13 October 2017

Places To Visit: Dan yr Ogof, Wales

Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog

I have never been in a cave before - and I'm not talking about small little caves you find by the seaside, I'm talking mountain and underground tunnels, think of The Descent style. So I was really looking forward to exploring caves and seeing what they are all about!

Dan yr Ogof is a cave located in National Showcaves Centre which are one of South Wales' biggest attractions, and is also home to Cathedral Cave and Bone Cave. This collection three caves gives you the best beginner experience into the world of caves, and what to expect. From tiny passages, to huge open space caves with waterfalls - this experience is a must.

Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog

As you approach the entrance of Dan yr Ogof, you can see the river Llynfell and the waterfall flow through the hills which is a stunning natural view before you begin your journey of a cave trail for 6km. I'm going to throw this out there and say - if you are claustrophobic, this may not be the best place for you to hang out. However saying that I am terrified of confined spaces, especially when I don't know where the exit is or how long I'm going to be confined for - yet I managed to get over that fear and really enjoy myself in the caves! I did stop a couple of times for a quick 'breather' as I started to realise just where I was and how far the exit was from me - but those 5 minutes of panic were worth the beautiful sights to see in the caves.

There are beautiful rock formations which you can see along the way, and water flows through some of the walls in the cave, echoing down small passages. The whole system is over 16km of explored passageways, and I'm sure the more experienced cagers get to see the beauty of those caves - but for beginners, this trail is perfect.

Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog

Some of the more famous formations in the cave are 'Rasher of Bacon', 'Alabaster Pillar' and 'Angel' - the wings of which you can see in the photo above. What you see in the caves is so magical and beautiful - the formations were incredible, just like someone has carved them! But it's the caves themselves too - they are incredibly formed and just experiencing them is breathtaking. 

I changed my mind about caving - something that used to really scare me, and although it still does a little bit especially thinking about crawling through small passages, has now become an exciting experience and something I want to try again! I'd highly recommend Dan yr Ogof cave to anyone who wants to see what caves are all about, or even tackle your claustrophobia. Plus, it's a great family day out so you can all go!

Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog

A more relaxed experience, even for those who don't like closed and small spaces, was the Cathedral Cave - a beauty which sadly I don't feel we even captured on camera. The Cathedral Cave is a tunnel like cave which is just above Dan yr Ogof Farm, and is a spacious cave with a cavern which is known as The Dome of St. Paul's - where you can actually get married!

It's a stunning cave with a waterfall coming down the wall - the photos really don't do this place any justice. Although when it comes to getting married there, I can imagine it would be the photographer and videographers nightmare because of lighting and sound from the waterfalls...

This was an easier cave to manage, there is plenty of space and the cavern is only a few minutes walk from the entrance - so this shouldn't be a problem for anyone who is uncomfortable in closed spaces.

Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog, Cathedral Cave
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog, Cathedral Cave
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog, Cathedral Cave in Wales
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog, Cathedral Cave in Wales
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog, Cathedral Cave
Dan yr Ogof Cave, caves in Wales, things to do in Wales, lifestyle blog

The third cave which is the Bone Cave can be reacher by walking up a tiny metal passage up to the top of the hill - and it's a tiny cave which has been set up to talk about the history of the caves, the story of the 42 human skeletons which were found when this cave was discovered. I have to admit that the walk up there was more exciting than the cave itself because I wish they would have left it as was, rather than setting it up with mannequins of ancient people... Too touristy!

Overall the caves were a very exciting experience, and something completely different from what I would do - and the best part is that it actually made me want to go and explore more caves, go for more extreme options, which I never ever thought I would want to do!
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