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Two of the best and most accessible caves in the Yorkshire Dales: Jubilee and Victoria Cave

Two of the best and most accessible caves in the Yorkshire Dales: Jubilee and Victoria Cave

Looking for some of the best caves to visit in the Yorkshire Dales National Park? Then look no further! Jubilee and Victoria Cave are both free to visit and are in a wonderful location on Attermire Scar. The caves are family friendly and easy to access from multiple start points. This 6.8km walk starts in Langcliffe and visits both caves on the route but be sure to keep an eye out for other hidden caves too as there’s loads of them dotted in the landscape. Jubilee and Victoria Caves are two popular caves located just above the town of Settle in the Yorkshire Dales and both have a lot of history behind them including the discovery of Roman artefacts and lots of animal bones being found here. This is the perfect walk for some simple cave exploration and although it’s a popular location, the walk is incredibly scenic and you’re likely to still enjoy pockets of peacefulness on your hike. Definitely not one to miss!

At a Glance

Difficulty: Moderate - steady ascents, some rough, muddy, slippery and steep paths.

Distance: 6.8km

Total Ascent: 311m

Est Time: 3 hours not including rest stops

Starting location: Langcliffe parking - BD24 9NF (honesty box to pay)

Dog friendly: Probably not - there’s a few ladder climbs to navigate and inside the caves are quite rocks however if your dog is used to this then they’ll be fine. Also be mindful of any grazing livestock and rocky sections in the caves

The route

Starting in the village of Langcliffe from the parking area, the route starts with some steep uphill walking (sorry!) all the way towards the first cave; Jubilee Cave. Start off by turning left out of the parking area and heading uphill until you see a path through a wooden gate alongside a tree on your right. It is signposted for you so follow this path uphill following the wall alongside you. 

Route guidance for Jubilee and Victoria Caves

The path then winds its way around to the right before quickly heading higher up the hillside towards some trees in the distance and back in the general direction of the road you came from (but higher up the road). Effectively, you’ll be roughly tracking the road but nobody likes boring road walking do they, so this saves out on all of that! Eventually, you’ll meet up with the road again but it’s a right turn here and onto a wonderfully maintained farm track alongside a wall and towards some farm buildings.

map for Jubilee and Victoria Cave Yorkshire Dales

Carry on walking and head straight past the farm buildings on your right until you reach a gate with some beautiful cliffs in front of you and gorgeous views back down to the rolling hills behind you. Head straight through the gate and towards the rocky outcrop ahead of you. You’ll need to retrace some of these steps later so remember this gate! Keep an eye out for a ladder stile on the left as just ahead of this is Jubilee Cave, slightly up the hill. The right hand entrance is just in sight and you’ll need to detour off the path to reach it. It can get quite windy in this section so be sure to make sure you have a warm layer with you such as the Oversized Colour Block Fleece.

Yorkshire Dales walk in Langcliffe

Jubilee Cave

Jubilee Cave has a double entrance and the main cave passage is split into two parallel tunnels separated by a wall. The right hand entrance is easy to walk straight into and goes back around 20 metres or so until you reach a dead end and a blocked passageway. Look to your right and you’ll see some sunlight creeping through and if you look to your left there’s a little “window” in the rock which allows you to see through into the other passage. The left entrance requires a bit of a duck down to avoid hitting your head on the rocks and the roof is a little lower in there. It’s only small but it’s still a fun place to explore and the photo opportunities from inside the cave looking out onto the countryside is one not to be missed. 

Jubilee Cave entrance Yorkshire Dales

One of the things I geek out over with caves is the history behind them and Jubilee is a right corker of a history lesson! In the late 19th century, archaeological excavations took place in the cave and the findings were impressive; not only were artefacts from when the Romans ruled found here but there were also materials from as far back as the Iron Age and Mesolithic era discovered in the cave! It’s crazy to imagine how this landscape was used all those years ago. 

Jubilee Cave

Once you’ve explored the cave and taken all your photos, it’s time to head back the way you came, down the track and back towards that gate I told you to remember. Once you reach the gate again, the oath heads left up the hill side and through a wooden swinging gate before following a stone wall on your right hand side. After a few minutes, you’ll see a step, well trodden path cutting up the grassy bank to the left. Follow this and you’ll reach Victoria Cave. 

Langcliffe and Settle walks in the Yorkshire Dales

Victoria Cave

This one is a beauty of a cave! Its huge entrance was discovered by chance in 1837 and got its name from the then Queen Victoria. Its discovery is quite a story as a man named Michael Horner discovered it when he crawled inside a small hole in search of his dog. As he squirmed through, he discovered the bones of animals, coins and metal objects. After further excavation years later, archaeologists found the fossilised bones of elephants and hippos as well as more Roman artefacts. This whole area would have once been covered in a tropical sea near the equator which I just find mind blowing! 

Best caves in Yorkshire Dales

The entrance we go through today is actually the excavated one and the original entrance first discovered is up to the right of the cave. See if you can find it while you’re there - it’s a tiny little rectangular slot in the rock - let me know if you find it! The main chamber inside is huge but completely natural, it’s just the entrance that has been opened up - not that I’m complaining because it means we can visit this wonderful cave! 

Inside Victoria Cave Yorkshire Dales walks

Once you’re inside the chamber, be sure to look up and back behind you to really get a sense of the scale of this place. There’s a sign and a metal bar about half way in the cave advising you not to go further; this is because of the risk of falling rocks and dangerous passages further into the cave. 

Victoria Cave Yorkshire Dales

To leave this cave, head back out and this time look for a path heading down the slope in front of you to the left. Follow this path all the way until there is a gap in the wall where you turn right. This route has quite a few stiles to navigate in places so I'd definitely recommend checking out the hiking leggings to allow freedom of movement while you walk and explore!

Attermire Scar

The section you’ve just walked under is Attermire Scar - also known for lots of hidden caves as well as the impressive, although unimaginatively named Attermire Cave, the keyhole in the rock race which will be just around the corner from where you turn right at the gap in the wall. 

Attermire Scar walk Yorkshire Dales

I ventured up here once with my dog Ricoh who’s known for being a bit of a cave hunter and the views are insane from up here. However, this isn’t a cave you should venture into without a professional so best to admire it from a distance or if you really wanted to, you can scramble up to the cave entrance to take a peek. It’s steep, so be warned! 

Attermire Cave Yorkshire Dales

Heading back to Langcliffe

The way back is relatively straightforward and you just need to follow the path alongside the wall before it cuts right slightly towards the rock face and carries on downhill until you can see the town of Settle in the distance. There is an optional trig point up on the cliffs above you which you can add in to your adventure (see top tips at the bottom for some guidance). Be sure to follow the path right when you meet a wall with the option of only going right or left. Left will take you into Settle and right is what you want - back to Langcliffe. You’ll come out exactly where you started, just up from the car park. 

Map and key locations 

Access the route on the OS Map App here.

OS map of Jubilee Cave and Victoria Cave Yorkshire Dales


1: Starting location for the walk from the parking area in Langcliffe

2: Jubilee Cave

3: Victoria Cave

4. The base of Attermire Scar

5: Optional trig point

Komoot App

Have you ever tried Komoot? Komoot allows you to access routes planned by others or plan your own which you can then download to your phone to follow while you are out. Komoot is free to join and access and you can find the route for his walk here.

Top Tips

  • If the parking area is full in Langcliffe there are a couple of other options; there’s a small parking lot at Winskill Stones Nature Reserve which starts higher up and closer to Jubilee Cave or there’s also ample parking in Settle at Greenfoot Car Park although you will have to adapt your route slightly if you choose to park in either of these
  • Please be mindful that caves are dangerous places and even though these are open to the public, be sure to adhere to all warning signs and not to cross any safety barriers
  • Remember to take a headtorch! 
  • There are no facilities on route 
  • There is a trig point that you could make an optional visit to - the best way to do this is after visiting Victoria Cave by following the fence line up for a short while and then using your navigation skills to reach the trig. 

For additional UK outdoor adventures, wild swimming, hiking routes and more, check my other blog posts here on MY URBAN TRAIL and follow me @Wild_0utdoors on Instagram.

Happy adventuring!