The area around Castleton, in the Hope Valley, contains the most famous manifestations of the geology of the Peak District. A number of caves and mines are open to the public, including some former lead mines and Blue John mines (amethystine spar; the unusual name is a corruption of the French bleu-jaune, meaning "blue yellow"). The limestone caverns attract many people, which means that pretty Castleton is marred by a certain commercialization. Summer brings the crowds, many of which poke around in the numerous shops displaying Blue John jewelry and wares.
Fodor's Editorial Photo Intern Leonard Vargas snapped photos of this spring's wildflower explosion in Southern California.More