Caving / pot holing

We offer caving sessions for all abilities and will select the best cave for you or your group based on your experience, abilities, age group and location.

Some caves offer optional challenges at the same location to cater for different confidence levels within groups.

Caving or pot-holing, as it's sometimes referred to in the UK, is the often misunderstood adventure of exploring tunnels and chambers that lie beneath our feet within the limestone of the Yorkshire Dales and Peak District. Often our imagination conjures up images of darkness and squeezing through tight spaces which for the most adventurous amongst us is certainly a possibility, however, this is not the case for a vast number of cave systems. 

Caving usually involves a mix of walking, climbing, crawling, squeezing and pulling yourself through an amazing natural underground maze of limestone passages and caverns. Some caves have large chambers suitable for groups to gather and stand to admire this underground environment whilst other caves are small, tight and do require more crawling to progress through their passageways.

  1. Building self confidence and resilience: by overcoming fears of being underground and working outside of your comfort zone to overcome obstacles and squeezes throughout the cave system
  2. Improving teamwork: by motivating each other through the cave system, and supporting team members through tight spaces
  3. Improving communication: by giving and following clear instructions in the dark, listening to your instructors and relaying messages to others in the group
  4. Building trust: by overcoming fears and trusting in the instructors to keep you safe throughout the session
  5. Building empathy and understanding of others: by sharing the experience with others you may gain more of an understanding and awareness of other peoples thoughts and feelings and how you can support them
  6. Experiential learning: a unique opportunity to bring history, geology and geography learning to life, learning about our natural environment
  7. Improving leadership skills: by taking part in leading the group and navigating part way through the caves, motivating the team to continue and supporting those who are less comfortable and confident underground, or those who may feel claustrophobic or fearful

The Yorkshire Dales has more than 2,500 known caves, some of which are accessible to the public including the Three Counties system which is the longest cave system in the UK and the deepest in England. We can provide caving sessions at many underground locations across the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District.

From the Yorkshire Dales village of Horton in Ribblesdale (the caving hub in the Yorkshire Dales) you can access a lifetime's worth of cave systems for adventurers of all levels and abilities. Some of the most popular caves are noted below, but if you have a specific cave you’ve heard of and would like to explore, please do not hesitate to contact us for a discussion first.

Yorkshire

  • Crackpot Cave, Richmond
  • Goyden Pot, Nidderdale
  • Great Douk Cave, Chapel-le-Dale
  • Upper and Lower Long Churn Caves - featuring the famous Cheese Press squeeze!
  • Wilson's Cave, Selside
  • Manchester Hole, Nidderdale
  • Runscar Caves, Chapel-le-Dale
  • Sunset Hole, Chapel-le-Dale
  • Thistle Cave, Chapel-le-Dale
  • Valley Entrance Cave/Kingsdale Master Cave, Ingleton
  • Yordas Cave, Ingleton

Peak District

  • Giants hole
  • Carls Walk Cavern
  • Bagshaw Cavern

We offer a variety of options and difficulty levels and will tailor the session to you or your group, so no matter what level of underground adventure you are looking for we will have an activity suitable for you.

On arrival at your chosen meeting point you will meet with one of our professional and friendly instructors who will look after you throughout your activity session and be able to answer any questions you may have, putting you and your group at ease. 

Safety is always our main priority and following an initial introduction with your instructor you will be provided with high quality personal protective equipment (PPE) to make you comfortable and safe during the activity; this will include a fleece jacket, cordura over suit, wellies, helmet and headtorch. 

Once changed and at your chosen venue your session will start with a safety briefing from your instructor, this will include final fitting and checks of PPE, how to manoeuvre when in the cave and what to do in the event of an emergency, amongst other useful tips.

Then it's underground we go! Our friendly team will guide you through the cave system, providing information on the geography, history and geology of the area and cave system by sharing their excellent knowledge and experience. Once you feel more confident moving around underground you'll have the chance to climb, crawl, squeeze and explore the cave passages, waterfalls and obstacles as you choose how far you wish to challenge yourself with the help and support of our qualified instructors.

Each and every cave is unique in its challenges and features; the only way to find out what these are is to explore them for yourself! 

Caves can be dry or wet, with some having waterfalls, streams and pools, and others having dry sandy chambers. You'll explore and admire the darkness, and perhaps see spectacular formations of stalagmites and stalactites. These magnificent cave formations are mineral rock formations that take hundreds or thousands of years to grow; stalactites are icicle shaped hanging from the cave ceiling, and stalagmites are mound shapes growing up from the cave floor. (You can remember this by: stalactites have a T for Top and stalagmites have a G for Ground) 

Caving or pot-holing, as it's sometimes referred to in the UK, is the often misunderstood adventure of exploring tunnels and chambers that lie beneath our feet within the limestone of the Yorkshire Dales and Peak District. Often our imagination conjures up images of darkness and squeezing through tight spaces which for the most adventurous amongst us is certainly a possibility, however, this is not the case for a vast number of cave systems. 

Caving usually involves a mix of walking, climbing, crawling, squeezing and pulling yourself through an amazing natural underground maze of limestone passages and caverns. Some caves have large chambers suitable for groups to gather and stand to admire this underground environment whilst other caves are small, tight and do require more crawling to progress through their passageways.

  1. Building self confidence and resilience: by overcoming fears of being underground and working outside of your comfort zone to overcome obstacles and squeezes throughout the cave system
  2. Improving teamwork: by motivating each other through the cave system, and supporting team members through tight spaces
  3. Improving communication: by giving and following clear instructions in the dark, listening to your instructors and relaying messages to others in the group
  4. Building trust: by overcoming fears and trusting in the instructors to keep you safe throughout the session
  5. Building empathy and understanding of others: by sharing the experience with others you may gain more of an understanding and awareness of other peoples thoughts and feelings and how you can support them
  6. Experiential learning: a unique opportunity to bring history, geology and geography learning to life, learning about our natural environment
  7. Improving leadership skills: by taking part in leading the group and navigating part way through the caves, motivating the team to continue and supporting those who are less comfortable and confident underground, or those who may feel claustrophobic or fearful

The Yorkshire Dales has more than 2,500 known caves, some of which are accessible to the public including the Three Counties system which is the longest cave system in the UK and the deepest in England. We can provide caving sessions at many underground locations across the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District.

From the Yorkshire Dales village of Horton in Ribblesdale (the caving hub in the Yorkshire Dales) you can access a lifetime's worth of cave systems for adventurers of all levels and abilities. Some of the most popular caves are noted below, but if you have a specific cave you’ve heard of and would like to explore, please do not hesitate to contact us for a discussion first.

Yorkshire

  • Crackpot Cave, Richmond
  • Goyden Pot, Nidderdale
  • Great Douk Cave, Chapel-le-Dale
  • Upper and Lower Long Churn Caves - featuring the famous Cheese Press squeeze!
  • Wilson's Cave, Selside
  • Manchester Hole, Nidderdale
  • Runscar Caves, Chapel-le-Dale
  • Sunset Hole, Chapel-le-Dale
  • Thistle Cave, Chapel-le-Dale
  • Valley Entrance Cave/Kingsdale Master Cave, Ingleton
  • Yordas Cave, Ingleton

Peak District

  • Giants hole
  • Carls Walk Cavern
  • Bagshaw Cavern

We offer a variety of options and difficulty levels and will tailor the session to you or your group, so no matter what level of underground adventure you are looking for we will have an activity suitable for you.

On arrival at your chosen meeting point you will meet with one of our professional and friendly instructors who will look after you throughout your activity session and be able to answer any questions you may have, putting you and your group at ease. 

Safety is always our main priority and following an initial introduction with your instructor you will be provided with high quality personal protective equipment (PPE) to make you comfortable and safe during the activity; this will include a fleece jacket, cordura over suit, wellies, helmet and headtorch. 

Once changed and at your chosen venue your session will start with a safety briefing from your instructor, this will include final fitting and checks of PPE, how to manoeuvre when in the cave and what to do in the event of an emergency, amongst other useful tips.

Then it's underground we go! Our friendly team will guide you through the cave system, providing information on the geography, history and geology of the area and cave system by sharing their excellent knowledge and experience. Once you feel more confident moving around underground you'll have the chance to climb, crawl, squeeze and explore the cave passages, waterfalls and obstacles as you choose how far you wish to challenge yourself with the help and support of our qualified instructors.

Each and every cave is unique in its challenges and features; the only way to find out what these are is to explore them for yourself! 

Caves can be dry or wet, with some having waterfalls, streams and pools, and others having dry sandy chambers. You'll explore and admire the darkness, and perhaps see spectacular formations of stalagmites and stalactites. These magnificent cave formations are mineral rock formations that take hundreds or thousands of years to grow; stalactites are icicle shaped hanging from the cave ceiling, and stalagmites are mound shapes growing up from the cave floor. (You can remember this by: stalactites have a T for Top and stalagmites have a G for Ground) 

Booking information

  1. What's available?

    • Half day activity session
    • Full day activity session
    • Incorporated into full programme
  1. Who can book?

    • Youth and community groups
    • Schools
    • Universities and colleges
    • Businesses

Interested in caving / pot holing sessions?

Get in touch with our team using the link below to book or find out more.

Book now

Why choose Carnegie Great outdoors

  • We are part of Leeds Beckett University with over 12 years' experience working with external clients and groups
  • We hold Public Liability Insurance of £25,000,000
  • We provide all specialist outdoor activity equipment, which is thoroughly checked, cleaned, serviced and maintained by our team. We hold trade accounts with the leading outdoor equipment manufacturers and replace our activity equipment in line with manufacturer and National Governing Body Guidelines
  • We tailor our activities to meet your personal aims and objectives, or to fit the requirements of the group; meeting curriculum requirements, corporate learning aims, identified skill sets or learning objectives 

All sessions are run by our friendly instructors who:

  • Hold specialist qualifications issued by the National Governing Body for each of the activities
  • Have excellent working knowledge of the activity locations
  • Are DBS enhanced checked
  • Hold a specialist 16-hour Outdoor Emergency First Aid qualification which is renewed every three years and covers the care of casualties in remote settings, in line with Government HSE regulations
  • Hold professional indemnity insurance
  • Have extensive experience working with a variety of client groups in the outdoors
  • Have a sound understanding of the outdoor sector including relevant legislation
  • Maintain a high standard of customer care