With beautiful views and stunning scenery hidden within every corner of the UK, there’s plenty to see and do above the ground. But it's fair to say not many of us have appreciated what hides below the surface. There is plenty to see, do and explore when it comes to caves, offering something a little different for your next getaway. Each cave holds its own unique history, fables, and sceneries, so get the cameras at the ready and be prepared for a trip like no other.
Whether you're looking for a day out with the family, booking a trip with your partner, or planning an adventure, these are the best caves in the UK.
Gough’s Cave, Somerset
Nestled within the dramatic cliffs of Cheddar Gorge , Gough's Cave is a 115-metre cave with plenty to see and explore. The cave has received international recognition as a site of great archaeological significance, as it's home to the Cheddar Man, the UK's oldest and most complete human skeleton. While gaining an insight into ancient human life. Gough's cave is also home to enormous chambers, vast rock formations, and the UK's largest underground river system, Cheddar Yeo.
Peak Cavern, Derbyshire
Deep within the gorge beneath Peveril Castle is Peak Cavern, home to the Peak Districts' most impressive cave. While exploring this cave, you'll also be able to marvel at the remarkable gorge cliffs and the historic castle - you'll undoubtedly get a bang for your buck with this cave visit. It was home to the UK's last cave dwellers, a group of rope-makers who lived there up until 1915. When entering, you'll walk through a grand 60-foot high, 100-foot wide and 340 feet long cave entrance, making it the largest cave entrance in the UK. If you time your trip, you'll also be able to attend the many events, concerts or cinemas held within the cave.
Ingleborough Cave, Yorkshire
This cave is etched deep within Ingleborough mountain in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park. It was first discovered by a clan of courageous Victorian explorers back in 1837, who rambled through 1/2km of unchartered cave systems with only candlelight for guidance. Thankfully, today Ingleborough Cave is well-lit with floodlights and has fail-safe footpaths, so all the family can follow the same steps as those pioneering explorers. The pathway leads through awe-inspiring stalagmites, stalactites, and flowstones, so get your cameras at the ready. You access the cave via the Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail, a wonderful 1.3mile woodland walk, which will also leave your jaw on the floor.
Giants Cave, Bristol
Naturally formed within the limestone face in the Avon Gorge, this cave was once only accessible via a steep decline from the top of the cliffs or a challenging climb from the bottom. Luckily, we can all now enter inside via the Clifton Observatory, making it a great day out for all the family. Once you get to the cave's opening, you'll witness the spectacular views spanning across Avon Gorge and Clifton's suspension bridge. It's well worth the 130 steep steps to get there
Merlin’s Cave, Cornwall
Deep below Tintagel Castle is a 330-foot-long echoey cave, believed to be the home of Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend. This cave was formed by sea erosion and sits below a head of land, meaning you can enter one side and exit through the other. After burrowing through Merlin's Cave, you'll be able to explore Tintagel Castle, which was once home to King Arthur – if the stories are true. It’s also one of the best coastal walks in the UK, making it a great day out. Please note if you want to discover this medieval hotspot, you'll need to check the tide times, as the cave can only be accessed by foot during low tide.
The National Showcaves of Wales, Brecon Beacons National Park
On a trip to the heart of Wales, the Brecon Beacons, you'll find one of the nation's top attractions, the National Showcaves. The area comprises three caves, the Dan-yr-Ogof, Cathedral Cave and Bone Cave, with each offering a uniquely immersive experience. Each cave has its own history and underground quirks, forming a holistic underground experience like no other. You'll need tickets to visit the cave systems, but you'll get your money's worth, as it includes the caves, the world's largest collection of life-sized dinosaur models, a museum and more, making this one of the best caves in the UK.
Hellfire Caves, Buckinghamshire
The Hellfire Caves are a series of man-made caverns constructed from excavating chalk and flint by Sir Francis Dashwood in the 1700s. These caves are infamous and fascinating because they were the secret meeting location of Sir Dashwood's Hellfire Club. Although many rumours surround the club, it is thought to have been attended by politicians and prolific socialites who partook in black magic and satanic rituals. In the 21st century, the caves tell many ghost stories and are believed to have paranormal activity, so it is well worth attending one of the spooky Ghost Tours or some of the other more family-friendly activities.
If you're planning a trip to one of the best caves in the UK, don't forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or our Train Tickets app. You can also find information on how to get cheaper train tickets via our special offers page. If you need more information, you can contact us here.
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