Wookey Hole Caves, near Wells in Somerset, are a great day out for all the family, no matter what the weather or time of year.
Just a couple of miles from the beautiful city of Wells and 20 miles from Bath, Bristol and Weston-Super-Mare, Wookey Hole Caves are very easy to find – we approached from the M5 and found it signposted from Junction 22. There is a large, free car park and an attendant was on hand to show us to a space.
All the staff at Wookey Hole Caves were friendly and helpful, explaining the layout, approximately how long the tour would take and where to buy the tickets. A great first impression and we were lucky that the bad weather that had been forecast did not materialise. There would still have been plenty to do if it had rained though.
We started with a visit to the caves, entered via a covered walkway, which would be handy in the event of queuing in the rain. The tour works on a one-way basis, so it is best to start there and then visit the rest of the site’s attractions.
We had a short wait before being met by our guide, who set the scene, pointing out that the earliest human settlers in the valley of Wookey Hole 50,000 years ago, who hunted bear and rhinoceros with stone weapons, must have been in awe of the great caves that had already existed for millions of years. It was great to be led through the caves with the experience of a guide who knew exactly what he was talking about.
I was a little concerned that our youngest son (aged six) might be scared – and I was a bit nervous myself – but the beauty of the caves and the detailed information ensured the experience was very enjoyable. I think it would be tricky, however, for families with very young children or people with mobility difficulties as the dampness of the caves makes the ground rather slippy and in some parts – it is a tight squeeze with limited head room. Wookey Hole does offer special buggies with lighter wheels for parents with very young children to use though.
After touring the caves, there are a host of activities for all the family to take part in and we found something for suitable for everyone. As you leave the caves behind and return to the open you go through a magical fairy garden featuring stone-carved fairy-tale creatures, before walking under a 20-foot tall King Kong and on to the Valley of the Dinosaurs, with towering models of the T-rex and Stegosaurus among others. Continuing the dinosaur theme, there is a brilliant ‘The Lost World’ 4-D cinema show, plus at the weekends there’s a circus which includes spectacular acrobatics. There is also a vintage penny arcade and an hilarious hall of mirrors.
When it came to food, we took our own picnic but there were plenty of places to eat around the attraction too. There is also a coffee shop and a restaurant / cafe serving a range of good food and hot drinks.
We had a fantastic time and only left because the attraction was closing. There is plenty to do if it is raining and there is something for all ages, plus it’s good value for money, especially if you book online in advance. We’d definitely recommend it to others – a five-star day out.
Review and photos by writer Cathy Owen