Chapel-le-Dale Weekend – Skirwith Cave

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The little circle of friends who were assembled in Chapel-le-Dale originally met, in many cases at least, as members of the Hiking Club at Manchester University, so walking and climbing hills has always been central to what we do when we get together. But we have been known to branch out: canoeing, cycling, snorkelling, standing in the Kippax at Maine Road for example. Caving is another activity which some of us have dabbled in and it seems to be an easy one to sell to the kids. Two years ago we took many of them to a very wet Yordas Cave; last year we had a poke around in some of the caves close to the Ribblehead Viaduct.

This time we did it properly and first went down into Ingleton to rent helmets. (Three fifty for the day, with an excellent lamp too, a snip, and as it turned out pretty crucial I think). Once again, the vast majority of the younger element of the party were keen to have ago, but just three of the grey brigade. We started our spelunking with an exploration of Skirwith Cave, a former show cave which is just outside Ingleton and conveniently close to the road.

I’d already done my research before the weekend, but even so we had some difficulty initially in locating the current entrance. When you get to the small crag shown in the top photo, climb the steps and then bear right, looking for quite a small hole in the ground. (Photo near the end of the post).

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The former entrance?

The entrance is quite small and requires a muddy shuffle down quite a steep slope, but brings you into a larger, level passage with some excellent flowstone features…

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After a while, you reach a boulder choke which looked awkward rather than tight, but I decided to stop at that point, whilst most of the others crawled through and explored a little further. It gave me a chance to go back for some more leisurely exploration and to take some more photos…

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Emerging from the entrance…

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It had been a short, but hugely enjoyable little outing. For many of our band, it was also quite sufficient: some wanted to get cleaned-up so that they could attend the carol service in Chapel-le-Dale’s tiny chapel, others had just had enough. Only the my boys and the three adults were up for another cave trip….

(Tune in next week. Same bat time, same bat channel.)

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Chapel-le-Dale Weekend – Skirwith Cave

5 thoughts on “Chapel-le-Dale Weekend – Skirwith Cave

  1. Excellent suggestion and a cracking little cave. All the kids seemed to really enjoy the outing as welll which was added to my own enjoyment. Some really good photos as well. More next year please 😀

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I think so. B got some new wellies today and was telling us that he might keep the old ones – for caving. It seems to have made an impression.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Well – carelessness on my part. Spelling, punctuation and grammar has always been a struggle. I went to a comprehensive school in the 70s and 80s where almost no attempt was made to teach those aspects of English. Can’t really blame my teachers for that one however.

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