White Scar Caves
Ingleton North Yorkshire LA6 3AW
Of all that's known about White Scar Caves – the longest underground show cave in Britain – the fact we love the best is about its discovery, in 1923, by Cambridge student Christopher Long, who was on holiday in the Dales. Coming upon a hole in the hillside that seemed to go on for ever in pitch-black darkness, he did what any right-thinking young man would do – crawled into it as far as he could, lighting his way with candles stuck into his bowler hat. Thankfully, you're not faced with that prospect these days, instead joining a slickly organised guided tour along metal-grid walkways into the heart of the cave system. It's still pretty awe-inspiring, edging through low-roofed tunnels, past thundering underground waterfalls and negotiating rock features like the rather alarmingly named "Squeeze" (no one's got stuck yet). Highlight is the extraordinary Battlefield Cavern, half a mile underground and a hundred feet high, plus all manner of stalactites and stalagmites in weird and wonderful forms. It's a hard-hat tour, covering about a mile on foot in around eighty minutes – unsurprisingly, pushchairs, wheelchairs, walking sticks and high heels won't make it. The other thing to note is the weather: it's pretty cool underground so a jacket is advised, and while the cavern waterfalls are at their best after rain, sometimes tours are suspended after really heavy cloud-bursts, so a call ahead in bad weather is wise. The site is a mile and a half outside Ingleton, up the Ribblehead/Hawes road (B6255).
Best Places to stay near White Scar Caves
Pele Tower - Killington HallSedbergh, Cumbria, North West England
The Pele Tower, Killington Hall, Cumbria LA6 2HA, UK
This beautifully restored medieval tower is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the countryside of the Yorkshire Dales.
Holidays in Sedbergh
Holidays in Cumbria
Holidays in North West England
Lancaster Terrace Hawes DL8 3LQ
52 beds (private and en-suite rooms available), cot available, cafe bar, restaurant/dining room, self-catering kitchen, meals available, shop, lounge, drying room, BBQ area, garden/grounds, cycle store and facilities for walking, mountain biking and cycling.
Malham North Yorkshire BD23 4DB
82 beds (private and en-suite rooms available), cot available, restaurant/dining room, self-catering kitchen and dining room, meals available, shop, lounge, tv room, library/quiet room, laundry, drying room, garden/grounds, luggage store, parking, cycle store and facilities for climbing, walking and mountain biking.