Where did I go: Wookey Holes Caves, Somerset, UK
When did I go: January 2015
Marketed as “Britain’s most spectacular caves”, Wookey Hole Caves is a system of limestones caves in South West England. It has an entry on the 501 Natural Wonders book (more on that on an upcoming post). It was this entry that convinced us to make a detour off the M5 to see the caves on a cold Saturday in January.
Beautiful, mystical and surreal; there is no other way to describe these caves. The caves were formed over many thousands of years by the river Axe which winds its way through it to this day. In several caverns, the river expands in to a wide, crystal clear pool, and you find yourself looking into an endless chasm through the water, before realising that the “depth” is actually the reflection of the high cave ceilings on the water surface.
The massive caverns with imposing stalactites and stalagmites, soon makes you forget that you are hundreds of feet underground. The caves are at a constant temperature of 11 degrees C, so on a cold Saturday in January the caves are quite a warm and cozy place to be.
The caves are illuminated with a series of light which are both cleverly placed and well-timed. A combination of Public Address system and live tour guides will tell you some of the many stories associated with the caves (the Wookey Hole witch who made her home in the caves, Alexander Pope who visited the caves and decided to shoot down some stalactites to decorate his own home, to name a few – although, the dramatisations over the PA can be a bit OTT). Now, the downsides:
The cost of an entry ticket is £18.00 for an adult. There are a number of other attractions included in the ticket (dinosaur valley, King Kong, pirates crazy golf, Victorian Penny arcade, cave museum etc.). Whilst £18.00 may be considered reasonable if you want to spend a whole day here, if you only want to see a cave (like me), £18 for a 35-40 minute tour in my opinion is a bit steep (even though the caves are beautiful). It would be much better if there were two options of tickets – for those people only wanted to see the caves and those who wanted all the attractions.
Overall conclusion: I’m glad I saw the caves, but probably won’t go again – £18.00 is a bit too steep.