The daily routine of sitting behind a desk can spark a desire for adventure every now and again. If you’re looking to fuel your adventurous side, why not give caving a go?
The UK has plenty of spots to go walking or cycling, but there’s a world of thrilling outdoor escapades to be had below the surface too. Whether you’re a caving pro or a complete newbie, break the boring routine and enjoy a taste of something different with a visit to one of these fantastic caving spots.
If you’ve never been caving before, Thistle and Runscar caves are perfect for getting started. Suitable for all abilities, these are great walking and crawling caves, featuring a few low spaces to navigate, chilly underground rivers and plenty of stalagmites and stalactites to spot along the way. It’s a great spot to get a taste for the activity and is ideal for all the family to enjoy.
Led by one of their X-treme instructors, Cheddar Gorge puts adventure at the forefront of their caving experiences – so if you’re keen to get down and dirty, this is a great choice for a thrilling expedition. You’ll clamber through a series of chambers, be led down a 40ft steel ladder, clipped onto a wire traverse where you’ll crawl across a bottomless pit, before negotiating the sand chamber to the surface. But if that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you can always explore Gough’s Cave instead where you can admire the formation without getting muddy.
Known as the Hellfire Caves, this network of man-made chalk and flint caverns were formerly used as the meeting place of the notorious high society Hell Fire Club, presided over by Sir Francis Dashwood. Now operating as a tourist attraction, the caves feature long and winding passages which run deep underground for over half a mile, and feature a series of chambers, including the Banqueting Hall, Franklin’s Cave, the Inner Temple and a subterranean river known as The Styx. There’s plenty of history to stimulate your interest in these dark caves.
Lying deep beneath a grassy hillside in the Upper Swansea Valley in South Wales, this cave is the deepest in the whole of the UK at a depth of 900 feet and stretching an impressive 31 miles. The huge system is divided into three parts – so you can opt to tackle just one, or all three if you’re feeling adventurous – and boasts many long passages and chambers to explore. You can expect to find deep potholes, sandy chambers and underground rivers in its dark depths, making for a most excellent adventure.
Home to four separate caverns, a visit to the Derbyshire caves gives you plenty to sink your teeth into. The Peak, Speedwell, Treak Cliff and Blue John Mine caves all offer something a little different, whether that’s taking an underground boat trip to the Bottomless Pit, unravelling the mysteries of the Devil’s Arse in the Peak Cavern, or tracking down the famous Blue John Stone, and it’s great for experienced cavers and novices alike.
If caving still doesn’t satisfy your appetite for adventure, try these top outdoor activities in Yorkshire.