On a windy but sunny September morning, the Upper Fourth set off on a coach ride to the Peak District. Once we had split into groups, our first stop was to Treak Cavern where we were given a guided tour of the caves. Highlights of the tour included seeing Blue John rock (which we were told had taken millions of years to form) and also patting one of the ‘Seven Dwarves’ stalagmites, as well as visiting the gift shop where you were able to buy all kinds of gems and rocks. After that we hopped back onto the coach (after a few class photo opportunities) and headed to the Mam Tor Landslide. After a ten minute trek uphill we could see the landslide in all of its glory, however we braved forces of nature when a possible tremor shook the ground that we were standing on! We discovered that one of the main causes of this natural hazard was actually caused by humans as the nearby factory produced many vehicles within close proximity of the landslide and it was these vibrations (as well as alternate periods of very wet and very dry weather) that could have caused the landslide.
After another short coach journey, we arrived at the village of Castleton where we were given an hour and a half to fill out a questionnaire and complete various tasks relating to our study of Tourism (whilst also being able to visit an ice cream parlour which provided a well-deserved treat for us!). It was a breath of fresh air to take a walk around the village as it differs from Birmingham so vastly. For example, the amenities are very limited, many of the shops are aimed at tourists and these were independent shops with the only exception being ‘Londis’, as well as the locals being very friendly and not in any rush – which meant that they were also happy to give us some primary data about what it was like to live in Castleton.
After rounding up everybody from the toilets and gift shop (and a class selfie) it was then time to head back to school on ajourney that took almost three hours (luckily we had a film put on for us to watch on the coach!) It was a long day but also a very interesting one as we got to learn all about rocks, landslides and the quaint village of Castleton (including that their fish and chip shop is only open two days a week, much to our dismay!) It also gave us a chance to compare the city where we live and to think if we would actually like tolive in Castleton, as we discovered that this tourist ‘honeypot’ has a very different way of life.