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Essential Caving Books


Well-known member
Limestones and Caves of the Peak District by Trevor Ford et al.

Published in 1977, but I so wish he'd managed to do an update. I guess we'll have to do that between us ;)


Active member
Race against Time is particularly good and one of the first I bought.

Christmas 1992 my dad bought me (after much pestering) Northern Caves 1 which for some reason the gift shop in Reeth sold and which id looked at every morning on the way to school.

I read it absolutely cover to cover. That?s likely what inspired me.


New member
A mix of guidebooks and inspiration for the beginner caver:

The Complete Caving Manual by Andy Sparrow
The Great Caving Adventure by Martyn Farr
The Darkness Beckons by Martyn Farr
Alpine Caving Techniques by Georges Marbach/Bernard Tourte
Caves Of South Wales by Tim Stratford


New member
Agree that these General Caving books are great:
>The Geology of Western Europe, M.G.Rutten, 1969
>The Underground Atlas, J Middleton and T Waltham, 1986
>Karst: Important Karst Regions of the Northern Hemisphere, M.Herak and V.T. Stringfield, 1972
I believe there are many others! Always glad to discover new books on topic!


David Rose

Active member
No list of essential cave books would be complete without mention of Beneath the Mountains: Exploring the Deep Caves of Asturias, by, er, me and Richard Gregson.

It has long been out of print, but if you can't source a hard copy, you can read it for free via the OUCC website.



Can highly recommend this one:

Wookey Hole - 75 Years of Cave Diving & Exploration

It's now only ?16 which includes P&P in the UK...Can be bought from here: https://cavedivinggroup.org.uk/product/wookey-hole-75-years-of-exploration/


Well-known member
Bill Steele has listed some of his favourites on FB:
? The Longest Cave by Brucker and Watson,
? The Darkness under the Earth by Norbert Casteret,
? Hidden Nature by Michael Taylor.
? Deep Secrets
? Beyond the Deep
? Beneath the Mountains
? Journeys Beneath the Earth
? The Descent of the Pierre Saint Martin by Norbert Casteret
* My Caves by Norbert Casteret
? One Thousand Meters Down by Jean Caddox
? Caves of Adventure by Haroun Tazieff
? Beyond Time by Michel Siffre
? Ghar Parau by David Judson
? Gaping Gill by Howard Beck
? The Cave Explorers by Jim Eyre
? Memoirs of a Speleologist by Robert de Joly
? Depths of the Earth by William Halliday (the first caving book I read)
? Caverns Measureless to Man by Sheck Exley
? The Great Caving Adventure by Martyn Farr
? Fern Cave by Jennifer Pinkley
? and I may as well include the two I wrote:
Yochib: The River Cave
& Huautla: Thirty Years in One of the Worlds Deepest Caves

& Aquanaut by Rick Stanton (he has only just started John's book)