White Scar Cave (AKA Ingleton Caves) is well-known for being the longest show cave in the UK. To visit the caves, you’ll need to do a tour. Beck and I did the tour recently to experience the caves first-hand and gather some insider tips. So, is it worth visiting? In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about visiting White Scar Cave, including whether it’s worth the entrance fee. To quickly skip to our verdict, read ‘Is it Worth Visiting White Scar Cave?‘
For information about other Yorkshire Dales caves, read our Ingleborough Cave, Stump Cross Caverns and Yordas Cave guides (coming soon).
Table of Contents
About White Scar Cave (AKA Ingleton Caves)
Before we tell you about the ins and outs of visiting White Scar Cave and whether it’s worth visiting, let’s look at a little White Scar Cave history. The cave was discovered by, a then, 22-year-old Cambridge undergraduate student named Christopher Francis Drake Long in 1923.
Entering via a crack in the rock, near the current cave entrance, he painstakingly crawled for hours and hours to reach, what is now known as The First Waterfall. He then returned several times after, venturing further and further into the cave. His progress into the depths of the cave was always thwarted by a seemingly impenetrable boulder called Big Bertha.
It wasn’t until 1971, that members of the Happy Wanderers Caving Club were able to pass this barrier and discover more of the cave. Seeing this relatively recently discovered section of the cave is now included in the tour.
The caves, located near the well-known village of Ingleton (guide coming soon), have been open to the public since 1925. Although, the infamous White Scar Cave flood of 2016 meant the cave was temporarily closed; but, only for a short period. Otherwise, it’s nearing a century since the caves have been open to the public for exploration.
FYI – the caves are also known as the Ingleton Caves and the Ingleton White Scar Caves.
Where Is White Scar Cave?
White Scar Cave is located in the southwest corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park in North Yorkshire. To help you get your bearings, please click on the link below to access an interactive map of the area.
White Scar Cave Prices
The price of the ticket itself may determine whether you think it’s worth visiting, as it isn’t cheap. The entrance fee for the cave is £15 for adults and £11 for children over 3 years old. There are also discounts for family passes. Please check the official website for the most up-to-date prices.
FYI – it isn’t possible to pre-book tour tickets. You’ll pay on arrival at the cave. Both cash and card payment is accepted.
White Scar Cave Opening Times
The cave is open daily from 10am. As mentioned, to visit the caves, you’ll need to do a tour. Basically, when you arrive, the time of the next tour is displayed at the ticket office. Usually, the first tour of the day starts at 10:30am and the second tour is at 11am. Tours then run hourly until 3pm or 4pm. It’s usually on the weekend that the last tour is at 4pm. Whereas, on weekdays, the last tour is usually at 3pm.
Again, we recommend checking the official website for the most up-to-date opening times.
White Scar Cave: 10 Tour Highlights
Also known as the White Scar Cave Walk, the guided cave tour follows a 1.6km (one mile) floodlit passage. During the tour, your guide will provide plenty of information about the history of the cave and its geological wonders. You’ll be given a helmet before the tour begins.
Below, we’re going to talk about the 10 best sections of the cave. Hopefully, by knowing about the highlights of the cave, you’ll judge whether it’s worth the entry fee. After talking about the star attractions of the caves, we’ll answer the question – Is it Worth Visiting White Scar Cave?
1. Dummy of Long
Soon after entering the cave, you’ll come across a dummy of Christopher Francis Drake Long – the student who discovered the cave. The tour stops here for some time as your guide explains safety rules and a brief history.
2. The First Waterfall
Not long after passing the Dummy of Long, you’ll arrive at one of the cave’s most epic features – The First Waterfall. This underground waterfall is absolutely astonishing and deserves a visit in its own right. After passing the waterfall, you’ll then enter Long’s Gallery.
3. The Witch’s Fingers
In Long’s Gallery, you’ll pass another cascade, before reaching a passageway full of interestingly shaped formations. You’ll first pass the amazing Witch’s Fingers, one of the most bizarrely-shaped underground formations.
4. The Judge’s Head
After passing The Witch’s FIngers, you’ll arrive at The Judge’s Head. This feature of the cave is fairly self-explanatory. The formation is quite small, so you’ll need to crank up the zoom to capture it in a photo.
5. The Squeeze
After passing The Judge’s Head, you’ll reach a section of the cave, where the tour (from 1925–1990) used to conclude. Thankfully, with the additional discovery mentioned previously, you’ll continue to a section called The Squeeze. You’ll have to bend, duck and weave, as you navigate this section of the tour. You’ll then arrive at more bizarre rock formations such as the Sword of Damocles and Crown of Thorns.
Basically, the Sword of Damocles was an incredibly long stalactite. But, unfortunately, it was snapped by a visitor. So, the sword is currently held together by string. It’s possible for the sword to self-mend; but, this will take many years. Because of these acts of vandalism, you’ll find many formations are protected by a cage.
6. Arum Lily
One of the most spectacular formations in this part of White Scar Caves is Arum Lily, which is a stalagmitic column. This is when a stalactite growing downwards and a stalagmite growing upwards join together.
7. The Devil’s Tongue
Once you’ve admired Arum Lily, you’ll soon arrive at the intriguing Devil’s Tongue.
Given the age of the cave (approx. 350,000,000 years old), there are plenty of fossils embedded in the cave. Keep an eye out for crustacean fossils in the cave walls and ceiling.
8. The Carrots
Afterwards, you’ll arrive at a viewing platform at the Battlefield Cavern. From the platform, you’ll see tens of thousands of stalactites hanging from the cave’s ceiling. Some of these are small orange stalactites known as The Carrots.
9. The Battlefield Cavern
Perhaps, the most fascinating feature of the entire cave tour are the thousands of straw stalactites you can see from the Battlefield Cavern. During the tour, the guide will shine ultraviolet light on the stalactites, which, in turn, glow. These fragile formations are truly wondrous.
10. The Face
The final attraction of the cave tour is The Face, which is found at the far end of the Battlefield Cavern. You’ll have to use your imagination to find The Face on the cave wall.
After exploring the Battlefield Cavern, you’ll simply retrace your steps to complete the tour.
Is it Worth Visiting White Scar Cave?
Personally, Beck and I really enjoyed our visit to the caves. In terms of show caves in Yorkshire, we think that the White Scar Caves is the best show cave in the area. We’ve also visited the Ingleborough Cave and Stump Cross Caverns show caves and think the White Scar Caves is the pick of the bunch. That’s simply because White Scar Cave has the most fascinating and aesthetically pleasing underground formations.
Additionally, you’ll do self-guided tours at the other show caves. Although we welcomed this freedom, we think we learnt more about the caves by doing a tour, which added to the experience at the White Scar Caves.
So, in short, we think it’s worth visiting and highly recommend it.
How to Get to White Scar Cave
The quickest and easiest way to get to the White Scar Caves is to drive there yourself. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car using Rentalcars.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Rental Cars for reasonable prices. The website is user-friendly and booking online is super easy.
Although it’s possible to get to the caves using public transport, we don’t recommend it. Depending on where you’re travelling from in the UK, you’ll likely have a slow and tedious journey to get there. Additionally, the frequency of buses can be very limited, making public transport an unreliable option.
But, if public transport is your only option, you’ll want to get to Leeds in order to get a train to Bentham. From Bentham, you’ll need to get a bus to Ingleton. From Ingleton, we recommend taking a taxi, which should take around five minutes. Otherwise, from Ingleton, you can walk 2.9km (1.8 miles) along the B6255 to reach the caves.
Another option is to get a bus to Kirkby Lonsdale from Lancaster. From Kirkby Lonsdale, you can catch a bus to the caves.
We recommend using Google Maps and Trainline to help plan your journey using public transport.
White Scar Cave Parking
There is ample free parking on-site.
Other Caves in the Yorkshire Dales National Park
There are plenty of other North Yorkshire caves to explore. Below, are other caves in the Yorkshire Dales worth seeing.
- Gaping Gill: this incredible cave has the largest cavern and underground waterfall in the UK. For only two weeks of the year, it’s possible to be winched down into the cave!
- Ingleborough Cave: our second favourite show cave in the Yorkshire Dales.
- Stump Cross Caverns (guide coming soon): another amazing show cave in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- Yordas Cave (guide coming soon): found near Ingleton, this is another cave that features a hidden waterfall.
- Trollers Gill: at this underrated limestone ravine, near Appletreewick, you’ll find several caves to explore.
Where to Stay
If you’re needing accommodation near White Scar Cave, it’s best to stay in the nearby beautiful village of Ingleton. Below, we’ll talk about the best budget, mid-range and luxury options in Ingleton.
- Budget – Ingleton Hostel: the best budget option in Ingleton is Ingleton Hostel.
- Mid-range – Craven Heifer Ingleton: this beautiful country inn is one of the most affordable private room options in Ingleton. Additionally, Craven Heifer Ingleton is one of the most highly-rated options in the village.
- Mid-range – The Wheatsheaf Inn: you’ll want to book The Wheatsheaf Inn if you want to stay in the most popular accommodation option in Ingleton. Indeed, this B&B is an excellent place to stay.
- Luxury – The Marton Arms: the rustic-style Marton Arms is a brilliant country inn to stay at. It’s located just outside of the town of Ingleton. So, it’s the perfect place to stay if you’re after something a little more quiet and removed. You’re also just a stone’s throw away from the impressive Yordas Cave.
Below, you’ll find our gear essentials for exploring this cave.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: waterproof shoes are ideal when exploring the wet and puddle-riddled paths inside the caves.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket that’ll keep you dry in the cave.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for walking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: it’s quite cold inside the cave (approx. 8°C), so you may want some warm layers.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
Because the caves are so well-lit, you won’t need to take your own headlamp. Whilst, tripods aren’t allowed.
- Visit the White Scar Cave cafe: you’ll find a nice cafe next to the ticket office.
- Walks near White Scar Caves: there are many brilliant walks near the caves. Of course, you’ll have to do the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail to see Ingleton Falls. Also, we recommend doing the Whernside Walk or the shorter Ribblehead Viaduct Walk in nearby Ribblehead. Otherwise, in nearby Clapham, you should do the Ingleborough Walk.
- Consider a dark tour: it’s also possible to do a tour in the dark if that’s your thing!
- Go to Ingleton afterwards: personally, we went from Ingleton Waterfalls to White Scar Caves. Indeed, visiting both Ingleton Falls and the White Scar Caves is a popular day trip.
- Other caves in England to visit: there are plenty of incredible England caves to visit. In fact, the nearby Peak District National Park is home to many caves. Go scope out Thor’s Cave, Dove Holes Cave on the Dovedale Walk and Robin Hood’s Cave on Stanage Edge. In terms of other show cave tours in the UK, again, the Peak District has plenty on offer. You’ve got the famous Blue John Cavern, Peak Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern (guides coming soon) to explore.
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