The Caves

at Stump Cross Caverns

Step back in time and explore the beauty of our natural show cave

Step back in time

Explore the natural wonders of this delightful Yorkshire Dales show cave via lit pathways. An ideal activity whatever the weather, Stump Cross Caverns is all under cover with designated walkways for you to follow.

Explore virtually

Experience this underground Yorkshire Dales adventure from anywhere in the world. Our caving experts have mapped and captured the caverns in amazing 3D so you can explore through your screen.

A world of wonder

Discovered in 1860 by lead miners, Stump Cross Caverns has a rich history going back hundreds of millions of years. New passageways have been opened up over the years, with remains of prehistoric creatures such as wolverine and reindeer found in the caves.

History Of The Caves

The story of Stump Cross Caverns began 300 million years ago, during the Caboniferous period. What is now the Yorkshire Dales was then covered by a shallow sea, filled with underwater plants and animals. The limestone rock you can see today is the remains of billions of shells and  debris, gradually solidified under pressure.

The caves are the result of Greenhow’s specific geology, which has left behind passageways and spectacular stalagmites and stalactites.

During the ongoing excavations of the cave system, remains of several species of animal which once roamed this area of Yorkshire thousands of years ago have been discovered, including: wolves, reindeer, bison, and wolverines.

Visiting Stump Cross

Yorkshire like you've never seen it before

The show cave can be explored via lit pathways - highlighting points of interest - along with information about history and geology.

Above ground, we have a gift shop selling dinosaur and fossil related souvenirs, plus the Time Cafe, serving freshly prepared food made from locally sourced produce.

Children's quizzes

Pick up our educational fossil quiz from the ticket booth, and make the most of our information signs, featuring fun characters including Sally Shark Tooth and Timmy Trilobite.

There's also a delightful fairy door trail along the cave passageways, included in the admission ticket for children and an option for infants (which you can add when you book your tickets).

Walking the passageways

The caves are a constant temperature of 7 degrees so dress warmly. Steps and walkways will be damp - waterproof boots or wellies make ideal footwear for your visit (but don't worry if you forget - you can borrow ours). We provide hard hats upon entry to the caves.

Access

Our on-site car park is free for visitors to Stump Cross and is located right next to the main building. Due to the nature of the hilltop site, there are steps inside the gift shop and restaurant areas. The entrance to the caves is down a set of steep steps.

If you need more information about accessibility for visitors with mobility issues, please contact us.

There's also a fabulous option to explore the caves virtually from home:

During your visit

Dogs are welcome in the gift shop and Time Cafe, but are not permitted down the caves.

Handheld photography in the caverns is permitted, providing you do not impede the enjoyment of other visitors. Tripods and other camera equipment may not be used without prior arrangement.

Timed entry

When you book tickets, you must pre-book an entry time for the caves. This gives your group designated time and space to enter the caves and descend the steps. Please buy you tickets in advance to avoid disappointment if we are fully booked on the day: