Wookey Hole Caves
- Take a tour through the Wookey Hole Caves that were occupied by humans for 45,000 years.
- Learn all about the prehistoric history of the area at the Wookey Hole Caves Museum.
- Meet some ferocious friends on the famous Dinosaur Trail.
- Stay for a while and relax at the Wookey Hole Resort or Bucklegrove Holiday Park.
Set in the idyllic Mendip hills of Somerset, the village of Wookey Hole is filled with history, legend and tradition. The infamous Wookey Hole Caves that run through the village have been used by humans for around 45,000 years, dating all the way back to the Palaeolithic period. Nowadays the Wookey Hole Caves are open to the public to explore, with lots of additional attractions on site too. From meeting dinosaurs to exploring the caves themselves, there is no shortage of fantastic things to do as a family at Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset.
Dating all the way back to when humans were just cavemen, the caves of Wookey hole have been home to humans for millennia. Like the nearby cave attraction Cheddar Gorge and Caves, these ancient caverns have been kept at a consistent temperature of 11 degrees centigrade for thousands of years, meaning that evidence of human life has been preserved brilliantly. From cave dwellers to the Celtic peoples, these caves were used as shelter and protection throughout history. As you explore the caves, you'll see the River Axe, which flows through the caves and adds a magical touch. There are many different areas of the Wookey Caves to explore, each with its own myths and legends. Head to the Witch's Kitchen where you'll find the place that, according to legend, a witch in the Dark Ages lived, and was turned to stone by a local Abbott. Doctor Who fans may know the Witch of Wookey Hole from the 1975 serial Revenge of the Cyberman. It is said that there is a stalagmite in the caves that is human-shaped and is all that remains of the witch. As you head to the Witch's Parlour cave, you can see the transformation of the land, from when these caves were covered by ocean 400 million years ago. The huge stalactites and stalagmites that can be seen add a spooky touch to these beautiful caves.
There are also other caves with a slightly less witchy theme, including the Great Hall which is a 75ft tall cavern that will leave the whole family in awe. The beautiful Cathedral Chamber is also one not to be missed, with beautiful formations and an area that is known as the home of British cave diving. From here, cave divers have explored further into the chain of caves than anyone else, on dangerous and thrilling diving missions. As you emerge from the caves, you'll find the remains of Rhinoceros Hole, Badger Hole and Hyenas Den. Hyenas Den was discovered as workers dug the canal nearby, and the remains of Ice Age mammals including mammoths, rhinoceros and more, were found. It is believed that humans and hyenas occupied this cave for around 10,000 years, starting in 35,000 BC.
For those who are enthralled by the Wookey Hole Caves and want to taste a slice of the action, the Wild Wookey Adventure Caving experience might be for you. With Wild Wookey, you'll get a three-hour caving experience led by instructors, who will help you climb and abseil through the caves, and even take a ride along the river on the famous 'Wookey Boat'!
However, the Wookey Hole Caves aren't the only activity on offer. The Wookey Hole Caves attractions are a fantastic way to spend the rest of your day once you've explored the depths of the caves. For those who want to learn a little more about the prehistoric history of these famous caves, the Wookey Hole Cave Museum is a must-see. As well as some of the prehistoric findings that archaeologists have uncovered over the years, the museum is also home to lots of information and activities to engage kids and adults alike. To step a little further back in time, the Valley of the Dinosaurs is a nature trail like no other. Wander through the woods as you find all types of dinosaurs, mammals and even cavemen that may have roamed the Wookey Hole area of Somerset millions of years ago. Keep your eyes peeled for the huge King Kong statue and the animatronic dinosaurs that make this trail one of the top Wookey Hole Caves attractions. Nearby you'll also find the Mystic Fairy Garden, the perfect place to discover magical creatures and have some quiet time by the River Axe. There are also some great nature trails near Wookey Hole Caves, with woodland walks the whole family can enjoy.
And, for those who are here to play, there are plenty of Wookey Hole activities included in your day ticket. From Pirate Adventure Golf attractions to the Penny Arcade and Magical Mirror Maze, there is something for every family. There are also multiple play areas, and depending on when you visit, you may even be able to catch a live circus show! If there are too many Wookey Hole Caves attractions and activities to take in over one day, why not extend your visit to Wells, Somerset and book yourself into Bucklegrove Holiday Park or Wookey Hole Resort? From luxury lodges to camping pitches there is everything you need for a short Somerset weekend or a family holiday, all at the beautiful Wookey Hole.
Once you've had your fill of fantastic Wookey Hole Caves attractions, you might find you're a little peckish. Never fear, however, as there are plenty of places to eat. Wookey Hole Caves is home to Captain Jack's Restaurant, where you can enjoy hot meals, cakes and sandwiches. There is also the Witch's Kitchen where you can grab a light bite or the Ice Cream Parlour which features over 20 flavours of ice cream, yum! And, if you fancy bringing something homemade, there are plenty of picnic areas on site, including in the Dinosaur Park. Plus, there's a chance to sample some cave-matured local Cheddar cheese, available from the shop.
If your family have a brilliant time taking in the attractions and history at Wookey Hole Caves, why not continue your adventure at Wells Cathedral, just an eight-minute drive away?
What to know before you go
- Wookey Hole Caves opening times are from 10am-5pm daily, including the museum and other attractions.
- Accessible toilets and baby changing facilities are available on site.
- The cave tours at Wookey Hole last around 35 minutes. The terrain is uneven so is unsuitable for buggies and wheelchair users.
- Wookey Hole Hotel and tickets can be purchased in a package for individuals or families. Admission costs include all attractions on site.
- By car, follow the A371 from Weston-super-Mare, A37 from Bristol or A39 from Bath. If travelling from Cheddar Gorge to Wookey Hole, take the B3135 and it is a roughly 20-minute drive.
- There is a large, free car park on site.
- The bus service 67 passes by Wookey Hole Caves.