Cave Descriptions


Return trip to the sump

3 3 2 3 (for bottom pitches) 3½ hours

Notts Pot is another classic pothole which is mostly on ropes.

A few short pitches (including the entrance) lead to a chamber with at least four different routes down the cave. Two of these are rigged for Eurospeleo (Centre Route and Left Hand Route). These two routes are excellent, and offer a variety of different SRT situations for you to enjoy. Both routes unite about half way down the cave, from where a single route continues to the final sump via some traverses and a draughty and dramatic final two pitches with the thundering water.


It may be possible to park on the road on either side of the cattle grid (without blocking access) for the closest approach; however, space here is limited (please avoid parking on the grass verges). If no space is available here, park at the first major layby on Leck Fell, 700m after the cattle grid, just before a wall on the left.

How to find:

Grid reference: SD 6709 7770

From the layby, walk back down the road to the cattle grid. At the cattle grid (just before) turn left through a gate. Follow this field straight ahead, staying near the right hand wall. After approximately 900m (about 20 minute walk uphill across the fell), turn left away from the wall. The large shakehole of Notts Pot is reached in a further 200m. This is quite hard to find, so a GPS/map and compass are very useful.


The first pitch is actually on the surface, into the bottom of the shakehole. At the bottom of this entrance pitch, crawl forward into the cave to very quickly reach an awkward 3m climb down into the stream (a short rope will be in place here). Continue downstream to reach a short pitch which drops into Four Ways Chamber. From here, two routes onwards have been rigged:

Left Hand Route: From Four Ways Chamber, an obvious winding passage leads away next to the bottom of the pitch. After only 20m, the first pitch of this route commences. Follow the rope!

Centre Route: A hole at the top of a short slope (on the left) at the back of Four Ways Chamber commences Centre route. This route is easily navigated by following the rope.

Both routes unite at the streamway. Go downstream and climb up several metres in the rift to locate a traverse rope. Follow this rope to the next pitch.

There are two more excellent pitches after this, both alongside the falling water. The final pitch lands directly onto the main downstream sump, but it is possible to swing into a short (5m) section of dry passage where a celebratory chocolate bar is often enjoyed before the upward journey.

Additional reading:

Selected Caves (page 94)

Northern Caving (page 54).

Location Map: