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Sunday, 21 August 2016

Poole's Cavern and Grin Low and Buxton Country Park

While we were on holiday, one of our day trips was to Poole's Cavern, which we have visited before, and Grin Low and Buxton Country Park, handily situated above the cavern!




Named after an historic local outlaw who hid in the cavern, the cavern itself was formed by water dissolving the limestone beneath the ground.

There's a small exhibition before you go in, and the entrance fee entitles you to visit again within a year. The cavern itself is around 7°C, regardless of the temperature outside, so take a coat.

Due to the cavern's status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, you can only go on an escorted tour, but they are quite frequent, last approximately one hour, and the tour guides are friendly and knowledgeable.

Legend has it, that Mary, Queen of Scots, once visited the cavern. Whilst it is known that she visited Buxton to take the waters for her rheumatism whilst under house arrest in England before her transfer to Fotheringhay Castle, there is no evidence to support the claim that she crawled on rheumatic hands and knees, for up to four hours, to reach the pillar which would have been the end of the tour then, and whilst it would be nice to think that she did, with just the light of a candle, through a muddy underground river-bed, the former Queen of France, and Scots is unlikely to have put herself through such an ordeal.

Nor, if she had, would she have seen as much as we did. Luckily for us, the Victorian's didn't give two hoots about conserving things as they were and as well as installing gas lighting throughout (no longer in use, thanks electricity) they actually dynamited a much larger entrance (yay, we can stand up) and through into further areas of the cavern. 

The cavern is known to stretch some distance further, beneath Grin Low Woods, but is unsafe at present, and accessible only by experienced climbing teams through a boulder choke around 11 or so feet up.

The underground river was dried up this time, but the rest of the cavern was still nice to visit. Photography is allowed (with flash) but let's be honest, my pictures weren't fabulous! 

However, please see a selection below;



















After the cavern, we ate sandwiches at a picnic bench near to Go-Ape, which LittleBit was devestated to be too young for, and then we climbed, a long way, up the 'short' route through Grin Low woods, to Buxton Country Park and across to Solomon's Temple.

The country park is in the peak district and therefore not flat, but LittleBit was determined to find somewhere to practice her football and cricket. We did (no photos of that though), but we had fun before we had to head back so we could venture into town to find something to have for tea (Buxton Tandoori is worth a visit, but doesn't take card payments, luckily, it's only a few minutes walk to the cash line). Again, photos below;

















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