Mountain Course & Activity Locations
Kendal Mountaineering Services cover locations across the UK, including North Wales, Scotland and The Lake District to mention but a few. We also offer holidays in Slovenia and on The Isle of Skye.
Great Douk, Chapel Le Dale
Great Douk is a great introduction to caving - with a challenging finish if you are up for it! The cave is accessed by a half a mile walk from just above The Old Hill Inn on the B6255 road, across farmers fields through two gates before turning left up a shallow valley to a walled, wooded enclosure. The woodland actually surrounds a deep pit in the ground - Great Douk Pot; and the entrance into Great Douk Cave is up the waterfall at the back of that.
Once you've climbed the waterfall, the journey upstream can begin - 914 metres/3000 feet of passageway can be explored as a winding streamway which actually gets lower as you climb higher. There are alll sorts of things to see - amazing Limestone formations, Little Douk Pot, where you find yourself gazing up at the daylight only 100 metres beyond the main entrance, deep pools and waterfalls, this cave is truly breathtaking!
Beyond all of these things; and after a steep climb up some cascades, the cave floor levels off, the roof begins to lower and eventually, the passageway begins to narrow. Just beyond here, there is an option for a low wet crawl with the water to prepare you for what's ahead - if you are up for it!
Only 75 metres beyond, the cave lowers to a crawl for another 75 metres on smooth Limestone bedrock. When you get to the gritstone cobbles - look up and you'll see a hole in the roof. Go up through this and crawl straight ahead for another 15 metres into a chamber where you can stand up and ahead you'll see daylight filtering in from one or two exits. Watch out for the spiders at this point, there are some big ones hanging from the roof - but they'll be more scared of you - than you will of them!
Once at this point, you are beyond all of the difficulties in Great Douk Cave and you can crawl or climb out of one of two exits on to the Limestone pavement above.
Here, you'll find yourself right at the edge of the Limestone pavement and at the foot of Simon Fell, Ingleborogh Hill towers impressively in the background showing it's steep westerly aspect called Black Shiver. Also at this point, you'll see the remains of a stone walled sheepfold at the foot of a shallow valley carrying one of the streams that flows into Great Douk Cave - this is Middle Wash Fold; a place where, in times gone by, shepherds used to wash sheep before shearing their fleeces to go to market.
An obvious path through the grass heading west leads you back via a wall & gate to Great Douk Pot and back to the road. Or, if there is time and you are keen; High Douk Holes can also be explored as part of your half day caving session in this locality.
Please note - if you do not want to do the low, wet exit crawl out to daylight at the upper end of Great Douk Cave then we turn around and walk back out the way we came in! All of our activities are "challenge by choice" and we want you to enjoy your session and not be scared.
Frequently asked questions.
- Where do we meet for caving Sessions in Great Douk or High Douk Holes? Answer - we can meet you either in Ingleton outside of the Inglesport Climbing Shop & Cafe (LA6 3EB for Satnav purposes) or in the layby on the B6255 on the left 100 metres up the hill from the Old Hill Inn (LA6 3AR for Satnav purposes).
- What equipment is provided as part of a Caving session? Answer - as part of your fee per person, you get a Caving Oversuit, a pair of Wellington boots, a helmet with caving light & and a caving belt. Basically, so that you can get kitted up like the people in these photos!
- What do I need to bring? Answer - you each need to bring old clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty and a little wet. A long sleeved fleece type top is ideal and fleece pants as well - if you have them; or tracksuit bottoms or leggings are also good! You also need either two pairs of long shoe socks or a pair of thick walking socks to wear in the Wellington boots provided and a towel/change of dry clothing.
- How long does a half day session last? Answer - up to four hours underground.
- Are there any discounts on your price? Answer - yes. Our price per person for a minimum group size of two is £50.00 each, for three to six persons the price is £45 each. For seven persons or more, the price is £40 each, bring more than eleven persons and the price falls by a further £5 to our minimum price per person of £35.00. Children under 16 also receive a discount.Please contact us to enquire.
- We've booked & paid, but the weather's too cold or wet for our session to run. What happens to our payment? Answer - If we are unable to run your session due to the conditions, then you can either reschedule to another time; or, receive a full refund of your payment.
- I've never been Caving before. I'm excited but scared at the same time. Will I be able to do it? Answer - don't worry, you'll be well looked after in expert hands and you don't have to do anything you don't want to!
More About Us
Lakes Outdoor Experience is run by Iain Gallagher. Iain divides his time between hills and crags in the Lake District, North Wales, Scotland and North Yorkshire. He can also be found climbing peaks across Europe and around the World.