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Beginner Caves in Yorkshire Dales, please.


New member
Welcome :)

Near to Buckden:
Dow Cave (not including Hobsons Choice)
Langstroth Cave (as far as the sump)
Buckden Gavel Mine (not a cave though)
Kirk Gill Cave and Kirk Gill Pot (I haven't done these but sounds good to me)
Hagg Gill Pot (entrance pitch)

Guide book:
Northern Caves 1
Selected Caves
CNCC website
CaveMaps website for surveys (recommend printing and waterproofing a survey to take underground)

Should be fine if hidden from public view. I find a dry bag useful (could use a bin bag).
I went into Buckden Gavel mine in the summer. I think that was the catalyst for this new endeavour.


The solitude of being underground on your own seems quite addictive (y)
I have to say I prefer the feeling of caving with another person. Big trips with 6 can feel a bit much but the sweet spot is 2/3/4 for me. Especially on more commiting trips, having someone else to rely on is very comforting


New member

Firstly, most of the caves in the Dales have vertical pitches in them. Did your previous caving trips include SRT? I'm afraid your climbing gear isn't appropriate for SRT: e.g. ropes need to be "static" (low stretch), the harness has a different fit and needs a chest strap and an attachment point for your ascenders, descender and cowstails.

Secondly, why alone? There are a lot of caving clubs in the Dales which run weekend trips of all grades. If you can't make weekends, once you join one and get to know people you will probably find that there are mid-week trips arranged by those who are retired, work shifts, etc.

If you aren't experienced at SRT: how to rig safely and then e.g. how to pass hanging rebelays, you absolutely must have training. Clubs will do this, as will the CNCC, or there are several companies (e.g. Yorkshire Dales Guides) who can do it.

Going solo, at the very minimum:
  • Leave a callout with a responsible person giving your route (some systems have many different passages in them) and expected time out.
  • You'll need two ascenders and a descender (a figure of 8 isn't safe for re-belays, since you have to detach it from your harness), cowstails, etc.
  • Static caving rope. Caving clubs have their own ropes for organised trips.
  • A headtorch and a backup (especially important for solo trips)
So, in summary, join a club. Certainly the one I'm in (the BPC) and I do not doubt all the others have members of all ages and are very friendly and welcoming to new members.
Well said Alan, Couldn't agree with you more


Well-known member
As others have mentioned, Scoska Cave is a good beginners' cave near Buckden.

Search "Scoska Skeleton" for added interest.

Wrong dale?

It's close to Arncliffe in Littondale, so a bit more of a trail on winding roads if you're coming from the north east. Has the advantage of no access problems (provided you follow the advice on the CNCC website). Definitely take kneepads if going there.