Hi I?m new/wanting to start


New member
Hi My name is Curtis I?m wanting to get in to the world of caving I?m aware that with the current situation it?s Going to be dificult and was hoping to get some advice and tips on getting started, what equipment I will need and I was wondering if I start using climbing centre might help. I know it?s Ment for mountaineering but though might work for going down. My overall goal is to visit the fairy caves in east gate near Stanhope I know I?m going to have to build up to it. I plan on hoping the bca not through a club and hope to find clubs/people on the way.


Your best bet is to find a local (ish) club, we're a really helpful bunch and you will meet like minded people. Good luck


Welcome to the forum.

I'm guessing one for North Yorkshire based clubs might be your best bet.  (Or Durham Uni club, if they accept members who aren't actually at the Uni?)


There's the Nenthead mining group too.


Well-known member
. . . thinking along the same lines as Sam T; try contacting this club:


Uni clubs often have folks involved who aren't students. Being local, they can probably advise further even if their union insists on no non student members.

Caving is brilliant - go for it! Best of luck.


Well-known member
Or . . . this club has members around your way:



Well-known member
Welcome! Its a great sport/hobby and I'm sure you'll throughly enjoy it.

I see you'd like to build up to a visit to Fairy Caves in Weardale, so I thought it worth flagging up that you will need a permit for such a trip because its on private land (and you wouldn't want to do anything that may cause the owners to deny access to other cavers).

Details are here: https://cncc.org.uk/cave/fairy-holes-weardale


Well-known member
It's also a fairly demanding trip, even for experienced cavers. Something to aspire to perhaps, rather than expecting to go there early on.


DUSA  (Durham University Speleological Association) always used to accept non-student cavers when I was there, though I know things have changed a bit with the university recently, so not sure of the current situation.

Feel free to drop me a PM and I can put you in touch with some current members.


New member
hello!! DUSA training officer here, we openly accept non-student members into our club :) and have quite a few at the moment actually! unfortunately we haven't been able to run any caving trips in the past few months due to Covid and the university having to approve when we can start up club activities again. Back in tier 2 and 3 we were running weekly social distanced srt training sessions in Durham (Gilesgate), with anyone of any level being welcome, especially beginners, don't be shy! we're a very warm and welcoming bunch. 

here are some links to our Facebook group and email if you don't have social media, these will keep you updated as to what things we're running! we look forward to meeting you :)



New member
Thank you for your help as for the fairy caves I?ve done the research on it I think it would be best to be in a club for that one and it says you need permission and only the first Saturday of the month is permitted so fingers crossed one day 😊.I?ve sent a request to Durham uni on Facebook.


Well-known member
Hi Cwphotos and welcome to the world of caving. You'll have lots of fun, lots of adventures (when circumstances allow!). Good luck.


New member
Hi Curtis,

I?m in Durham, there are quite a few folks into looking round the abandoned mines in the Co. Durham region. I found mines a nice place to start getting into the underground world (I appreciate it?s not everyone?s cup of tea).

I also do a bit with the Black Sheep Diggers (lovely bunch) as Nidderdale is only and 1hr15 from Durham.

Obviously things are a bit challenging at the moment, and in about an hour O expect things to get a bit more strict. However if you?re interested I?m happy for you to give me a shout.