As the rain and mist moved up the valley and the temperature was peaking at only 16 degrees, some prehistoric gene took over and we had an urge to seek refuge in a cave, although we did stop at dressing in Mammoth fur and hunting for our lunch. A cheese salad sandwich and an Americano from the café sufficed.
Seriously, as we were staying less than 10 miles away from the Dan-yr-Ogof National Showcaves we decided to give them a visit. We had both visited the caves when we were kids but that was a very long time ago. It was so long ago I think the real Mammoths were still roaming the hills rather than the current fibre glass variety.
There are 3 main caves you can visit:
1. Dan yr Ogof Cave
This is the first cave and one of the longest, as you explore the route the voices of the Morgan brothers can be heard recreating their dramatic discovery in 1912. You get to see the cave formations such as the ‘Alabaster Pillar’ the ‘Angel’ and a formation that does look like a large ‘Rasher of Bacon’.
2. The Cathedral Cave
As the name suggests after entering the cave and following the path for about 100 yards you end up in a colossal cavern complete with cascading water falls and unusual rock formations. This cave is actually licensed for civil marriages and there is a wedding chapel in the cavern so you’ll be OK if you suddenly get the urge to marry.
Look out for the original cave entrance, a small tunnel that the brothers squeezed through with only candles as light.
3. The Bone Cave
This cave is the smallest but possibly the spookiest, 42 human skeletons have been found in the chamber. There is an interesting film presentation projected onto the rock face explaining the discoveries found in the cave. The entry to this is cave quite low and a hard hat is required, you will bump your head!
Around the grounds of Dan-yr-Ogof is the Dinosaur Park with over 200 life size models that kids and immature husbands would love, combined with the caves and the woods there is a great atmosphere.
Other attractions include the Museum, Iron Age Farm, Shire Horse Centre, Kids Play Area and a number of Stone Circles to investigate. Allow at least half a day to see all the attractions.
Dan-yr-Ogof is one of Wales’s hidden treasures and has been named as the greatest natural wonder in Britain in a Radio Times readers poll. So if you are touring the South Wales area then we would definitely recommend visiting the caves, it is interesting for kids, adults and Neanderthal’s wanting to reminisce about the good old days.