Venues I Love – Mam Tor, Castleton
Castleton is a lovely village in the middle of the Peak District, about 30 minutes drive outside of Sheffield.
It is an amazing place to be for photographs, be it wedding fun or engagement photos.
I first knew of Castleton back when I was 17: one of the modules in my A-Level geography course was about erosion and the effects of nature on man made substances.
When I went to Sheffield on my university visiting day, I took a trip out to Castleton to see for myself Mam Tor, the village of Castleton, and the ruins of the old A625 which were abandoned due to the mountain quite literally sliding down the hill! In 1979 the authorities finally gave up trying to keep the road open after having to repair it numerous times a year, and it became a famous walking route. Certainly for me, it was always a fantastic place to visit to go walking and take in the views.
Which is why it was such an amazing thing when Louie and Stacey were looking for somewhere near Sheffield to go for some “bridal party fun” photographs! We threw around several ideas, but Mam Tor stuck, and I’m so very glad it did. Why would you want to do Bridal party fun? Well it links in very nicely with my theory on spending quality time together. You’ll find my article on that below.
As you can see, the only road is totally destroyed, with sections sliding down the hill, and what remains being seriously cracked and torn. But as a place to take photographs, it really is something special. For a start, look at those views, they really are to die for!!!
Also, because of the continuously varying surface level of both the road and the landscape, it makes for some seriously interesting angles to play with. Particularly helpfully, in certain places where the old road has left divots and pools of water, you can get some very pleasing reflections. This led to one of my all time favourite wedding photographs. This really was a case of when everything comes together perfectly, there is something beautiful to behold!!!
Two things are VITALLY important that you MUST notes. Firstly, you’ll see that we used confetti. This was rose petals, and fully biodegradable. You’re right in the middle of the Peak District, it would not be appropriate to use paper. Secondly, for the smoke grenade photos you MUST seek legal permissions to do so. This needs to be from both the landowners, but also the councils as well. For me, part of gaining these permissions was explaining the steps taken to avoid litter, waste, damage and risk to the public. Long story short, my backpack became a rubbish bag for the grenade ring pulls and caps, and we carried with us a water bowser to extinguish the grenades to take home afterwards.
I will admit it took me some time to achieve this, but it was well worth doing. Please, whatever you do, don’t just go up there and use paper confetti and smoke grenades without the appropriate permissions and authority. The last thing I would want is others being unable to do similar as a result of a blanket ban.