Caldbeck is the northernmost village in the Lake District National Park, and sits on the northern foothill of High Pike. The village has a curiously open feel, with plenty of open spaces amongst the houses. The village is split in half by Cald Beck itself. The northern half of the village is mostly residential, and includes two streets separated by a large common complete with village pond. The southern half contains most of the shops, pubs and other places of interest.
There are shops and interesting workshops spread about the southern half of the village, with some in a converted mill at the eastern end and others around the green at the western end of the village. A delightful although sometimes rather muddy path runs alongside the Cald Beck linking the converted mill to the western end of the village.
There is an interesting waterfall, the Howk, upstream from the village. This can be reached along a path that runs along the north bank of the beck, which becomes Whelpo Beck somewhere to the west of the village.
Caldbeck was once an industrial village, making its money from the mines in the Caldbeck fells to the south and from the eight mills in the village. None of these mills are still working, but several have survived. At one point Caldbeck was said to be worth more than the rest of England combined. Lead and copper were mined during the area's industrial heyday, which came early in the nineteenth century. The boom times ended with the closure of Roughton Gill mine in 1878, although small scale extraction of wolfram and barites until the 1960s.
The graveyard at the Church of St. Kentigern contains two famous lake district characters - the huntsman John Peel and Mary Robinson, the beauty of Buttermere.
John Peel is said to have been born at Parkend, one and a half miles west of the village. He married a local girl, originally by eloping to Gretna Green. After a reconciliation with his new mother-in-law the marriage was repeated in Caldbeck Church in 1797. Peel became famous after his friend John Woodcock Graves wrote the song 'Do ye ken John Peel'. Graves was a wool manufacturer, and this might explain an alternative ending to the first line of the song - 'D'ye ken John Peal with his coat so grey' - Graves having made said grey coat.