Winster Cavers - an adventurous perspective on our natural world.
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Unseen worlds - the hidden fascination of caves and mines

Why go caving and mine exploring?

We've probably lost count of the number of times we've been asked "Why do you go caving?". For me it's no one thing; rather, it's a combination of factors that gives caving and mine exploring a special appeal. The beauty of underground formations such as stalactites, helictites and flowstone and underground watercourses in caves; the artefacts and handiwork of bygone years in old mine workings; the sense of adventure and the "feelgood factor" of doing something enjoyable and unique with like-minded people are just a few of my reasons.

Tips for going caving and mine exploring

If you've never been caving before, do contact a few clubs to see if you can go along on a trip or two with them to find out whether you like it or not. The Descent caving magazine web site (Descent is the main magazine for UK cave exploration) has a list of caving clubs you could try. Clubs don't have to be based in the area where you live; they could be ones in the caving region that's either closest to you, or that interests you most. The main caving areas in the UK are the Yorkshire Dales, Derbyshire, Wales and the Mendips (Somerset), with the Forest of Dean also now being home to a significant number of caves. For further information, there's little to better what the Try Caving website has to say about getting started.

What's the purpose of these caving web pages?

Over the years we've visited many places underground, and continue to do so on a regular basis. We've sometimes searched for information on a particular cave or mine and found that there is little written detail. With the advent of the Internet, this is less common than it used to be, but there are still times when a route description, or an up-to-date note on how a particular system reacts to water, seems to elude us. Additionally, access agreements are not always clear, as both situations and landowners change - wherever possible we are attempting to give the most up to date access details for any trips we've done. By writing up a series of notes on trips we've undertaken, we hope it will help others explore caves and mines safely, carefully and with conservation in mind.

Caving and mine exploration lamps from

The Winster Cavers use caving and mine exploration lamps from