Go underground and explore caving in the Peak District

The Peak District National Park is well-known for its spectacular sights and a trip to the area will mean a visual treat for all. But the beauty isn’t just above the ground – there is a whole world to be explored underground.

Caving is a hugely popular activity in the Peak District National Park, with plenty of places for both beginners and more advanced cavers to have a great time.

How to go caving

Caving isn’t just about walking around underground – it’s a potentially dangerous activity which should only be undertaken with trained supervision. There are several activity centres across the Peak District National Park who offer instruction and will supply you with all you need for a trip down into the caves.

It’s essential that you wear the correct equipment while underground. To protect yourself, ensure your safety when walking and keep you as warm as can be. Here’s the kit you will need:

Caving equipment: helmet, lamp, warm clothing, waterproofs, boots

The Peak District has so many fascinating caves and caverns to explore and each tell a story about the history of the area. Here are some of the most popular tourist caves for the whole family to explore:

Speedwell Caverns in Castleton
A gentle introduction to caving; suitable for all, this experience takes you on a boat ride 450 metres under the Hills of Castleton to the bottomless pit. Open throughout the year, it’s a trip ideal for both adults and children with under 4’s admitted for free.

Poole’s Cavern in Buxton
Expert guides will take you on a tour of the famous limestone caverns to see how crystal stalactites have lined the chamber for millions of years. It’s an all-weather attraction open all year round with a café and gift shop on site.

Doves Hole cave
Found next to the river Dove near Nab Dale in the Dovedale National Nature Reserve. The oval shape of these caves were probably created by swirling meltwaters when massive glaciers filled the valley. No guides are available at this cave, but it is quite shallow so you can't get lost.

Doves Hole cave

The Heights of Abraham in Matlock Bath

This attraction has two spectacular caverns which showcase the amazing history of this part of the country. There’s a great lighting system which both adds to the atmosphere and makes the caves light enough for small children and adults of all ages. The site is closed during the winter, so make sure you check the website before visiting to ensure it’s open on the day you want to go.

Treak Cliff Cavern in Castleton
A cavern famous across the world, this is the one of the few places to see large deposits of Blue John stone in-situ. Here, you’ll find some of the most beautiful cave formations found in the UK. The attraction is open throughout the year and is suitable to all with under 5’s admitted for free.

Wherever you choose to go caving, stay safe and have fun! Have any favourite caves or caverns of your own? Let us know in the comments.