Region: Yorkshire

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: Clapham, , North Yorkshire LA2 8EE

Contact: 01524 251242



Ingleborough cave, on the southern lower slopes of Ingleborough Mountain in the Three Peaks area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, near to Clapham village, has attracted visitors ever since its discovery in 1837. Over the intervening years it has slowly been developed to provide essential facilities for the visitor with 0.5 km of concrete paths, electric floodlighting, adequate safety measures, toilets and a cave shop.

Rarely effected by flooding, it is highly popular with school groups and prior booking of a visit is essential. The web site ( ) is aimed at a wide audience and specific school group information is set out below. Do not hesitate to contact the Cave if you seek clarification on any aspect of a visit.
The guided 50 minute school visit to the Cave is highly rewarding in ways dependant on the age of the children. At primary level the Cave is an excellent introduction to an unusual natural environment which excites the Imagination and Introduces the underground natural world as a place very different to the normal World outside. In general terms the development of underground passages is explained by the guide along with the features of limestone rock and the fossils in the rock. Stalactites, Stalagmites, flowstone formations and much more are prominently displayed in the Cave.  Humour enlivens the tour and true darkness can be experienced! Outside of the Cave primary groups, from the cities in particular, see a very different world to their own.

Clapham Village is unique, very little built environment, no supermarkets but old buildings, agricultural activities, walking not riding to get around, tractors, sheep and cows, trees and a pretty beck gurgling through the village. The Nature Trail has its own magic with the lake and woods and unusual plants presenting an ever changing scene following the beck along Clapdale valley to and from the Cave.
For secondary children the unique features of the Cave and of the surrounding limestone area are more fully explained by the guide. How the Cave links with Gaping Gill pothole higher up on Ingleborough Mountain, the origins of limestone, joints, bedding planes, glacial activity, features seen In the vicinity of  the Cave such as limestone pavement, Trow Gill gorge, shakeholes and erratics.

Whatever the age of the children, the tour of the Cave is tailored to their needs and abilities. We avoid over complicated commentaries, are highly safety conscious on behalf of the group, seek to protect the cave environment yet provide an enjoyable learning experience for the children.

• Group Sizes: Typically about 30 children per group with larger numbers split In-to two, but this is very much a variable according to circumstances for the group.

• Age range: Reception and primary through to secondary and 6th form.

• Teachers packs are available.

Teachers are welcome to do pre-arranged risk assessments, but risk assessment for Cave visit and Nature Trail Is available on DVD. Sent to teachers on request also the DVD contains project information, nature trail leaflet and photos.

• Education officer: Mr John Cordingley on number above or e-mail

• Cost: Children £2.50 each  (teachers free with a ratio of 1 in 6) Nature trail 20p extra per child and 50p per adult

• Specific Clothing: Normal clothing to suit the weather conditions of the day, in warm weather the cave will feel cold at 9 centigrade so extra clothing will be required.

• We have qualified first aiders on site.

• Facilities include: Shop, picnic areas, toilet facilities, disabled toilets and landline phone within cave.  The site is suitable for child wheelchairs but not adults.

Contact the cave if you are seeking group accommodation facilities in the area for more prolonged stay.  We may be able by means of our local knowledge base.

Access to the cave is by walking (approx half an hour) through the nature trail from Clapham village.

Open mid February to end October and winter months can be made by prior arrangement.

Age of Children / Pupils: 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years College University

Type of Visit: Caves & Caverns Outdoor Education Outdoor Pursuits

Curriculum Topics Covered: Geography History PE Science

Months Open: February March April May June July August September October

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