Castleshaw is a beautiful place just outside the little village of Delph in Saddleworth. Not only has it got loads of cool history to discover, but it's the perfect place to put your unicorn-finding skills to the test.

We took a trip to Castleshaw last week. Take a look at some of the things we found and discover how you can plan your own adventure there.

But first...

Before you start putting your adventure kit together, here's a bit of history about Castleshaw.

Located on the Pennines, Castleshaw is a tiny hamlet which is also home to two reservoirs and a Roman Fort. The remains of the Roman settlement can be found on Castle Hill, which offers fantastic views over the valley as well as the opportunity to explore the site which dates back to c. AD 79. There are some really interesting information boards at the site too - don't forget to pack your notebooks!

Getting to Castleshaw

Depending on how you're going to travel, and if your unicorn-finding assistant can drive, Castleshaw is really easy to get to by car.

Located just outside Delph in Saddleworth, Castleshaw can be accessed from the A62 Huddersfield Road at the junction with Delph Lane. Follow Waterworks Road until you get to the Castleshaw Outdoor Centre and then you can park in the public carpark which is just past the Centre.

Looking down on Castleshaw's two reservoirs.

What to bring with you

Having the right equipment with you is essential if you're going to have a great adventure, and you should be prepared for taking note of any clues or even unicorns-in-disguise that you might spot while you're exploring.

Depending on what time of year you're visiting, I would suggest being prepared for quite a bit of mud (which is great for spotting interesting tracks) and usually some rain.

This is what I took with me when I visited:

  • Waterproof walking boots (a pair of comfy trainers or wellies would be good too)
  • A waterproof coat
  • Backpack
  • Notebook and pencils
  • Camera
  • Water
  • Some snacks
  • Bird spotting book
  • Small tin (for collecting clues)
  • A compass
  • Binoculars

Of course, there may be things that you want to bring along that are not on my list. Just make sure they are all essential to your adventure and won't get in the way of you discovering what's about. For example, I went on an adventure to my local forest last weekend and took a rubber ring with me - I felt certain I would need it at the time but, in reality, it just prevented me from being able to squeeze between trees whilst hot on the trail of a unicorn-in-disguise and it frightened the subject away when I accidentally popped it on a curiously sharp pine needle.

On this occasion I also took my new assistant, Roxy along with me. She is new to the adventuring business so didn't prove to be much assistance in all honesty, but she was good company when she wasn't running off to sniff sheep poo or to drink from a muddy puddle. I have made a mental note not to ask her to carry my snack bag anymore - she likes to munch on my sandwiches when I'm not looking.

Roxy is just starting out as a Unicorn Finding Assistant. She needs more practice!

What can you find at Castleshaw?

There is so much to discover that you'll be certain to have a successful adventure. I tend to follow the path out of the carpark towards the Roman Fort, then I continue around the road until I come to the road that crosses between the two reservoirs, I turn left at the end and then follow the path past the farm with the lower reservoir on my left until I make a circular route back to the carpark.

The lower reservoir at Castleshaw.

I won't tell you everything that I found because that will spoil your chances of discovering things for yourself, but some highlights of my adventure are as follows:

  1. On occasion there are lots of very handsome black cows around the reservoir. I was careful to only observe them from a distance as they can be shy creatures who don't like being sneaked up on but, when I took a closer look at them with my binoculars, I definitely caught a glimpse of one that had a rainbow sheen to its belly.
  2. There are a few very peaceful areas which I would suggest standing and being quiet for a while to see if you can hear a fairy singing.
  3. I enjoyed reading about the legend of "Grott the Evil Toad" in the carpark. I spotted some stones which I think are part of the legend - see if you can find them too.
Roxy discovers some magic stones at Castleshaw.

Happy adventuring! We'd love to know what you find.