While we were staying in Settle we went for a walk up to Victoria Cave. We didn’t actually go from Settle – you can, but we didn’t. We went from Langcliffe, a village some way down the road from Settle. It’s one of those villages that’s all on one side of a road, other than the odd outlying building. There’s a little car park in front of what used to be the village school, and is still recognisable as such, and to the right of this car park is a road leading up and out of Langcliffe.
You go up this road. You can park in the car park and walk up, or park further up. Depends on how far you want to walk. It is quite some way up the road, and it does climb. What you’re looking for is a bit where the road bends and there’s a track going off to the right, where there is space for parking. You go along this track.
And it’s a very clear path from here. Just go along the track, through a gate, and then along the edge of a large field.
There’s not really a lot I can say. You’re just following the track. I think the field is quite interesting to look at, as far as fields go. This is an area with a lot of limestone, and it’s very visible as you’re walking along. It adds a lot of character to the landscape.
I know I’m not doing a good job of getting this across, but it is very beautiful. I’m just a bit spoilt when it comes to beautiful landscapes, and there’s only so many ways I can say how lovely it all is. But it is. So yeah, round the field, until you come to a gate across the path. You go through there, and then you leave the path you’re on. There’s a little sign pointing the way, but basically you just step to the right, off the path, turn around, and go through a little gate that is now in front of you. Now you’re on a small path, but still a clear one, that sticks to the wall. After a bit another path branches off it to the left, climbing. This is the path you take to get to the cave, and there’s some cool views across the countryside as you walk along. Before you reach Victoria Cave, there’s another little cave. Not a proper one, just a little opening that you can slip inside and look out for. But anyone who’s anything like myself will feel compelled to do so, so I thought I’d mention it. Then you carry on along until you reach Victoria Cave, so called because it was discovered the year Queen Victoria was coronated. And it really excited archaeologists, because the cave has a lot of historic value. Archaeology isn’t really my thing, and I can’t claim to fully understand all the things about why it’s important, but I think I get the gist, and I’ll try to sum it up.
The value seems to relate to three things. One is the rock itself, as the layers are reflective of different geological periods, so it’s a sort of timeline, I guess. Geology is definitely not something I know about, but I can see that would be interesting to people who do.
They found stuff there too. Lots of animal bones, from different prehistoric periods. Again, I’m not that knowledgeable about this, but I can certainly understand the historical importance of bones. And there were Roman artefacts, enough that they must have been using the cave for something, suggestions being storage, shelter or a shrine.
So yeah, the Victorians were pretty excited about finding this place.
Just to look at, though, it’s admittedly not especially impressive. I mean, I think it’s pretty cool, because it’s a cave. Caves, waterfalls, woods, etc, they’re basically all cool to me. But it’s a nice cave rather than a mind-blowing cave. I had a look round, but didn’t really stay in very long.
You can’t go in very far, as there are barriers. They’re not impassable barriers, you could quite easily get to the other side, but you shouldn’t. They’re there to protect the cave and the people visiting the cave. Apparently there is a chance of roof falls, which I’m just going to assume is less of a danger in the bit where you are allowed. I hope it is.
There’s another opening to the top left of the main one. You can get up to this, and I did, but I did not go in here. I kind of assumed I wasn’t supposed to. I don’t know if there’s a way down to the main bit from here, but if there is it’s not for random walkers to try.
Once you’ve had your fill of the cave, you set off back. Or you can go in, Victoria Cave can just be a stop in a longer walk. But we went back the way we’d came.
So I guess that’s the end to this post. Thanks for reading.