Review – Our day at Wookey Hole Caves

During our visit to Somerset in November we took the opportunity to visit an attraction that had been on our to-do list for years – Wookey Hole.  These are the largest show caves in the country and quite possibly the most famous so we couldn’t wait to visit.

After a short drive from our hotel, the Doubletree by Hilton Cadbury House, and passing through the beautiful countryside, we arrived at the quaint village of Wookey Hole in the Mendip Hills, home to the famous caves.

Despite Halloween being a few days earlier, their Halloween themed event was still running much to the delight of Chloe and Holly.

There was plenty of free parking and as we walked to the main entrance, we noticed that there was a witch themed hotel on-site – the Wookey Hole Hotel – which looks a fun place to stay with the kids.

After collecting our tickets we made our way up the hill in the rain in our wellies toward the entrance to the caves, taking in the views of the valley below, where the other attractions at Wookey Hole are located, including a dinosaur park and a fairy garden – more on this later.

The Caves

The 45 minute tours of the caves depart every 20 minutes and we were lucky enough to join a cave tour straight away.

As we entered the caves, our guide told our group a story of the Wookey Witch who legend has it was turned to stone.

The Halloween theme in the caves with pumpkins and skeletons on display made the story a lot more atmospheric than normal – so we had to reassure Holly that it was just an old legend.

Both Chloe and Holly loved taking the lead in exploring the caves which really are spectacular and the recently opened chamber and tunnels have made this cave network one of the largest in Europe.

Our knowledgeable guide explained the history, geology and natural rock formations that we encountered and stories of previous explorers of the caves.

On our cave journey we encountered large underground lakes. We had to cross bridges over secret rivers and duck under low rock formations so it was definitely a fun adventure for us all.   Parts of the tour were quite slippy so it’s important to wear the correct footwear.

We were really surprised to find that they store award winning cheese deep in the caves.  We were told that as the temperature is consistent 11 degrees it is the perfect place for cheese to mature.

The pinnacle of our time in the caves for the children was bizarrely meeting a pirate who was handing out soft toys to the kids on the tour.

This was deep underground in the new chamber 20, a previously unseen cavern beneath the Mendips.  The pirate was surrounded by tombstones, decapitated heads and skeletons in the cave – it felt like a scene from the Goonies movie.

Other Attractions

What made our visit to Wookey Hole different to other show caves in the country such as Dan yr Ogof in the Brecon Beacons was the strange mix of attractions on offer – like the pirate in the caves, it works really well and the girls loved it.

Many of the attractions at Wookey Hole are undercover so it was a great place to visit in the rain as we did.

Leaving the caves you walk through the mystic fairy garden. Holly loved spotting the fairies, elves and the hidden fairy doors – we even spotted a unicorn and the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland sitting at the table.

Next up was King Kong standing at over 30ft high, guarding the entrance to dinosaur valley.

With over 20 life-sized dinosaurs this was a big hit with the children especially as many of the models are animatronic that would hiss roar and move as we walked past.

After a dinosaur dig, looking for fossils, we arrived at the Witches 4D Laboratory.

Inside you enter a witch’s kitchen which has been turned upside down by a spell – so everything is on the ceiling.  After meeting the Wookey Witch a secret door opens in the kitchen into the 4D cinema which was playing Ice Age – that the girls had great fun watching.

We missed out on the cave museum as the girls made a beeline to the Monster Mill which is the largest indoor attraction in the South West.

There was so much to do here for kids that you could easily spend the day here, with a soft play, clown museum and a vintage penny arcade.

The mirror maze was the girl’s favourite bringing back memories of the maze at Camera Obscura in Edinburgh.

The Halloween themed circus show was really impressive considering the age of the majority of the participants especially the trapezes artists and aerial acrobats – the girls were transfixed.

There was so much to do here we missed out on the cave museum and the chance to make your own paper in the paper mill.

We love playing crazy golf and the Pirate Adventure Golf course at Wookey Hole looked brilliant but the bad weather meant we had to give it a miss.

Like most attractions you leave via the gift shop which had everything from cuddly toys to the famous wookey hole cheese.

Would we recommend visiting Wookey Hole?

We had a great action packed day here and I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Wookey Hole Caves.

The caves are the main attraction and they really are worth the entrance fee alone but the 20 entertaining attractions that are included in your entrance ticket make Wookey Hole an attraction will keep all the family happy.

For the latest opening hours and pricing visit the Wookey Hole website

 

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