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Review: Poole’s Cavern

Updated: Mar 7

Reviewed by Fliss Goldsmith - April 2023


What better way to spend a drizzly rainy day than underground in the glorious High Peak. That’s exactly where I found myself and my 2 adventuring children at the start of the Easter holidays. Along with a very good friend and her beautiful boy. Poole’s Cavern has always been somewhere on my ‘to visit’ list so I was excited to see what treasures awaited.


When we arrived, there was ample parking space right next to the visitor centre entrance. As we walked through the doors the glorious gift shop immediately engaged all our eyes. So many beautiful gems, toys, books, hand-crafted jams and more – but these would have to wait as we had a schedule!



Tours run on the hour, and we had booked the 11am slot. The lady on the reception desk greeted us with a smile and checked us in. We were then shown through to the exhibition rooms. Of course, our children (aged 10,9 and 7) were enthralled with the hands-on stuff, digging in a box of earth and sand for bones is prime kid territory!

Wall to wall facts from pre-history, through Roman times to present day had me hooked. There was a table set up with colouring activities and glass cases filled with ancient coins, jewellery, and skulls! Our tour guide arrived and led us outside to the mouth of the cavern. She was enthusiastic and very considerate of the children in the group.



In we went channelling our inner Indiana Jones and began the descent. The path is well paved and there are handrails for those less sure of their footing. The initial path is just wide enough for wheelchairs and pushchair access and once past the opening it widens out considerably. It is chilly so I advise taking warm clothing layers whatever time of year you visit.

We learned so many facts as we meandered through the awe-inspiring caves. It is well lit, and the pace of the tour is slow enough for everyone to keep step but quick enough to keep children’s attention. The whole tour lasts 45 minutes and you will see some very impressive sights including stalagmites, stalactites, a river, and some interpretive rock formations (it’s either a swan, a cauliflower or a chicken’s bottom apparently!)



Once back in daylight and relishing the might and beauty of Mother Nature it was time for a wee! If you are anything like me toilets are important in reviewing an attraction! The toilets here are clean, easily accessible and there are disabled and baby changing facilities available. As promised, we delved into the glorious gift shop. My son bought an amethyst geode, and my daughter chose a tiger’s eye bracelet and gemstone. I was pleasantly surprised at how reasonably priced everything was. There is a cosy café next to the shop and the smell of homemade soups and scones drifting past was divine. Annoyingly I was too organised and had bought my own sandwiches so had no reason to visit – but next time there will be no stopping me!



The weather had turned against us and so we did not get to check out the wondrous walks which are part of the Poole’s Cavern area. This is an experience that also means I will be coming back. You really can make a very full day of it here for all the family. It is educational, interesting, active and a proud piece of natural Derbyshire heritage. A highly recommended attraction to check out – a total treasure!


Fliss Goldsmith - April 2023

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