The pretty village of Castleton, in the Derbyshire Peak District, is easy to access from the east but if you want to continue through it gets rather interesting.
The main road stops just after the village, at a fork, from where two minor roads continue.
If you want to leave the valley, take the left fork. The road is narrow, steep and unfenced, as it climbs up through the limestone gorge of Winnats Pass. You won’t see much of the view, if you are the driver, as you really do need to watch the road. See for yourself on dangerousroads.org where there is a video drive through.
At the top you meet the other end of the other road from the fork. So why drive a hill with a gradient up to 28%? (That’s 1 metre climb for every 3½ metres along!) Why not go the other way?
Let’s take a look.
The right fork out of Castleton was built in the early 19th century, as a by-pass to avoid the steep and difficult route through the limestone gorge. For a long time, this was the continuing main road.
Not too bad so far…though we have already passed this narrow part with it’s no vehicles sign.
However, the road soon starts to deteriorate. And it’s not just lack of use.
This clearly is no longer a by-pass. Next week I’ll tell you what happened.