“Are we there yet?” Five minutes into the journey, the question was asked for the first time. While it wasn’t the longest of journeys to Castleton, it couldn’t pass quickly enough for the staff. A small price to pay for arriving in the most spectacular location on the most beautiful sunny day. Dropping our bags in our rooms – how exciting it is finding our who you are sharing with! – we started with an eagerly awaited lunch, before setting off into Castleton itself. Tim and Alastair guided us into the village, passing badger setts and amazing fungus formations on the way. Fortunately, the four mountain rescue vehicles that passed us with their lights blazing weren’t coming for us.
First stop was Peveril Castle: with estimates of our ascent from twenty minutes to two hours, it only took us seven and a half minutes to reach the top. Mr. Suter gave guided tours of the keep, including the toilets, and then the eagerly anticipated shop stop – it’s always amazing to see the castle-related memorabilia children can buy!
We took the front entrance to the castle: we then tried to find an easier way in first by walking along Cave Dale (no – too steep) and then seeing if we could get in via the Devil’s Bottom cave (no – again too steep). Thwarted, Mrs. Booth treated us to an ice cream and we walked back through the village to the hostel.
A voluntary archaeological dig activity was offered, and only four students wanted to go with Mr. Suter to investigate, but when Mrs. Booth announced that she and Mrs. Seward would be taking the rest for a walk around the grounds, the activity quickly filled up. What amazing things those ancients throw away on their rubbish dumps – we found pots, axe heads, animal heads, a shoe and other fantastic objects. Hard to believe they’d been lying there undiscovered for so long.
After a nourishing dinner, we went to a candle making session, where we repeated dipped a piece of string into hot wax to make our own candles. We moulded them while they were still warm and we’re sure you’ll be delighted to receive these lovely gifts on Friday, Mums!
After a play on the lawn, it was back to our rooms for showers before Mrs. Booth took us outside in our pyjamas to, so we thought, remind us again of our emergency procedures – what a surprise then when Mrs. Seward brought out a chocolate cake to surprise Ellen on her birthday! Nine today! A sugar loaded game of bingo followed – well done Lucia for her ‘full house’ – and then to bed.