“ Abercrav, Upper Swansea Valley, Wales. Tel (01639)730284/730693. Midway between Swansea and Brecon on A4967. M4, exit 45, A4067 to the north 32 km. „
As it is the last week of the school holidays we decided the other day to have a day out somewhere, usually my son will always nag us to go to Folly Farm which is in West Wales but he had a leaflet hidden away in his drawer for The National Showcaves Centre for Wales and asked if we would take him there to see the dinosaurs.
The caves were discovered back in 1912 by two brothers called Tommy and Jeff who owned a local farm. They decided to do some exploring and came across a cave, all they had was some candles for light and arrows in the sand to find their way back.
**How To Get There**
The Showcaves are located halfway between Swansea and Brecon on the A4067, it took us 40 minutes to get there from Swansea.
When we got to the Showcaves a staff member told us to park down the bottom car park as the other car park was full. The walk up to the main entrance was quite steep and I would think that those with buggies or older people would find it a little bit of a struggle. Once we got to the entrance we were greeted by a very large dinosaur and we got to walk through his legs which I have to say was pretty awesome!
The weird thing is when you walk through the entrance you can get to the cafe or the gift shop without having to pay, you only pay for your tickets once you are ready to go to the caves and to see the other attractions.
Adults - £13.50, Children - £7.50 (ages 3-16), Children undrer 3 - No Charge
One ticket lets you see 10 Attractions.
* Dan-yr-Ogof Showcaves
* Cathedral Cave
* Bone Cave
* Mr Morgan's Farmyard
* Dinosaur Park
* Iron Age Village
* Shire Horse Centre
* Barney Owl's Play Area
* The Millennium Stone Circle
As it was lunchtime we decided to go to the cafe which has got loads of tables so we were able to find a table with no problems.
On the menu was various things like fish and chips, sausage and chips, baguettes, jacket potatoes and prices varied between £4.95 for a jacket potato and £5.95 for fish and chips. The children's meals were £3.25 and there was quite a good variety to choose from such as fish fingers, dinosaurs, sausages and chicken nuggets which all came with chips. My son and niece opted for chicken nuggets, chips and peas, whilst I had a jacket potato with tuna which I have to say was quite yummy!
Please note the only toilet available in the whole of the Showcaves is in the cafe! I got my son to go to the toilet before we went to buy our entrance tickets for the caves.
The first admittance into the showcaves is at approximately 10.30 am and the last admittance is at approximately 3.00 p.m.
Once we had purchased our tickets we headed towards the first cave and passed a few impressive looking dinosaurs on the way.
~Dan yr Ogof Cave~
We started off in the main cave, there were torches available outside that adults could use and my son insisted that we would need one just in case we came across some dinosaurs or monsters!
The cave was very gloomy even though it was lit, but what amazed me was as we were walking through the cave there was a breeze, I guess I was expecting the cave to be very stuffy!
As we went round the cave there were a few commentaries explaining how the caves were found and how various rock shapes formed and I have to say we came across some amazing shapes such as the Alabaster Pillar which is a column formation which is very high, it ran from the ceiling down to the floor. We also came across a Flitch of Bacon which I only had a quick glance at because my little boy was trying to rush around but anyway I have to say it did look awesome it is a curtain formation which has been stained red by iron deposits.
The walk around the cave took around 25 minutes and quite honestly we would have been happy to have stayed a lot longer but my little boy was not impressed with the cave and wanted us to leave.
Please note there are quite a lot of steps in the cave which might not be suitable for young children, you cannot take buggies or prams inside any of the caves and also you will need suitable shoes because obviously the ground is very wet.
I really want to recommend the Cathedral Cave, it is awesome and is very well lit but I will say this you will get a little wet!
At the start of our journey we came across a burial display showing how Neanderthals buried their dead, I found the display very interesting but unfortunately my son was not impressed so we carried on through the cave.
One thing you you must remember to do if you visit the caves is to look up at the roof because you will see thousands of straws which look like very thin tubes.
Our favourite part of the cave is The Dome of St Pauls which is amazing, it is a big wide open cave which has two waterfalls which fall for over 40 feet. The path takes you across the lake between the two waterfalls to an area where you can view the whole cavern and if you look around you will see various formations like stalactites, pillars and straws. Even my son who was quite bored with the cave enjoyed this part and we stayed here for a little while just really taking in everything that was there.
By the way you can even get married in this cave and I can see why people choose to get married here!
We did not go into the bone cave as my niece and son decided that it would be way too scary to see any bones.
**The Iron Age Village**
One of the attractions I was really looking forward to seeing was the Iron Age village, there are huts dotted on a hillside which you have to look up on and I have to say we were really disappointed because we had to take a look at the huts from behind a fence. The huts are all half sized and they do look really interesting and there was a useful commentary running in the background.
My son, husband and niece headed to the gift shop whilst I sat down for a bit. My son had lots of fun choosing a little surprise gift for me which was a little purple rock and he bought himself a little bucket of dinosaurs for £3.00 which is quite reasonable.
**Mr Morgan's Farm**
To get to the farm and play barn we had to walk all the way down the hill to near where our car was parked. We could clearly see where the animals were and easily found the entrance via a gate, the farm has got various animals like Alpacas, Goats, Sheep, Geese which my son really did not like, rabbits and horses.
We got stopped by a lady who asked to see our tickets, and she explained that there was a play barn for children 3-5 and then 6 - 10 which my niece was upset about as she is 12!
Before we went into the barn we took a look at the beautiful Shire horses and I have to say there were these amazing displays of how life life used to be 80 to 100 years ago with a Farm shop, Blacksmiths and a Victorian kitchen.
The highlight of the day for my son was a visit to the playbarn, to get in there is a very small door, adults have to duck which is very tricky if you are tall!
There are two areas, the first is for children age 3 - 6 and my son had loads of fun going round a karting track on a tricycle. After a while he decided he wanted to see what the second area was all about which is for children age 6 - 10, here we found climbing frames, tunnels, slides and rope bridges. My little boy loved it here and spent nearly an hour playing and making new friends, unfortunately my niece had to sit on a bench because she is too old but she was happy to play with her DS.
The Showcaves is a good place to visit if you are an adult but I think the ticket price is just too expensive even though the caves are amazing. To see the caves properly it is best not to take any children with you because they will get bored very quickly, my son was really not impressed and so we rushed around the caves only catching glimpses at times of some very interesting formations and even with the Iron village he had a quick look at it and wanted us to go onto the next thing.
The big negatives for me are firstly the only toilets available are in the cafe which was a nuisance as we had just gone up the steep path to get to the Cathedral cave and my son decided he needed the loo! It would have been worse if he had needed the toilet whilst we were down by the farmyard.
The second thing is apart from Dan - Yr- Ogof cave to get to many of the attractions you have to walk up a steep hill, I am so glad that my parents decided not to go with us because my mum who has asthma would never have made it up the steep paths.
Although there are lots of benches dotted around the park there is no seating where you need it like on the way up to the Cathedral cave.
The show caves are advertised as a family attraction but unless your child is completely mad on dinosaurs and caves I would not take them there as there is not enough there to keep them entertained.
I am going to rate this park 2/5 stars for children.
4/5 stars for adults but I do think they are overpriced.
7 days a week from 1st of April until October 31st. They are then open during December for Father Christmas.
Telephone - 01639 730 284
Website - http://www.showcaves.co.uk
Dan-yr-Ogof contains not only caves but several other exhibits. It is worth considering for a half-day visit for a family or group.
When you arrive, even if there are not many visitors, consider parking low down rather than driving up the slope to the caves. The reason is that the visit comes to a natural end at the Shire Horse centre, which is at the bottom. Parking is free.
Then walk up the slope to the caves. If you have small children with you, get them to use the toilet (which is in the café) before you pay to go in, as the first cave takes quite a while to get through.
The caves themselves are reasonably impressive, with flowing water, stalagmites and lovely formations. The centrepiece Dan-yr-Ogof cave, where you go to first, is the longest, but actually it is not as striking as the Cathedral Cave which is visited later. There is a third cave, the Bone Cave, which is the weakest of the three. There can be a queue for the Bone Cave as it is very small.
There are loads of dinosaur models everywhere, but it is worth going in to the Dinosaur Park where many more are gathered together.
The Dinosaur Park is good for a picnic, but there are plenty of other places to sit and eat if you don't fancy using the cafeteria on site.
There is a gift shop and a reasonably interesting museum in the vicinity of the cafeteria, and an area where younger children can pan for 'gold'.
Once you've finished with this end of the site, go back down to the zoo and the Shire Horse centre. There is quite a range of animals - sheep, llamas, donkeys, goats - roaming freely and all used to being petted. The horses themselves are in stalls. There is an indoor play area for under-elevens. Look out for the rodents in one of the barns, absolutely amazing to watch them speeding through the network of pipes.
We spent between three and four hours altogether, and considered it a worthwhile day. We had got coupons from Tesco Clubcard which made the cost (£38 for a family of four) slightly more tolerable. Guard your ticket carefully as it is requested regularly as you go through the complex.
Where to start with this one, difficult but think I will go with the full tour of my last visit with a few other bits from previous visits added in.
Where is Dan-yr-Ogof for starters, well I think you can guess by the name that it is somewhere in Wales or to be more exact it is located on the A4067 which runs between the M4 close to Swansea and the A40 near Brecon, so we are in South Wales and on my last visit we approached from Cardiff to Swansea via the M4 and onto the A4067 as we where staying in the area. Previously I have been staying near Carmarthen and have approached from the West along the A48, M4 and then the A4067. The Showcaves are within the Brecon Beacons National Park
Having first visited these caves at the age of 14 with my family whilst on holiday and having a really good day out every time I am now in the area I have to go back and am never disappointed, although this attraction has grown somewhat over the last 23 years and is a lot bigger than my initial experience.
Arriving at the caves there is plenty of parking spaces and even though it was raining, or maybe it was a freak monsoon, it was still busy but we had no problem parking with a short walk to the main entrance with a quick moving queue and yes we bought a guide book.
The current entrance prices are:-
Adults GBP 10.00
Children GBP 6.50
And include the following items:-
Access to the Dan-yr-Ogof Showcaves, the Cathedral Cave, the Bone Cave, Museum, Mr Morgan's Farmyard, Dinosaur Park, Iron Age Village, Shire Horse Centre, Barney Owls Play Area and the Millennium Stone Circles.
At bit of history about the caves
Despite the fact that these caves are obviously thousands of years old they where actually only discovered in 1912 by the Morgan brothers who where the owners of the local farm and they decided to check out where the river Llynfell actually started from and this was at the time the only way to enter the caves. The brothers, Tommy and Jeff, had to use candles to light their way and left arrow marks in the sand in order that they could find their way, they also discovered that the was a lake to be crossed and did this by returning with a coracles (small boat) once they had crossed over the lake they discovered that the where another 3 to cross but the trip was well worth while as they found chambers and passageways covered with magnificent natural features.
However, the brothers did nothing more for 25 years about their discovery and it was only following further exploration during the 1930s and 1960s that over 10 miles of passageways where discovered, most of which are only accessible to experienced cavers who still believe that there is much more to be fund there.
Moving back to my last visit, we did not initially head for the main attraction of the Dan-yr-Ogof but to the bone cave as I had not visited this part that I could remember. Why is it called the Bone cave, well the Morgan's where not the first to find the caves as upon excavation over 42 skeletons have so far been found and there may be more, some of these date back to the Bronze Age (over 3000 years ago). Now to get to the bone cave you have to hike up the hill, there is a path but it does get stepper and has been cut into the side of the hill for better access, however, there is quite a long portion where you have to stoop as in order to protect visitors and the path from slippages of rock the sides and top of the path have been re-enforced and covered, OK for a child but be prepared to be bent over for part of the way. Once you have reached the entrance to the bone cave you can stand again and inside the cave the ceiling height is quite high enough for even the tallest person to stand with ease and still have plenty of headroom.
The Bone Cave (hard hats are a must and they are provided)
OK so what is in the bone cave, well just in side the entrance there is re-created scene of archaeologists at work within the cave so you can start to imagine the amount of work that has been done. Slightly further in there are a couple of exhibits showing what cave life would have been like by depicting a Bronze Age family carrying out their daily tasks. Humans where not the only residents as animal remains have also been found although they where not resident at the same time, well at least I hope not as the remains where of a cave bear, Hyena, Wolf and a Sabre Tooth Tiger, not the sort of pets anyone would want to keep. Moving further into the cave you are stopped by a fence so that you can see through but cannot proceed as there were still archaeologists at work at the back of the cave and obviously we had to keep away in order to preserve the finds, but the cave did not appear to go back much further, well not that we could see but it was nice to see the tools that where being used and the care being taken to preserve this bit of history.
Coming out of the Bone Cave, it was still raining, we headed back down the same way we had got up there and yes more stooping involved and decided that we would head toward the Cathedral Showcave as though not huge is spectacular.
The Cathedral Cave, the picture above is in this Cave
The entrance is not the natural entrance to this set of caves but more man made as initially the cave was discovered and access by descending from the ceiling by the use of cave ladders, reconstructions of these are found inside, however, I am straying slightly, back to our visit. Upon entering the cave the first thing that we noticed was the height of the ceiling which was much higher than the Bone Cave and a lot less gloomy, but that was more to do with the lighting. As with the Bone Cave there are reconstructions to give an impression of how the caves have been used throughout time and the 1st one we came across was a scene set back about 30,000 years ago showing Neanderthal man burying one of their dead in a shallow grave, reading the details we discovered that the arms and legs of Neanderthal man where bound and he was buried with food and weapons and this practise was supposed to stop the spirit returning to haunt the living. The next scene is a bit more gruesome, again showing a burial but where the body is left exposed to the elements until all the flesh has been eaten by animals so only the bones remain before the body is buried, some strange practices and beliefs over the span of the human race. Swiftly moving on and moving forward in time the next item that greeted us was far more pleasant and only about 20,000 ago, - cave artists, you know the guys who did the wonderful cave paintings, the colours where made by using Iron oxides which is why they are mainly red, brown, yellow or black as this was their limited choices.
As we move along the cave there are small ponds with fish in them and some models of animals on the rocks which are of Salamanders although these are not to scale, we then come to a bend in the path, natural and move into the Cathedral itself and was it worth it, oh yes this is stunningly spectacular to look at, the ceiling has a strange dome shape to it and it often likened to the shape of St Pauls Cathedral and you can see why quite easily without screwing your eyes up and using your imagination. Also within the 'Cathedral' there is a wonderful natural feature on the wall that is known as the pipe organ and this has been formed over thousands of years by water running through the rock and carving out channels and they do look like the pipe from a church organ, spooky. Leaving the cave you have to retrace your step and exit the same way you got in there and gives you another chance to look at the exhibits and maybe spot something you missed on the way in, such as the cave ladders hanging from the ceiling with a dummy caver half way up, yep I missed it at first. We note that you can now actually get married in the Cathedral cave next to one of the waterfalls in this cave for those of you who are looking for something different.
Moving on, what next - the Dinosaur Park - for the children really and we did not spend a lot of time here due to the bad weather, basically there are around 50 life size replicas of dinosaurs for you to wander around the grounds and look at but that's about it really but I can say that care has been taken to place these models in the type of landscape that they would have inhabited and also up the mountain and more walking up steep paths here and beware the Dinosaurs roar at you.
The Shire Horse Centre
Meet and greet some pretty big horse here down at the farmhouse, and yes you can pet them as they used to visitors gawping at them, though not a wet weather attraction as you are out in the open. You can also learn a bit out the horses here but again we did not linger as where wanting to get out of rain as it was still torrential, pity really, but hey never mind we will go again.
Moving to the main attraction and the reason why we came in the first place the main showcave. When I first visited the caves at the age of 14 the only way you where allowed in was with a tour guide and with only 2 tours running per hour and limited spaces I remember having to wait around for a while. Today you now wander around by yourself with a map but I think something has been lost or maybe I just remember it better than it really was.
Entering the cave, the entrance is manmade as the original entrance to the caves discovered by the Morgan Brothers is via the river Llynfel and this really would not be practical for visitors to enter this way but you can see where this entrance was as the main path funs along side and enters just to the right or the river so we are more or less on the same trail as the Morgans.
The first item you come to in the caves is a spectacular example of flowstone and I suppose the best way to describe this is a waterfall that looks as though it has been frozen in time and stone, the particular one runs for 5.5 meters and is extremely impressive and yes you can touch as this forms part of the walls of the tunnel you are walking down. To the touch it is cold and feels damp to slimy as you would expect in a cave and does dark beige in colour with wonderful grooves and contours resemble flowing water. Imagine rocks slowly flowing down a hill at glacial speed and you are there.
Now I am not going to go through all the main features but stick to some of my favourites as this review will go on forever otherwise so here are some of my favourites, there are pictures at the bottom.
The Fingers - creepy this one, this is a group of stalactites that are long and thin hanging in a cluster and look like lots of fingers or having watched Dr Who the tentacles of the Oode and we half expected them to start moving around or pointing.
The Angel - A curtain type stalactite which means exactly what is it says, this looks like a curtain with folds in it and has interestingly formed the shape of a headless angel with arms outstretched and long flowing robes and very little imagination required here to see where they got the name from. We also noticed that this had been cleverly lit to make the best of the feature
The Alabaster Pillar - This is where the stalactite and stalagmite have joined together to form a column and the effect of this is magnificent and reminds me a pillar from the roman period but with a wet look and very smooth finish to look at, you can imagine the thousands of year that it must have taken for the 2 to meet as will eventually happen in a lot of other places around the caves but not in our lifetimes as they form so slowly.
Now for my personal favourite - The Rasher of Bacon
Again this is a curtain type of stalactite but actually has pigmentation running through it of a reddish colour and really does resemble a rasher of streaky bacon and is stunning to look at. Once big difference here this formation is now surrounded by a metal cage as it is very close to the path and I can see some damage has been done over the years, this is a real shame and I suppose I price that was paid for getting rid of the guide and letting the public wander on thieir own.
It must be said that these are just a few of the many features that you see whilst wandering around the cave, don't worry you won't get lost as the path loops back on itself so you get to see some of it twice as you make you way back to the main entrance. For the general public you are only allowed as far as what is known as the Bridge cave as this is what is easily accessible and safe, beyond here is for experienced cavers only and is only accessible when the water level is low. Personally I would love more of the 10 miles of caves currently discovered to be available to the public but this would take a lot of work and some of the geology would no doubt be lost by making this possible which would be a shame, or maybe I should take up caving so I can see more.
After spending a huge amount of time in the caves and explaining the differences of stalactites and stalagmites to the children and also there are some that grow sideways out of the walls called helectites which I have never heard of before visiting here and are very rare apparently, we decided not to visit Mr Morgans farm, Barny Owl, Stone Circles or the Iron age village (replica iron age village where you can look at how people used to live) as for one our children now deem themselves too old for such 'children's' activities ( they are for the play area in Barny Owl as the upper age limit is 10) and the weather was still appalling for another so we headed off to the museum where you are reminded of what you have seen during the day and also given the message about conservation. The caves at Dan-yr-Ogof are formed out of limestone rock and today we use limestone in the manufacture or steel and cement but how far should we go with this as most of the limestone is found in our National Parks and do we really want to destroy these?
Swiftly onto the gift shop where we find that you buy almost anything associated with your day, a toy dinosaur to a fossil, a bit of rock or a tea towel, mainly the usual stuff you find at any attractions gift shop these days and we ended you with a fossil or two or ammonites which are extremely common in the area.
Would I go back - yes and yes and yes as this is a really good day out enjoyed by all of our family even in the miserable rain and a must visit on our list each time we are within one and half hours drive away. I have also been when the weather has been one of the rare hot sunny days and the view of the surrounding area is breathtaking to say the least and for that alone it is worth the effort to get there.
Just a few bits of info
The electricity used to light the caves is from the water running through the caves themselves and still runs on the same system originally implements when the caves where first lit up For me the lighting has been well thought out and does show off the wonderful natural features to their best.
Remember caves are cold even in warm weather so be prepared, shorts and t-shirt are not advisable as you will get cold
Sensible shows - 3" heels not good for walking around here and I would recommend flat shoes, trainers are fine.
Sorry there is no access to the caves for prams, pushchairs or wheelchairs so this is not a disabled friendly attraction but as the caves are natural rock access is for wheels is not possible even though the footpaths are manmade they have limited the impact on the natural features and in places it is more natural than manmade.
There is a coffee shop on the site where you can buy sandwiches and they also serve lunches and do children's portions also along with hot and cold drinks, we only ventured as far as a hot cup of tea or coffee in my hubby's case and the price was reasonable, not cheap nor overpriced either that you sometimes get in places such as these.
For all cavers out there you can more details about access to the caves from the below
http://www.dyo.org.uk/Access.htm and is controlled by the Dan-yr-Ogof Cave Advisory Committee and have strict rules.
Opening times to the public caves:-
March 31st to October 31st and also February half term school holiday
10am to 4pm - 1st admittance to the cave 10.30am and the last admittance is normally 3 pm but this can vary slightly in high season and really is dependant on the number of visitors so be warned if you arrive late you may not get in.
Tel 01639 730801 24hr information line
Tel 01639 730284 - Office Line
Situated in the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales are the Dan-yr-Ogof Showcaves. If Wales was to have its own seven wonders, Dan-yr-Ogof caves would definitely be one of them. Being about an hours drive from Cardiff where we live, I thought we would give them a visit as I hadnt been then since being about 12 years old.
When we arrived and made our way down into the caves, there was a noticeable drop in temperature to that of a cool autumn day my wife thought it was colder, but she tends to feel the cold more than me anyway. Our guide explained that the temperature stays more or less the same all the year round. A great place to visit in a heat-wave, but you would be advised to take some warm clothing with you.
The caves are formed of carboniferous limestone and are about 300 million years old and were first entered by two local lads, Tommy and Jeff Morgan in 1912. But apparently these two lads entered the caves with nothing more than candles and oil lamps making marks in the sand to find their way back out again. Given the depth and extent of these caves, which are a huge mass of passages and caverns, it made me wonder how they got back to the surface. But get back they did, to later return with coracles - these were traditional one man fishing boats found on the rivers of Wales in those days.
The coracles were to enable them to paddle their way across four underground lakes they discovered. But this was as far as they got before they came across passageways that were too narrow for them to get through.
In the 1960s, Eileen Davies, a member of the South Wales Caving Club, crawled through the tight passageways and discovered and estimated 10 miles more of the caves, which she believed was only a fragment of what is still yet to be discovered.
Viewing the Caves today:
The caves are made up of the Showcave, the Cathedral Showcave and the Bone Cave.
In the Showcave, you will see stalactites (growing downwards) and stalagmites (growing upward) which are common in most caves, but there is also a rarer feature called the helectites. These actually grow sideways. The Showcave also has some incredible, colourful rock formations in the shape of curtains that are truly astounding.
A unique experience in the Cathedral Cave, is that you can walk behind two forty-foot high waterfalls my words here are inadequate at the vastness and atmosphere of this cave; it is an experience not easily forgotten.
In the Bone Cave, the human skeletons of around 32 men and women were found that date back to the bronze age together with bones from a red deer dating back around 7,000 years, and even a sabre tooth tiger. So, amazingly, somebody with even more primitive tools had been in the caves before the Morgan brothers along with some vicious predators. In this cave are also to be seen some unusual large rock formations covered in white deposits called Moonmilk. This stuff reminded me a little of thick cream that had curdled itself into yoghurt. I wouldnt be surprised if the ancients thought it to have some healing or magical powers but nothing was mentioned of this on our visit.
After the caves, something for the kids well Adults too!
In the grounds they have a dinosaur park that displays models of T-rex and other monsters that roamed our planet in prehistoric times.
And not to forget my favourite animal, the Shire Horse. In this part of the grounds, visitors can view these magnificent, but gentle giants, that werent merely cart-horses, but were originally used to carry Knights in heavy armour into battle. A little different to the mounts that are depicted in films.
After seeing the attractions you might want to visit the Museum shop, coffee shop & restaurant and also there is a caravan and tenting park for those who like to camp under the stars.
The caves are half way between Swansea and Brecon in the Brecon Beacons National Park. They are about 20 minutes from the M4. If you leave at junction 45 and follow the brown signs on the A4067
The caves are open daily from April 1st (or Easter) through to October 31st from 10.00 am, but last admittance into the caves is at 3 pm. They are also open for Christmas and the school half-term week in February ( please phone the Winter Helpline for details 01639 730805)
Admission charges: The last time I was there a couple of years ago it cost Adults £7.80 and children £4.80 but prices may have changed now.
Thanks for reading.
Located between Swansea and Brecon on the A4067 the Dan yr Ogof Caves are situated just after the village of Ynyswen. The Caves are some three hundred and fifty million years old and were voted attraction of the year for Wales in the year 2000. There are three main show caves with the Cathedral Cave and the Bone Caves being the favourites. The Cathedral Cave is like a large hall and was opened in 1953; it is full of stalagmites including one that looks like the Michelin Man. The Bone Cave is named as such because of the number of skeletons having been found their forty-two in total. The site is not just caves there are other parts to visit: - Dinosaur Park – Britain’s largest dinosaur park that has a 9.1 metre T-Rex amongst over forty other prehistoric giants Shire Horse Centre – ‘Twm’ the talking sheepdog will take you back through the history of the Shire horses and see the fine shire horses that still pull various farm wagons about the farm. There are also other farm animals to visit with Shetland ponies, donkeys, cows, goats and ducks. Iron Age Farm – Learn about life during the Iron age in the Iron Age farm. Life size models of people and animals give a realistic idea of how they lived during this period. There is also a dry ski-slope centre and a trekking centre but these are additional to the cost of paying to go in. Open first of April till the end of October and at £7.50 per adult and £4.50 per child its quite expensive but you can spend many an hour for that money being educated and enjoying. There is a café and craft shop on site but they are a little bit expensive. If you want more info try www.showcaves.co.uk which is fairly extensive but go for the simplified site or else you will wait all day for the pictures to load.