Gaping Gill, Clapham

#8 of 9 in Nature in Yorkshire Dales National Park
Gaping Gill is a natural cave in North Yorkshire, England. It is one of the unmistakable landmarks on the southern slopes of Ingleborough – a 98m deep pothole with the stream Fell Beck flowing into it. After falling through one of the largest known underground chambers in Britain, the water disappears into the bouldery floor and eventually resurges adjacent to Ingleborough Cave.The shaft was the deepest known in Britain, until Titan in Derbyshire was discovered in 1999. Gaping Gill still retains the records for the tallest unbroken waterfall in England and the largest underground chamber naturally open to the surface.FeaturesDue to the number of entrances which connect into the cave, many different routes through and around the system are possible. Other entrances include Jib Tunnel, Disappointment Pot, Stream Passage Pot, Bar Pot, Hensler's Pot, Corky's Pot, Rat Hole, and Flood Entrance Pot.The Bradford Pothole Club around Whitsun May Bank Holiday, and the Craven Pothole Club around August Bank Holiday, each set up a winch above the shaft to provide a ride to the bottom and back out again for any member of the public who pays a fee.
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Gaping Gill Reviews
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61 reviews
  • August 20, 2017
    You will struggle to beat the experience of being winched down gaping gill. It's incredible from start to finish and worth every penny of the £15. A must do.  more »
  • August 18, 2017
    Amazing experience! I haven't been there since I was a kid so took my 8 year old this year. The hike to Gaping Gill is fairly straight forward. Be prepared for a bit of a wait to head down into the Ca...  more »
  • August 6, 2017
    Book a place to stay overnight well in advance. Set off walking with a torch at about 3.oclock am to get an early place in the queue. Well worth the effort. You need to be reasonably healthy for the c...  more »
  • Awesome. Top tip, we stayed at clapham and set off a 6am. Early start but we were of the first few down, by the time we got back to the surface folks had upwards of 3 hours to wait. Worth it but get there early.
  • If you're going for the chair lift, make sure to get there at as close to 8am as possible to avoid hours of queuing
  • I'd like to come back and have the opportunity to go down. Although trying to peak from the top was terrifying enough for me.
  • Only available 2 weeks of the year. A great experience to be winched through a small entrance parallel to the waterfall into a spectacular cave below. Be prepared to wait after an hours walk up from Clapham village we waited 3 hours for our turn on the winch down. It also took another hour to be lifted back out. It's a temporary site so no creature comforts but there was a toilet tent, which came in handy during the long wait. The caving club that run the event are all real enthusiasts and this is evident in the whole set up.
  • Awesome, when it's open (very rarely!) As everyone says, be prepared for a long long wait -- 2 to 4 hours. Go up there early, get you place, then go for a long walk while your turn comes around. The waterproofs they provide are useful, but not exactly clean, so bear that in mind. Though this is the largest natural cavern around, I'm not sure whether some of the man made caverns in the slate mines in North Wales are bigger. It's "only" the size of a cathedral inside...

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