Creswell Crags Reviews
Ice Age Caves Sep 24, 2009
Creswell Crags is a limestone gorge in the North of Nottinghamshire.
There is an exhibition where you can learn about your ice age ancestors and see the stone tools and remains of animals found in the caves. Then outdoors there is a lake and caves within the gorge.
We decided to do both of the available tours, the Ice Age Cave Tour and the Rock Art Cave Tour (£13 including exhibition Entry). You need to book onto the tours so either ring ahead on get there early.
We arrived at about 11 and didn't have a tour booked till 12.30 so opted for a nice gentle stroll around the lake. It was nice to have a look at all the caves, first up Boat House Cave then onto Church Hole, which is where the cave art tour is. All the caves are protected with bars so you can't actually get into then on your own.
As we got to the top of the lake there is Dog Hole and Pin Hole. The caves on the North side of the gorge were used as accommodation by Neanderthals as they hunted reindeer and then by Ice Age people hunting mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, horse, reindeer and bison (who'd have thought they used to live in the UK!)
We then passed The Arch, a number of caves which look like, well and arch! Past Robin Hoods cave, yet another to be linked by myth to the outlaw (pretty much every cave in this area is said to have been used by Robin Hood as a shelter!). This is where the Ice age tour is.
We finished at Mother Grundy's Parlour, named apparently because Mother Grundy, a 'witch' from the nearby town was banished and chose to live here.
There is a nice picnic area, where we had a spot of lunch before meeting out guide for the Ice Age tour.
The Ice Age tour was brilliant, I was excited as soon as we were given hard hats with a torch on it! The guide very knowledgeable and witty making the whole history thing fun and I actually listened (something I struggled with at school). The tour is fairly accessible, the first section being in several caverns which you have to climb wooden steps to get to. Once in a number of artefacts are passed round and explained. The second section is harder to get to and allot of fun. You have to crawl down a small tunnel into a huge open cavern. After turning off all the torches to see just how dark it is, you get shown cave lion and hyena bones which were found in the cave. Defiantly worth the cost and I would do it again just to play in the caves!
We got back to the centre just in time for the second tour, change of hard hat (no light on this one, boo!) and back into the gorge. This is allot more sedate but quiet impressive. Some of the art is easy to see but allot of it just looks like lines and I wasn't sold. Not as impressive as the other tour.
In all a good day out, learn while having fun! Ideal for young families and big kids!
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