“ Address: Ingleton / North Yorkshire / LA6 3AW / England „
We headed to White Scar Caves after constantly hearing about the place on our road trip around the Yorkshire Dales. It was highly reccommended by other travellers and locals alike!
White scare caves is basically a massive natural underground cave, with waterfalls, natural rock formations and stalactites, which hang from the roof in great clusters. The tour takes about 80minutes and there are quite a few steps so be warned! It is well worth a visit and i'll go into more detail below!
Child (3-15 yrs) £4.95
Family (2+2) £22.00
We felt the prices were very reasonable and definitly value for money! You can pay by cash/card.
We were lucky enough to have a Sat-Nav so we arrived in the general area really easily, although it did try send us into a field, so common sense is needed is relying on the sat nav as it takes you about 200m before the actual caves.
If you're without a sat nav, there are plenty of signs for the Caves and it's the only building for quite a while so you cant miss it!
When we first pulled up it was quite busy so we were worried as we had not pre-booked, however we were fine and the majority of people had not pre-book. There is plenty of parking and the staff all seemed nice and friendly!
We were given a safety helmet and safety instructions about the cave as well as advised to wear warm clothing/coat as it was chilly in the cave!
The tours lasts around 80 minutes and is about a mile's worth of walking. The paths inside the caves are all very safe and there is plenty of lighting in the cave. There are lots of low bits where you relly appreciated being provided with a safety helmet!
You are taken around by a very knowledgeable guide. They give you the history of the cave, such as who found it as well as point out some very interesting natural formations in the cave, as well as the waterfalls and interesting facts. I found the guide very very firendly and seemed to have an honest love about the job! Our particular guide was exceptional at adapting the tour for the kids and slighter older adults so everyone had an enjoyable visit.
We saw some amazing things insdie the cave, which writing about can not do justice to! There are plenty of natural rock formations, many of which have unusal names and unaturall look like everyday things, such as a shark/sword/judge. We also saw a couple of waterfalls, which were very scenic and unexpected! The Stalactites were awe-inspiring to view! The amount of amazing things to view was astounding in such a short space of time.
Photography is allowed in part of the cave although the tour is quite fast paced so stoping for photos was a little difficult at times. The only section you could not take photos in was the stalactites, which hang from the roof as they are damaged by the flash/lights.
I really enjoyed the tour, although fodun it quite fast paced i would have liked to spend a bit longer admiring the cave. There are loads of steps so be warned!
**other features at the caves**
As well as the tour, there is a little cafe and shop on the site. The cafe is quite nice selling a selection of fresh foods, although we didnt eat there so can not offer an opinion of the quality!
The shop sold a variety of little gifts such as kiddies toys, stones, crystals and candles etc. These were all reasonably priced too.
The caves are surrounded by the open national park,so it have amazingly beautiful scenary and walks and is very close to the town of Ingleton, which is also worth a visit for the Waterfalls walk.
There is a little area on the site for picnics with some beanches and plenty of fields if you want a bit more space!!
There were a few animals for the kids to look at including some shetland pony's and chickens! Added a nice touch for the kids as well as a natural feel to the place.
It was a natural wonder of the north! Well worth the admission price with friendly staff. The tour was a little fast paced but we saw alot in 80minutes! Would highly reccomend!
White Scar Cave, the longest show cave in Britain is found under Ingleborough Hill in a very scenic part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The cave is relatively easy to find, being on the B6255, about a mile from the village of Ingleton; I did manage to drive straight past the entrance, however, as the entrance sign was a bit 'immediate'. If you're driving to the cave, it's worth going slowly as you approach to avoid having to turn around and go back as I did.
Entry to the cave costs a reasonable £7.95 for adults and £4.95 for children (a family ticket is £22.00). The cave tour is led by a guide and takes about an hour and a half to complete.
Being the biggest show cave in Britain, you'd expect White Scar to be something special; it is. The cave system has been carved out of the solid limestone by the eroding action of water. The hollowing out of these huge caverns must have taken millions of years to effect, and the process is still ongoing; this cave system is dominated by water as you find out on the tour.
The official entrance to the cave has been excavated by humans in an effort to make the caves accessible to the public. The original entrance was discovered by Christopher Long in 1923, and can be seen as you walk into the cave. A model of Long is shown in the tunnel he found. The tiny passageway must have been incredibly claustrophobic to traverse (I would not have attempted it, for anything)!
As I stated above, the cave is dominated by water. On the day that I visited, heavy rain had occurred the night before. For this reason, the underground streams were very full and the waterfalls at full power. Apparently, if there had been any more rain, the cave would have been closed for safety reasons. It's worth checking before you go that the cave is actually open.
Close to the cave entrance is the first waterfall. This was an impressive sight (and sound!) due to the recent rains. The dry tunnel then proceeds to a steel walkway where you actually travel on top of one of the underground streams! During my visit, the heavy rain meant that, in places, the level of the stream was at the walkway level, so we were actually walking in the stream, an incredible (but wet!) experience.
The tour then passes a stalagmite called the judges head. The resemblance is incredible, but what's more impressive is that the stalagmite had taken thousands of years to achieve its likeness. More impressive stalactites and stalagmites are shown on the tour including one that looks amazingly like a face.
The tour then passes a second waterfall. This falls almost directly in line with the path. Due to the heavy rains, we had to walk almost underneath the waterfall and got quite wet (waterproofs are a good idea if you're visiting after rain). This was quite an amazing experience and was worth getting slightly soaked for.
For the claustrophobic, the next part of the tour might be a bit unnerving. A narrow part of the passage, called 'the squeeze' needs to be traversed. Then the 'Bagshaw Tunnel' needs to be passed. I'm not too tall (5 foot 9), but this long tunnel meant that I had to walk (still with my feet partly in water) for fifty yards or so, bent almost double. I really enjoyed it!
The best part of the tour is the 'Battlefield Cave'. This is one of the largest known caverns in Britain; it's huge (over 330 feet long)! The ceiling of the cavern is covered in stalactites. The tour guide spends a bit of time here, explaining how it was formed and how it was discovered (more claustrophobic efforts by dedicated spelunkers)! The guide then turns off the lights. Some of the stalactites are fluorescent, and the cave ceiling lights up with their eerie glow, a really incredible effect. This cavern is then, unlike most, never truly dark.
The Battlefield Cave has one other surprise; prehistoric mud pools. These have solidified into patterns that look almost like concrete paving; an eerie effect. This is apparently extremely rare, and this part of the cavern has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of it.
A short tunnel then returns the visitors to the outside world.
The exhibit houses a café with brilliant views over the Yorkshire Dales. On the day of my visit, it was packed (so it's clearly popular) and I did not go in, so cannot comment on the quality of the food.
The shop is reasonable. As expected, it sells souvenirs of the area including some rare and expensive minerals and jewellery made from them. It is worth having a look around the shop even if you don't plan on buying anything as displays are shown of the cave's history which are quite interesting.
I've visited many of the show caves in Britain, from Devon to Scotland, and my opinion is that White Scar Cave is the best of them. The size of the cave systems, together with the waterfalls, and streams running underneath the walkway made for an unforgettable experience.
If you are visiting this part of the Dales, White Scar Cave is well worth a look. Highly recommended.
Discover what lies beneath the Ingleborough Hill, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park; a hidden world which has been sculpted by nature over thousands of years.