Just a short distance out of the village is a show cave at Stump Cross Caverns. 350 million years ago this range of stalactites, stalagmites and unusual rock formations were formed in a warm , shallow sea.
It was discovered by lead miners in 1860 and opened some years later to the public. Further exploration has resulted on 4 miles in length of caves although the visitor only sees a short length of the caves on a walk that takes about 40 minutes.
The interiors are beautifully lit and the walk is a colourful display of the rock formations.
You must wear a hard hat as some ceilings are low and people were constantly banging their heads. The paths are good but damp with some puddles so take good shoes. Also it can be cold so take a coat too. Many steps both in and out of the caves so not suitable for all.
Good cafe and gift shop with clean restroom facilities.
The local dale museum just like the others does a nice job of showing you life in Nidderdale throughout history. A village shop belongs to the more popular themes, as does a school room and lots of Victoriana. The old ladies' hairdresser is amazing and makes you appreciate modern day styling.
The cavern was discovered in 1858 by a group of lead miners working in one of the many mines up on the moors and looking for more lead. The place then became famous in 1963 when a man called Geoff Workman set a world record for staying underground (105 days) and is today an open cavern system with a visitors centre, telling you about all the 90 000 year-old animal bones and things dug out during the explorations. Down in the cave (top level) you see how minerals have coloured the stones and this is further enhanced by lighting effects. Famous stalactites like the "Twins" and stalagmites like "the Hawk" can be admired but most famous is "the Sentinel", a more than 9 feet high column which is more than 10000 years old.
After your visit, it is nice to breathe the fresh air on the Craven Moor, listen to the wild birds in the heather and imagine the hard life of the lead-poisoned miners living up here summer as well as winter.
You hear it before you see it but the size makes it quite visual too! This old mill is still working and I cannot recommend a better place in the village for a pub lunchbreak as it is the Watermill Pub today and you can sit in (and play pool) or out in the garden, studying the wheel.