Wookey Hole, Chedder, Somerset

Fancy going somewhere wet and cold? Wookey Hole could be just the day out you are looking for!

Situated in the Somerset Mendip Hills, in South West England, Wookey Hole is the geological wonder which is a great day out . Formed by the underground river Axe, archaeological evidence shows that the caves were used by man for shelter since prehistoric times.

It’s a bit of a climb up to the entrance but worth the effort. You are taken on a guided tour with an exciting light show and sound effects, which explains the history of the caves and the myths which have grown up around it. The best known legend is about the Witch of Wookey, a stone figure bearing a resemblance to a witch. Legend had it that she was turned to stone by one Father Bernard, Abbot of Glastonbury, sent by the people of Wookey to exorcise the witch, and old woman who lived in the cave with her dog and goats.

The caves are also some of the first to have been explored by divers, and the history of their exploration is an important part of the history of UK cave diving.

Now, these are real live genuine caves so they are natural formations and you cannot get a pushchair down them. So if, like us when we visited, you have a child who is not yet walking you will have to carry them, it is wet and slippery underfoot and you have to climb up stairs and through a low tunnel. It is also a constant 11C so even if it is summer you will want to bring warm clothes.

There is a lot to do after you have concluded your tour of the caves. There is a museum with displays giving more information about the history of the caves, archaeological excavations including artefacts and cave diving. Next there is a working Victorian paper mill driven by the water of the river Axe. There is an exhibition devoted to ‘Penny Arcades’ as Wookey Hole has the biggest collection of original Edwardian Penny Arcade machines in the country. There is also the disconcerting Magical Mirror Maze, a modern version of the ‘hall of mirrors’ set up in travelling fairgrounds.

There are regular events held in the caves especially around Halloween, and there is a restaurant and mother and baby facilities nearby.

Wookey Hole Caves, Wookey Hole, Wells, Somerset, BA5 1BB, Telephone 01749 672243, or visit their website www.wookey.co.uk for details of opening times, events and admission.

Events in June 2021