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Visit the Dales


Long Churns and Alum Pot

Alum Pot is a dramatic open shaft which is located on the slopes of Ingleborough, above the hamlet of Selside. The cave is on private land and a small payment is required at Selside Farm before a walk of around 1km on a good path takes you to the entrance.

The shaft is surrounded by a wall to prevent sheep, or people, falling down the 70m deep pothole. Please do not go any closer unless you are a suitably equipped caver. There is a good view where a stream crosses the path and falls into Alum Pot.

Underground Alum Pot connects with Diccan Pot and Long Churns cave - the latter is one of the most popular beginner caving trips in the Yorkshire Dales. There is a superb stream passage that can be explored with climbs and pools, and the famous squeeze called the 'Cheese press'. There are a number of local companies to take you on a trip, such as Yorkshire Dales Guides. For a complete list see our Call in the Experts page.

First descent 

John Birkbeck made the first successful descent of Alum Pot in 1848 when a group of nine men were lowered to the shaft floor in a large bucket winched down by a group of railway workers. Another successful complete descent of Alum Pot took place in 1870, when a group of people were lowered to the floor using a cage and windlass operated by navvies working on the Settle-Carlisle Line.

Call in the experts

Find a list of instructors and guides who can take you climbing, caving, canoeing and more >

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