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Yordas Cave: The Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

Yordas Cave: The Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

Yordas Cave is a spectacular cave in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Located near the charming village of Ingleton, Yordas Cave not only features a huge cavern but also a hidden waterfall. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about this underrated cave.

What Is the History of Yordas Cave?

In terms of caves to visit in the Yorkshire Dales, Yordas Cave remains a fairly lesser-known option. So, when it comes to visiting the less frequented cave, you’d be excused for thinking there isn’t much history associated with it. However, the cave actually has a fascinating history.

It was first described in detail by the traveller and writer Richard Pococke in 1751. Although, inscriptions found in the cave are believed to date back to 1653. So, it’s assumed the cave was explored by locals around this time or even beforehand. During the 19th century, Yordas Cave was actually a Victorian show cave.

Geologically speaking, Yordas Cave is a solutional cave, which means it’s formed by soluble limestone rock. The limestone found in the cave is part of the Great Scar Limestone Group in the Yorkshire Dales, which was formed during the Carboniferous period, roughly 350,000,000 years ago. This was at a time when the UK was located much closer to the equator.

FYI – according to folklore, the cave was named after a Nordic giant, called Yordas, who once occupied it. Whilst others say the name is derived from the Old Norse word, ‘Jord ass’, which translates to ‘earth stream’.

Read our Ingleborough Cave, White Scar Cave and Stump Cross Caverns guides

Yordas Cave, Kingsdale: The Location

So, where is Yordas Cave located? You’ll find it in the southwest part of the Yorkshire Dales in Kingsdale. To find out the exact location, please click on the link below to access an interactive map of the area.

A screenshot showing the location of Yordas Cave

Where Do You Park For Yordas Cave?

You’ll park here on Thornton Lane. There is a fairly long lay-by on this section of the road, which allows around half a dozen cars to park. Now, let’s talk about finding this epic cave!

How to Find Yordas Cave

Thankfully, it’s very easy and straightforward to find Yordas Cave. Opposite the small parking area on Thornton Lane, you’ll find a gate to enter Braida Garth Farm. Technically, Braida Garth Farm is private property. But, you’re allowed to enter the property to find the cave. The farm is actually located on open-access land, which gives you the right to roam.

Basically, the Braida Garth Farm gate is where the short Yordas Cave Walk begins.

Yordas Cave Walk Details

In reality, the walk to Yordas Cave is very short at only around 120 metres long. In terms of time, most people reach the cave from the roadside in just a few minutes. Once you’ve entered Braida Garth Farm, you’ll follow a faint path, slightly veering to the right up a small incline. You’ll then arrive at a second gate. Once you’ve passed through, within a matter of metres, you’ll see the opening of the cave to your left.

Dan stands at the entrance of Yordas Cave

Yordas Cave Entrance and Main Chamber

Once you arrive, you’ll want to get out your headlamp and torch before entering the dark cave. Mind your step as you walk down the slightly uneven and rocky declining path into the cave.

Dan stands near the entrance of Yordas Cave

Once you’ve entered the main opening of the cave, you’ll enter into a different world altogether. Setting eyes on the gigantic main cavern, referred to as the Main Chamber, is an awe-inspiring moment. Look out for bats flying around the ceiling.

Beck explores the man chamber in Yordas Cave
The main chamber

Chapter House Chamber and Waterfall

Once you’ve explored the Main Chamber, it’s time to progress deeper into the cave. At the far end of the cave, you’ll find a small chamber, where two passages unite. This small chamber is called the Chapter House Chamber. Inside this chamber, you’ll find one of the most hidden waterfalls in the Yorkshire DalesChapter House Waterfall.

Finding the hidden waterfall is a truly enjoyable moment. Admittedly, given the lack of light, it’s difficult to photograph the stunning waterfall in all its glory. But, that’s even more reason to go visit, so you can see it for yourself.

After gawking at the stunning waterfall and exploring the other narrow passage, you’ll simply retrace your steps to exit the cave.

Beck crouches in an opening to watch a waterfall
Chapter House Waterfall

Yordas Pot (Caving)

For most visitors, the main cavern and waterfall are the main attractions you’ll see during a visit to Yordas Cave. But, for cavers, there’s an opportunity to explore deeper underground. Personally, we are not cavers. So, we can’t talk from personal experience. But, it’s possible to enter the cave via a smaller opening called Yordas Pot. To find Yordas Pot, you’ll exit the cave, turn left, and climb further up the hill. Eventually, you’ll reach this alternate entrance. From there, you’ve got some technical caving on your hands to reach the Chapter House Chamber.

By caving here, you’ll be exploring part of the Kingsdale cave system. For more information, we recommend heading to the Council of Northern Caving Clubs website.

How to Get to Yordas Cave

The best way to get to Yordas Cave is to drive there yourself. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car.

Car Hire

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

It isn’t possible to get public transport to the cave. As far as we’re aware, there are no public transport routes that travel along Thornton Lane.

Is Yordas Cave Kid Friendly?

Yes, the cave is kid-friendly. Under supervision, the cave is appropriate for children to explore.

Other Classic Yorkshire Dales Caves

There are plenty of other caves to explore in the Yorkshire Dales. Below, you’ll find a list of 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: involving one of the best cave walks in the Yorkshire Dales, exploring Ingleborough Cave and surrounding natural wonders is one of the ultimate experiences you can have in the area.
  • White Scar Cave: found near Ingleton, this is another cave that features a hidden waterfall.
  • Stump Cross Caverns: another amazing show cave in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • Trollers Gill: at this underrated limestone ravine, near Appletreewick, you’ll find several caves to explore.
  • Tom Taylor’s Cave: a lesser-known yet impressive cave at How Stean Gorge in Nidderdale AONB.

Read more: Caves in Yorkshire – The 14 Best Caves in Yorkshire and The Dales

A person is winched down Gaping Gill
Gaping Gill

Where to Stay

If you need accommodation near Yordas Cave, you’ll find plenty of great options in the gorgeous nearby village of Ingleton. Below, we’ll talk about the best budget and mid-range options in Ingleton.

  • Budget – Ingleton Hostel: by far, 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.
Dan walks in Ingleton

Gear Essentials

Below, you’ll find our gear essentials for exploring this cave.

  • Headlamp: the cave is completely dark; so, you’ll need a headlamp.
  • Torch: we also took a torch to help us navigate around the cave. Having extra lighting was very helpful.

Other Yorkshire Dales Guides

Hardraw Force

For more information about the best things to do in the Yorkshire Dales, click the button below. Otherwise, to help you get started, read our 42 Best Yorkshire Dales Walks or 48 Best Yorkshire Dales Waterfalls guides.

Best Villages to See in the Yorkshire Dales

Bonus Tips and Helpful Information

  • Consider doing the Kingsdale and Yordas Cave Walk: to explore more of the limestone-rich area, consider doing this long walk.
  • Nearby pub: if you’re thirsty or hungry after exploring the cave, head to The Marton Arms. This rustic country inn is only a short drive from the cave. The pub is beautifully located and has a truly charming ambience.
  • Visit nearby Malham Cove: for more limestone wonders, head to Malham Cove. During the Malham Cove Walk, you’ll also see the incredible Gordale Scar and Janets Foss.
  • Other caves in north England: there are plenty of incredible caves to visit in this part of the country. 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 show caves in the Peak District, you’ve got the famous Blue John Cavern, Peak Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern to explore.

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Daniel Piggott

Dan is a travel blogger, physiotherapist, hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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