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.

Runscar & Thistle Caves, Ribblehead

runcr.jpgLocated in the heart of caving country in The Yorkshire Dales National Park, Runscar & Thistle Caves sit close to the B6255 road running from Ingleton to Hawes on a gently sloping grassy hillside just north of the world famous Ribblehead Viaduct. You would actually know there were any caves there although you are bound to see groups of brightly boiler suit clad people with helmets appearing above ground and disappearing again - it's that popular a place for a first ever caving adventure!

runscar-caving.jpgBoth caves are short in length - no more than 300 metres underground in each cave which makes them ideal for a half day (four hour) introductory Caving Session; although each cave does vary in nature. Thistle cave carries only a small stream, but has many interesting little side (fossil) passages ideal for young people to try an exciting challenge and there are three sections to this cave. Runscar Cave carries a much bigger stream and can be super-exciting after a bit of rain. It also has three sections - each with an exit & entrance - some of which are entertainingly small & wet.

thistle-caving.jpgBoth have interesting features to observe - Speleothems, formations, such as Stalactites & Stalagmites, Flowstones and fossils can all be observed in both caves and it is a great place to introduce Limestone Geology to children - how & where was the Limestone formed? what is it composed of? and how did it come to be a thousand feet above sea level in The Yorkshire Dales? These are all questions that can be answered during a visit to these great caves whilst exploring them and enjoying the odd little challenge along the way.

runscar-four-exit-caving.jpgWhere to meet for caving sessions in Runscar & Thistle Caves. We have two meeting points for Caving Sessions at Runscar & Thistle. One is in the laybys just north of the junction with the B6479 Horton In Riblesdale and B6255 Hawes roads near to the Station Inn at Ribblehead (LA6 3AS for Satnav purposes) and the other is outside of the Inglesport Climbing Shop & Cafe (LA6 3EB for Satnav purposes) in the village of Ingleton

Frequently asked questions.

  • 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!

Contact us here to book your caving adventure in Runscar & Thistle Caves now!

Why not combine two caving venues in the vicinity to make a full day of Caving in The Yorkshire Dales with us; or combine a half day of caving with a half day of Rock Climbing & Abseiling at nearby Twistleton Scar to make a great adventurous day out in the area? You won't be disappointed!

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More About Us

Iain Gallagher, Lakes Outdoor ExperienceLakes 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.

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