Cave Descriptions


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Return trip to Master Cave

1 1 0 (Upper cave) 4 (Master Cave) 1 hour

Valley Entrance is often used as a quick way out from Kingsdale Master Cave after a trip down Swinsto Hole or Simpson’s Pot; however, it is actually an interesting cave in its own right. Just 15 minutes of easy caving can be enjoyed by absolute novices in all weather.

For those with basic ropework skills, and in suitably dry conditions, you can descend a short easy pitch at the end of Valley Entrance into to the impressive Kingsdale Master Cave. This is a large river passage which can be followed upstream for some distance to meet the bottom of Simpson’s Pot, Swinsto Hole and even (for those willing to undertake some free-diving) Rowten Pot.


Park in either of the laybys just before or after the track to Braida Garth Farm on the Kingsdale road. Please do not park too close to, or across from the farm track as this can block access.


Grid reference: SD 6990 7741

Valley Entrance can be seen from the road, only 20m away. It is almost opposite the start of the track towards Braida Garth Farm. A pipe emerges from the ground.


Just inside the entrance, a short wet section (knee or possibly waist deep) emerges into a dry passage. Then, approximately 15 minutes of easy caving involving walking, stooping and crawling reaches a single easy 8m pitch down into the Kingdale Master Cave. There is only one junction on this route; a split near the start where the way on is right into a stooping height cobbled floor passage (left goes to an extensive series of passages which can be explored if desired).

Immediately below the pitch, the water disappears into the sump. It resurges approximately 2km away at Keld Head, near the bottom of the Kingsdale valley. Walk upstream to enjoy a tremendous, but all too brief, view of the Master Cave. The more intrepid explorer may now choose to continue, via some swimming, to the Rowten Sumps or, via 10 minutes of low and wet crawling, to a climb up through boulders to reach the bottom of Swinsto Great Aven and the route coming down from Swinsto Hole and Simpson’s Pot.

Additional reading:

Selected Caves (page 73)

Location Map: