Overview

Dan yr Ogof caves are located at the National Showcaves Centre for Wales, a 17-kilometre (11 mi) long cave system in south Wales in the Upper Swansea Valley, Brecon Beacons National Park. The first section of the cave system is open to the public, but the extensive cave system beyond is scheduled as a national nature reserve and is open only to bona fide cavers.

  • Caves and campsite Visited the caves using tesco vouchers to pay entry,really only the caves that interested us as a couple, but the Cathed... read more

    MountainMagic54 Avatar
    MountainMagic54
    9/24/2019

    Day out with grandchildren Decided to have a day out with the grandchildren at the showcases as we hadn't been there for many years. We had a wond... read more

    christopher_payne1 Avatar
    christopher_payne1
    9/22/2019

The bones of some 42 humans, as well as numerous animal bones, have been found in one of the nearby chambers of this cave system. In a 2005 poll of Radio Times readers, Dan yr Ogof was named as the greatest natural wonder in Britain. The cave was used as a filming location for the Doctor Who serial The Pirate Planet.

There are ten attractions all included in the one National Showcaves Centre entry ticket, including a dinosaur park, iron age village, and shire horse centre. There is plenty to see and do for all ages. I suggest that at you allow a few hours for a visit and with lots of covered areas its an ideal attraction for a rainy day. The 3 different caves Dan-yr-Ogof, Cathedral Cave and Bone Cave each offer a unique underground experience. About 1 km of underground passageways are open to the public, including the huge Cathedral Cave with its underground waterfalls.

Cathedral Cave

A small tunnel-like cave above Dan-yr-Ogof Farm has been known for many years. When you look over the railings at the entrance to Cathedral Cave you’ll see the beginning of this tiny passageway through which members of the South Wales Caving Club squeezed in 1953 to make the most awe-inspiring discoveries.

To their amazement, after blasting their way through boulders to the end of this small tunnel half-filled with water, they came upon a colossal cave passageway, decorated with thousands of delicate ‘straw’ stalactites. Waterfalls cascaded into underground lakes, and unusual formations adorned the cave walls. This was the beautiful cavern we now know as “The Dome of St. Paul’s”.

Cathedral Cave and its wonders are now viewed by thousands of people from all over the world every year, and it is regularly chosen as the most spectacular venue for a wedding!

The bones of some 42 humans, as well as numerous animal bones, have been found in one of the nearby chambers of this cave system. In a 2005 poll of Radio Times readers, Dan yr Ogof was named as the greatest natural wonder in Britain.

The cave was used as a filming location for the Doctor Who serial The Pirate Planet.

Dan yr Ogof

The river Llynfell emerges from the mountain as you approach the entrance to Dan-yr-Ogof, returning to the surface after an underground journey of more than 6 km. It was by way of this entrance that the Morgan Brothers made their dramatic discovery in 1912.

The cave was first explored in 1912 by three local brothers, Edwin, Tommy and Jeff Morgan, using candles and primitive equipment. Completely unsure of what they would discover, they armed themselves with a revolver. Edwin was the first to enter, as he was the smallest of the Morgan brothers. Initial expedition was halted at a large lake, which they later managed to cross by coracle. They eventually crossed three more lakes in the same manner, but were stopped by a tight crawl.

This squeeze, known as the Long Crawl, was first passed by Eileen Davies, a member of the South Wales Caving Club in 1963, although it is claimed that it was first passed by Peter Ogden of Swansea University Caving Club in the October before as the initials ‘PO’ were found by Eileen Davies at the pitch to Gerard Platten Hall. Peter Ogden had not descended the pitch due to lack of the required equipment and was prevented from returning by an extended period of bad weather. Exploration has been steadily continued by later cavers who have extended the cave to its present 17-kilometre (11 mi) length. Some of this length was reached by cave diving. One of these explorers was Martyn Farr, who wrote a book about the system in which he claims that the system will eventually be extended to at least 150 km (93.2 mi).

In Bone Cave you will find a number of exhibits that illustrate man’s use of the caves in the past, and his struggle to survive alongside the other inhabitants of the cave – hyenas, wolves and cave bears.

 

 

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