Curious caves

Some of these caves are so well hidden that you have to walk through waterfalls to get to them. Others only appear at low tide and one cave in Yorkshire is said to be home to the queen of the fairies. Whichever cave you decide to visit there are many adventures to be had en route.

Rocks on the beach at Lydstep Headland in Pembrokeshire, Wales
Lydstep Headland in Pembrokeshire, Wales National Trust Images / Robert Morris

Lydstep cliffs and caverns walk 

To explore the caverns bear right where you leave Lydstep Head car park and go down the 100 steps to the beach. Please keep in mind that the caverns are only accessible at low tide.

Crantock Beach, Cornwall
View of Crantock Beach from Rushy Green National Trust / Mike Simmonds

Holywell and Crantock

At low tide this cave can be found tucked under the southern cliffs. From the beach it appears a mere slit, but some steps lead up to several stepped pools ascending towards a hole in the cave roof. Take care on the steps, which are covered with slimy green weed. Please make sure you check the tide times before you go and take someone with you.

The Stepping Stones on the River Dove in Dovedale
The Stepping Stones on the River Dove in Dovedale National Trust Images / John Millar

Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak

On the main footpath you can see boil holes. These strange caves are openings in the ground, down which two rivers can be seen bubbling and 'boiling'. The River Manifold and it's tributary, the River Hamps, both flow largely underground. Rumour has it that in Victorian times one of the boil holes was used as a bath. Ask at our visitor reception for more detailed directions.

Exploring caves in the Peak District
Spot caves in Dovedale National Trust/Susan Guy

Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak

Climb up from the main footpath to reach Reynard's Cave. This dramatic site is thought to have been used during pre-historic times and, more recently, has been named after a highwayman who lived in it.

Visitors exploring a cave wearing head lamps and hard hats
Explore a cave National Trust Images / David Levenson

Quarry Bank

Home to a cave with a rich history. The cave was once home to a family, who used gorse bushes to fill up the front and keep out the cold. Before that a hermit lived there. You can see several shelves still cut into the rock. In later years the cave was used to house owls.

Behind Henrhyd, Brecon Beacons
Step behind Henrhyd waterfall Simon Rutherford

Henrhyd Falls and Graigllech Woods 

The secret’s out. Batman’s lair is in Powys. It can be found behind an 88ft (27m) waterfall, called Henrhyd Falls. In The Dark Knight Rises Batman disappears behind the falls to enter his hideout. Amazingly this isn’t a camera trick. Brave visitors can walk through the curtain of white water and discover a place where darkness glistens, light sparkles and water thunders down.

Janet's Foss waterfall at Malham, Yorkshire Dales
Janet's Foss waterfall at Malham, Yorkshire Dales National Trust Images / Solent News and Photography Agency

Malham Tarn Estate

The secret cave, hidden behind a waterfall, is tantalisingly out of reach. Follow the diversion off the Pennine Way to discover the magical waterfall and the cave that is said to be home to Janet, Queen of the Fairies.

Kinver Rock Houses in candlelight
Soak up the homely atmosphere as the caves are lit by candlelight

Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses

The Rock Houses, are not built in natural caves, but were first carved out by people in the 18th-century; you can still see the chip-marks on the walls. With real fires and tunnels connecting rooms this is a snug place to escape to on wet and windy days and and a real departure from traditional stately homes.