An early start for Prep IV today with a full English at 7:30 (it’s the law when you are on your holidays) ready for our walk to the Blue John caves at Treak Cliff Cavern.   A bit drizzly as we set off but that didn’t dampen our spirits. With Hamza and Blake holding gates for everyone, unprompted, we made our way to our first point of interest.

Avoiding the many cow pats, we stood in a field and looked back at the castle we had visited yesterday, whilst Tim informed us that had we stood there 300 million years ago we would have been completely submerged in water and enjoying a tropical climate. The children then went on to discover that the area is rich with fossils and they set off to find some with great success.

The weather had brightened up and we got back on our way, through a couple of fields and then a pit stop to refuel with a choccie biccie and a drink by an old mine shaft near the red river.

We looked at the different hillsides full of limestone, sandstone and slate and continued on the road to nowhere, that used to be the road from Sheffield to Manchester. The children demonstrated their almighty strength by picking up pieces of slate and crumbling it in their fingers and fully understanding then how the road collapsed in the landslide in the 1970s.

We then carried on our walk, on a narrow path down the hill to the cavern and had a picnic lunch overlooking Hope Valley.

Soon it was time to enter the caves. Mrs Booth and Mrs Seward bravely stayed behind to look after all the belongings, whilst the children along with Tim and Miss Kelsall went off to discover the stalactites and stalagmites, the Witch’s Cave and the Seven Dwarves. The children were shown a special Blue John stone that would have been worth around £15 in 1945. In today’s terms that equates to about £3000. Wow!

The children emerged into the daylight and although the sunshine had disappeared the rain held off on our walk back to the youth hostel.

The children took part in a human history timeline, dressed up as Romans, Celts, Vikings and Anglo Saxons. Even more excitement followed with eyes down for a game of bingo. Mrs Seward was our bingo caller, enthusiastically using all the bingo lingo. Elissa was the lucky winner of the full house prize and then Ada, Tom and Hannah shared a sweet treat prize for getting a line.

Another hearty meal in the dining room and then back to the rooms for showers and pjs on ready for movie night.  The movie reveal of Paddington 2 was met with a big cheer and the children settled down with sweets, chocolates and toffees in the YHA pop up cinema. What a lovely end to a great day.

Castleton Day 2 with Prep IV

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