Mountain Course & Activity Locations

Lakes Outdoor Experience cover locations across the UK, including North Wales, Scotland and The Lake District to mention but a few. We also offer guided scrambling and traverses on The Cuillin Ridge on The Isle of Skye.

Calf Holes & Browgill Cave

Calf Holes & Browgill Cave, Horton in Ribblesdale, The Yorkshire Dales National Park.

calf-holes-descent.jpgOur Calf Holes/Browgill Caving adventure in The Yorkshire Dales National Park is a great progression for those people keen to get deeper underground and learn the skills required to deal with vertical pitches longer than 6 foot/2 metres.

In order to attend a Calf Holes/Browgill Caving adventure with us, you will have previously had experience of introductory caving and may have joined us on a trip underground in a Level 1 venue such as Long Churns.

Rightaway at Calf Holes, you are plunged in at the deep end when you learn how to negotiate a traverse line and are then lowered down the 8 metre pitch to the cave floor. Once you have all descended this pitch, you will be joined by your Cave Leader/Instructor, to guide you on the way downstream through the various obstacles back out to daylight at the downtream entrance to Browgill Cave.

calf-holes-the-slot.jpgThe route from the Calf Holes pitch takes you downstream in a low, stooping passage which gradually increases to walking height. Eventually, the water sinks into the floor on the left and the passageway straight ahead soon lowers to a crawl with a tunnel leading off to the left which, in turn, leads to "The Slot" - a hole in the floor down which you must go - feet first and on your back!

Beyond this you find yourself back with the stream and a deepening canyon leads to the top of a 6 metre waterfall which we bypass by climbing up into the roof to the right; and then following a tube which leads to a down-climb in a rift which has a fixed rope in place for protection.

browgill-cave-entrance.jpgAt the foot of the rift, one route leads to the waterfall which we have just bypassed, the other leads through a narrow but high passage that eventually widens and at the end you meet the stream again a 3rd time. A short hands & knees crawl leads to daylight and the downstream entrance to Browgill Cave.

Our return journey sees us largely retrace our steps; we will visit the foot of the 6 metre waterfall then climb back in to the roof to emerge, again, in the stream passage just downstream from the slot although here we then go up a short left hand passageway that leads into a chamber and we squeeze out of the top of this via the "The Letterbox" crossing back over "The Slot" and then re-emerging in the streamway that leads back to the Calf Holes Pitch.



At the foot of the pitch, your Cave Leader/Instructor, will instruct you as to how to climb back out using a caving (metal rung & wire) ladder. There is a technique do doing this properly - so make sure that you fully understand before you climb; and in no time, you'll be back at the surface in daylight having just completed what is one of the best Introduction to Level 2 Caving Adventures in The Yorkshire Dales.


Frequently asked questions.

  • Where do we meet for the Calf Holes/Browgill Cave caving adventure? Answer - In Horton In Ribblesdale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park Car Park. The postcode is BD24 OHG for Satnav purposes. * Please note* do NOT pay to park here as this is our meeting point only! Once you have met with your instructor, you will then follow them to the designated parking at Birkwith where you will be required to pay £5 per vehicle for parking.
  • What equipment is provided as part of a Calf Holes/Browgill 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, a caving belt and a climbing harness. 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. Also, feel free to bring your lunch and a flask of hot drink.
  • How long does this session last? Answer - this technical caving excursion combined can last up to four hours underground depending on your group size and ability.
  • Are there any discounts on your price? Answer - yes,  Our price per person for a minimum group size of two is £80.00 each, for three to six persons the price is £70 each. For seven persons or more, the price is £60 each, bring more than eleven persons and the price falls by a further £10 to our minimum price per person of £50.00. Children under 16 also receive a discount - please contact us to enquire.
  • Please note that the Calf Holes/Browgill Caving Adventure can be combined with an introductory caving trip to the nearby Old Ing or Birkwith Caves or Long Churns at Selside to make a full day of Caving in The Yorkshire Dales National Park for just a small additional fee.
  • 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; but do be aware that the Calf Holes/Browgill Caving Trip requires confidence and physical fitness before you book this option. Basically, you need to be "up for the challenge and fit!"

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Iain GallagherLakes Outdoor Experience is run by Iain Gallagher. Iain was born and brought up in The Lake District by parents who were very keen on the outdoors.

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