The park that is home to Mother Shipton’s Cave and the petrifying well is a unique, unspoilt remnant of the Royal Forest of Knaresborough. Sir Henry Slingsby’s Long Walk is described by English Heritage as “one of the best” of its kind and is one of Yorkshire’s top attractions. Over the last four centuries, millions of visitors from all over the world have been enchanted by the park’s natural beauty, mesmerised by the petrifying well and fascinated by Mother Shipton’s story.
With Max Card – (Adult – £5, Child – £4)
How the Caves Were Formed
The formation of Stump Cross Caverns began millions of years ago, when the area which is now the Yorkshire Dales was covered by oceans. Sediment from the ocean floor would eventually form limestone, the basic material from which the caves are made. The caves themselves began to form as the limestone was eroded by weak acid rain, created when carbon dioxide from the atmosphere mixed with the precipitation to form carbonic acid.
Many years ago, underground streams found their way into the cracks and began to expand the cave system as more rock was worn away. Once the streams had gone from the upper levels of the valley the cave system was left behind, and the mineral structures that are present today slowly began to form as water dripped through the caverns.
Starting 350 million years ago, and continuing into the twenty-first century, the history of White Scar Cave is an intriguing mixture of ancient and modern.
It’s certainly the longest show cave in Britain: the guided tour takes 80 minutes and covers one mile. See underground streams and waterfalls, and the massive ice age cavern. Cafe, shop, large on site car park. Picnic area. Spectacular location in Yorkshire Dales National Park. Project sheets are available for children, graded for age.