir Thomas Danyers in 1346 and passed to the Leghs family by marriage in 1388. The present house dates from the latter part of the 16th century, with modifications from the 17th to the 19th centuries. It remained in the same family until 1946, when it was given to the National Trust. Its heyday was in the Edwardian era but it was never the same again after the First World War. It has been used for filming and was the scene where Mr Darcy met Miss Bennett in the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice.