The Yorkshire Dales are underlain with limestone, meaning the area is full of cave systems and potholes. Some of the best caving is around Settle and there’s no better company to get you going underground than the good folk at Yorkshire Dales Guides, led by Dave and Pam.
“We don’t always agree on everything, but we’re both unanimous in our view that caving with Yorkshire Dales Guides is one of our favourite Yorkshire adventures to date.
“There are two parts to every adventure – what we do and who we do it with. And while the caves themselves are an awesome natural wonder of vast caverns, tight squeezes, pools of ice cold water and fossils dating back millions of years, Pam and Dave were the definite stars of the show.
“Pam got us all kitted out and ready in their dedicated climbing barn, before we jumped in Dave’s truck for the short drive, from their office outside Settle to Long Churn Caves where he took us underground.
“Dave’s got that amazing Yorkshire sense of humour – quite gruff and a little reserved on the outside but with a deep cheeky streak. Make sure you give him as good as you get!
“What’s really clear is his passion for the Dales, his knowledge of the caves and his deep commitment to safety. Neither of us are great in confined spaces – check the vlog below and you’ll see! – but Dave had us sized up from the off and only pushed us as far as he knew we could go.
“All in all, an incredible experience and one that we don’t hesitate to recommend.”James & Lyndsey, Yorkshire's Best Adventures
What Yorkshire Dales Guides say:
Here at Yorkshire Dales Guides, we provide adventure activities for a whole range of ages and abilities. Caving is our real speciality with owner Dave Gallivan offering trips into the limestone caves and pot holes of the Yorkshire Dales since 1991.
To get people going, we can teach vertical caving techniques in a safe, dry environment using our indoor training barn at Stainforth, before heading out into the caves of the surrounding area.
We can do everything from introductory trips of around three hours – some of which are done in the summer evenings so you can join us after school or work – to more advanced trips that will see you taking on climbs and descents, as well as underground rivers, lakes and waterfalls.
Caving is not all we offer though. We provide climbing and abseiling and can teach navigation skills from basic map-and-compass to GPS courses; many of these are accredited.
For corporate groups, large families or groups of friends, we can also put together Challenge Days that include team building and even rescue scenarios. Events can be as short as a couple of hours to a couple of days.
The events are based around the principle of team building through sharing experiences. Working away from people’s normal environment, taking part in often totally new activities and using new or existing skills to work through team tasks in a very different context develops groups and individuals knowledge of each other.
The company is run by Dave Gallivan and Pam Hickin, who lead many of the tours personally, although a small number of additional, qualified and local instructors are also on hand – all have been known to Dave and Pam for many years and the majority are members of the local cave and fell rescue team, so you always know you are in good hands.