The Gaping Gill winch operates twice
a year; over the Spring Bank Week at the end of May, run by the Bradford
Pothole Club and at the end of August, run by the Craven
Situated on the SW slopes of Ingleborough
at an altitude of 1300ft (400m) above sea level, Fell Beck ends its meandering
course abruptly, and plunges 330ft(100m) down into the limestone plateau
creating Britainís highest unbroken waterfall. It lands on the floor of
Gaping Gill, the largest cavern in Britain, known as the Main Chamber.
The Bradford Pothole Club has held a Winch Meet here for over 60 years,
allowing members of the public and non-cavers the chance to visit this
truly awe-inspiring underground scene. It is an experience never forgotten
and many visitors return year after year, becoming familiar faces to be
welcomed back as old friends. The cavern is floodlit, allowing the public
and cavers alike a view not normally seen outside Winch Meets. It also
enables members of the public to meet cavers and discover that they are
surprisingly normal people with just a wild enthusiasm for all places
view of the Main Chamber by Martin Smith (Click & move around
the Chamber with your mouse)
The Gaping Gill system is one of Britainís
longest and most complex cave systems. As well as the Main Shaft the system
has nineteen other entrances. All these entrances unite underground and
the water running through the caves eventually emerges into daylight at
Ingleborough Cave, the Show Cave passed on the walk up to Gaping Gill.
The connection between the two caves was made in 1983 by cave divers negotiating
flooded sections of passages called sumps, using breathing apparatus.
The other entrances are not suitable for inexperienced cavers, who should
use the winch.
next Gaping Gill winch meet is by Craven Pothole Club
Advice for visitors.
Park in Clapham village and allow one and
a half hours to walk to Gaping Gill via the Ingleborough Estate Nature
Trail and Ingleborough Show Cave.
Please bring you own refreshments as none are provided at GG.
Limited refreshments can be obtained at Ingleborough Cave when it is open.
If the winch is not running due to bad weather, a notice will be posted
We recommend you wear warm waterproof clothing and boots or strong shoes.
We provide helmets and some extra waterproofs are also available (no extra
Bring gloves as your hands will get wet and cold.
Minimum age is 6 at the Leaders discretion. All children must be accompanied
by a responsible adult.
Maximum weight on the winch is 20 Stone (125Kg).
Although the Main Chamber is floodlit, a torch will add to your fun, enabling
you to explore nooks and crannies. Throughout the
Main Chamber are strategically placed notice boards, which enable the
visitor to explore the cavern without the need for a guide.
Photography is allowed down the hole so do bring a camera, but bear in
mind it is very damp underground so care must be taken to avoid damage
to electronic equipment .
Large parties are not a good idea at GG, they just cause long queues.
Please keep party numbers to a max of 10.
See how we set up the winch or visit the