It’s cold, it’s dark, we can hear dripping water, and we’re surrounded by a wolverine, a shark tooth, fairies and a unicorn, with only a UV torch to guide us through. And if we don’t make it back in an hour, we might get locked down here for the night!
No we’re not playing some fantasy game, we’re visiting Stump Cross Caverns in the Yorkshire Dales!
We’ve been to show caves before in both the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District, including the nearby White Scar Cave which is the longest show cave in Britain, and Peak Cavern, which has to be the best named cave going by the name of The Devil’s Arse!
But what sets Stump Cross Caverns apart are the experiences you can have here… not only can you have the usual tour of the network of caves stretching for a mile underground, but you can have an ultraviolet light tour! Or you can book afternoon tea in the caves, or even hire out a private cinema room for your friends and family… sure to be a memorable day!
We’re going for the ultraviolet tour, and after picking up our hard hats and UV torches, the guy tells us some info about the caves’ history and things to look out for down there. And with that, he sends us on our way down the steps into the darkness below…
We’ve been given a map too but we can’t get lost… it’s just follow the path, take a left turn at every fork, and we’ll eventually get back to the start.
There are some parts lit up with normal lights, but in-between it’s almost complete darkness, and it’s so cool shining the UV lights onto the glistening rocks and stalactites and them glowing up! It was fun to watch Paul’s UV rave dance and Sneha’s Dracula nails in the UV light (check out the video) There are some many places where you need to crawl through … the whole experience is super fun...
Marked on the map and signposted as we go round are some rock formations and areas with names and stories behind them… Sally the Shark Tooth, Wolverine Cavern, The Fairy Palace, and at the very end of the tour The Cathedral where we find The Cat, The Organ, and The Unicorn!
Also down there is the Cave Woman and her bed, and a table and chairs if you fancy some lunch down there!
It takes us about an hour to get all the way around and when we come back up the shop is closing and we’re the last ones there… lucky they didn’t forget about us and lock us down there!
On the way out we get the chance to see the cinema room which would be great for a private party, and despite having closed the staff are kind enough to still serve us so we can get some Stump Cross Ale made with filtered cave water and a delicious cheese cake which we enjoy in the car before heading home!
We will definitely book in and come back someday to have a nice dinner in the cave!
How much are tickets to Stump Cross Caverns?
Adult tickets are £13, children under 3-13 are £9, with infants £2 and babies free.
How big is Stump Cross Caverns?
The show cave you can explore is about a mile, but the whole cave network extends to more than 4 miles
What should I wear to Stump Cross Caverns?
Something warm and good footwear... the caves are 7°C all year round and the floor can be wet and slippery in places
Stump Cross Caverns are currently running a Crowdfunding competition to raise funds to replace the lighting in the caves and keep the attraction open for years to come! For your chance to win a 2-night stay in a Lake District spa hotel then follow this link - https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/relight-stump-cross-caverns