One Sunday, I paid a visit to the Speedwell Cavern in Castleton with My sister and her family, my mum and dad and my wife and daughter (under 2).
The car park cost us £3.50 for 3 hours.
Under 5’s go in for free. Bonus!
Adults were asked for £8.75 entrance and children £6.75
So, a quick calculation of the total bill for our visit, soon came to: £64.00
Once inside, we were quickly given a health and safety talk by a young and energetic young man. Having found a helmet to fit our heads (none small enough for my daughter), we then proceeded down over a hundred steps into the cavern itself. You had to be careful of the sometimes wet and slippy steps and there was a rail down the middle to assist in this carefulness.
When we arrived at the bottom of the steps, we then boarded a long metallic boat. Having dried the seat I was about to sit on, that had become wet from other people stepping on it to move down the boat, we awaited the next part of our adventure.
Alas, the adventure was put on hold for 10 minutes whilst the tour guide complained about his colleagues not doing what they were supposed to do and this was the reason the boat engine wouldn’t fire up.
Finally on the move, we meandered in the boat along a low ceiling tunnel (hence the provision of safety hats). I kept my daughter on my knee and inside the boat, so her not wearing a safety hat wasn’t an issue.
The tour guide told his story with some enthusiasm and some very interesting scary noises; that weren’t that scary at all! the history of the tunnel was interesting and the boat ride was different, but after 10 minutes you get a little bored as the tunnel is nothing special and quite honestly, the story was long-winded. We finally got the end of one of the tunnels and disembarked into an open cave. There was no special lighting to enhance any of it at all. There was just the standard lighting so you could see where you were. Taking photos required a flash and thus ruined the atmosphere of the cave.
We were told a story about how the water became luminous (pictured above), however, after 30 years or more, the water is no longer luminous and thus, not an added part of the attraction.
A couple more stories are told in this small cave, that expands downwards and upwards; you are effectively on a man-made platform; and then we all re-embarked and headed back.
I have visited many attractions in the UK and I have to say, although I had to visit Speedwell Cavern, so I could simply say I’ve
done it, this really isn’t that impressive for the amount of money you part with.
This only gets a one binocular rating out of five for me.
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