15 Magical UK Caves to Explore
Across the UK, deep underground cave networks, sea caves and man-made caves are all waiting to be explored. We’ve listed some of the top caves near our campsites below, and most are brilliant for the whole family, while some are more suited to adrenaline seekers. While visiting these caves, you’ll want to wear sturdy footwear, sensible clothing and maybe even a waterproof jacket each.What is the biggest cave in the UK?
Ogof Ffynnon Ddu in the Upper Swansea Valley is the deepest cave in the UK, while Peak Cavern has the largest natural cave entrance.
Are there still undiscovered caves all over the UK?
Yes, the likelihood is that there are lots of caves yet to be discovered in the UK.
1. Cheddar Gorge and Caves, Somerset
Just over a 10-minute drive from our Club Site of the same name, Cheddar Gorge is one of the most popular cave attractions in the UK. Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, this is well worth a visit. From rock climbing to sampling the famed cheese, which is matured in the caves, there’s plenty to make a day out of a visit.
Nearest campsite: Cheddar Club Site
2. Peak Cavern, Peak District
Head to Castleton, a popular village in the High Peak district of Derbyshire, to be shown the fascinating Peak Cavern by an experienced guide. Peak Cavern has the largest natural cave entrance in Britain, and you’ll discover the history of the cave itself and the people who worked on mining the lead during your visit.
Nearest campsite: Hayfield Club Site
3. Merlin’s Cave, Cornwall
Tucked underneath the base of Tintagel Castle, you can visit this sea cave which is shrouded in the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Only to be explored during low tide, you can reach the cave via steep steps leading down to the beach. Take a torch and sturdy footwear.
Nearest campsite: Bude Club Site
4. Cathedral Cave, Lake District
The biggest chamber in a series of linked quarries, Cathedral Cave is impressive and great for those wanting to explore as you can follow tunnels into smaller openings. Expect plenty of lying water if it’s been raining, and you’ll want to take a torch with you.
Nearest campsite: Bowness on Windermere Club Site
5. White Scar Cave, North Yorkshire
Head to Ingleton in North Yorkshire to visit one of the longest show caves at 4km long. Follow your tour guide around White Scar Cave to see mystical waterfalls, fascinating geological formations like the Witch’s Fingers (brilliant for kids) and caverns. Tours last around 80 minutes, have low roof sections and are great fun for all ages.
Nearest campsite: Kendal Club Site
6. Hellfire Caves, Buckinghamshire
Extending 260m underground, the Hellfire Caves are a man-made network. The chalk and flint caves have a long and sometimes scandalous history worth investigating. Exhibits within the cave help to tell some of the most famous tales. Don’t be surprised if a haunting feeling overcomes you, as there are more than just a few resident ghosts to look out for.
Nearest campsite: Chipping Norton Club Site
7. Clearwell Caves, Forest of Dean
The atmospheric and enthralling network of Clearwell Caves in the Forest of Dean allows you to explore as much as you like with different available tickets based on the depth you’d like to explore. Young kids and those preferring a gentle pace can explore the nine show caves, which offer great insight into their formation and history. For those looking for an adrenaline-pumping trip, the deep-level caving might be for you, requiring clambering and being comfortable in small spaces.
Nearest campsite: Hereford Club Site
8. St Cuthbert’s Cave, Northumberland
Surrounded by greenery, St Cuthbert’s Cave is truly ancient and has plenty of mystery and history to delve into. As the story goes, the monks of Lindisfarne used the cave to lay St Cuthbert to rest in AD875. The sandstone outcrop is worth a visit, you can park 1km away, but it is an uphill walk to the cave, so not suitable for all.
Nearest campsite: Beadnell Bay Club Site
9. Wookey Hole Caves, Somerset
With cave tours lasting around 35 minutes, Wookey Hole is a good option for families. As well as the magical cave experience, the Cave Diving Museum, Dinosaur Grove, Adventure Golf, Enchanted Valley and much more make it a great rounded day out for the whole family.
Nearest campsite: Cheddar Club Site
10. Fingal’s Cave, Isle of Staffa
This beautiful uninhabited island, six miles west of the Isle of Mull, can be reached by ferry. Fingal’s Cave is one of the best in Scotland, wildly symmetrical and reminiscent of a scene from the Harry Potter franchise. The magical sea cave is made up of vertical basalt columns lining the walls and has plenty of legend to explore.
11. Chislehurst Caves, Kent
Around an hour from London, the Chislehurst Caves are a series of man-made intersecting tunnels deep underneath houses and woodland above. From munitions storage to concert venue, the caves have plenty of stories to tell and make a great day out when staying in the surrounding areas.
Nearest campsite: Chertsey Club Site
12. Gaping Gill, Yorkshire Dales
One of the largest and most famous caves in Britain, Gaping Gill is a must-visit for anyone adrenaline seekers camping in the Yorkshire Dales. Twice a year, local caving clubs set up a winch over the shaft entrance to the cave so members of the public can safely make the wonderful descent into the cavern.
13. Ingleborough Cave, Yorkshire Dales
This show cave is a much more family-friendly option in the Dales and open to the public year-round. Explore 450 million years of geology and history as you see the stalagmites, stalactites and flowstones, among other fascinating geographical structures. To reach the cave entrance, you’ll need to walk the 1.3-mile woodland trail through Ingleborough Estate, which only adds to the experience.
Nearest campsite: Clitheroe Club Site
14. Henrhyd Falls (The Bat Cave), Brecon Beacons
Lovingly named The Bat Cave due to its appearance in The Dark Knight Rises, this cave sits behind the Henrhyd Falls, the largest waterfall in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It’s a steep walk down (and back up) to the bottom of the gorge, where you can follow a narrow walkway to the waterfall.
Nearest campsite: Rhandirmwyn Club Site
15. Kent’s Cavern, Torquay
Step back into the Stone Age as guides take you on a fascinating underground adventure. With no crouching required, relatively flat footpaths and wheelchairs able to access the first chamber, Kent’s Cavern is one of the most accessible options.
Nearest campsite: Dartmouth Club Site
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