Hidden deep in the heart of the Mendip Hills, the world-famous caves of Wookey Hole are the UK’s largest show caves system, and home to the legendary Witch of Wookey Hole!
Each of our Somerset hotels are delightfully unique in character, but all offer comfortable, stylish bedrooms, delicious on-site restaurants serving locally-sourced produce, and relaxed bars fully stocked with award-winning Butcombe beer.
Places To Stay Near Wookey Hole Caves
After spending an exciting day at Wookey Hole Caves, visit one of our nearby Somerset hotels for the perfect spot to rest and relax. Offering cosy beds, excellent breakfasts and stylish rooms, let this be your home-away-from-home for the night.
The Rising Sun
Situated in Backwell, North Somerset, The Rising Sun is the perfect base for exploring nearby Bristol and the Somerset surroundings. Other local attractions include the Mendip Hills, Cheddar Gorge and Britain’s smallest city – Wells. Cosy and comfortable, our 6 bedrooms offer everything you need for the perfect staycation, family break, romantic getaway or overnight stay before or after exploring Wookey Hole Caves.
The Swan Inn
Located on the edge of the Mendip Hills in the ex-mining village of Rowberrow, The Swan Inn is a 17th century Grade II-listed pub and inn that is brimming with history and a warm welcome. The Swan’s nine boutique rooms have everything you need for the perfect staycation, family break, or romantic getaway, with complimentary breakfasts, an on-site restaurant and family-friendly, accessible and dog-friendly room options available. It is well-positioned for easy access to popular attractions like the city of Wells, Wookey Hole Caves and the picturesque Cheddar Gorge.
The Bower Inn
For a relaxing and luxurious stay in the Somerset Levels, you can’t do much better than The Bower Inn in Bridgwater. With history dating back to the 1700s, the refurbished 18th century cottage and gardens offer comfortable lodgings with individually-styled ensuite rooms for a truly restorative staycation in the South West. Indulge with a delicious, home-style pub meal in the on-site gastropub, explore the nearby Wookey Hole Caves, or visit the picture-perfect Cheddar Gorge.
The Langford Inn
In the quaint Somerset town of Lower Langford, close to Bristol Airport and the Mendip Hills, you’ll find The Langford Inn, a 17th century historic village pub-hotel. Stay in one of their seven boutique bedrooms for the perfect place to rest your head after exploring the delightful countryside of the nearby Mendips AONB or enjoying the unique experience of Wookey Hole Caves. Enjoy locally-sourced produce and a field-to-fork ethos on sustainability with seasonal menus, perfectly paired with an impressive selection of award-winning Butcombe beers.
Ring O’ Bells
With two dog-friendly ensuite rooms in the heart of the Mendip Hills and Chew Valley, if you’re looking for somewhere peaceful and relaxing for a Somerset staycation, you can’t do much better than the Ring O’ Bells in Compton Martin. Explore the surrounding countryside, Cheddar Gorge or the mysterious Wookey Hole Caves before settling down for the night in Somerset fashion! With inglenook fireplaces, rustic beamed ceilings, and restored oak floorboards – the Ring o’ Bells really is the quintessential country inn experience! Enjoy home-cooked pub favourites at the on-site restaurant, live music and live sports, and, of course, award-winning proper Butcombe beers and real ales in the bar.
Wookey Hole Caves History
The Witch of Wookey Hole wasn’t the first person to inhabit the caves.
Archaeologists’ findings indicate that man has lived in and around the caves for 50,000 years, with bones of tropical and Ice Age animals such as rhinoceros, bear, mammoth and lion, and flint tools all recovered from the site.
Various other ancient civilizations used the caves as well, including the Celtic people of the Iron Age, who explored deep into the caverns by burning animal fat in simple lamps, reaching the fourth chamber, which they used as a burial site.
The Witch’s Kitchen Cave
A gnarled stalagmite that resides in the first chamber has come to be known as the Witch of Wookey Hole.
Legend has it that during the Dark Ages, there was a witch residing within the caves that cast spells and caused misfortunes for the local villagers. Eventually, the people sought the help of the Abbot at nearby Glastonbury Abbey, who delved into the caves and came across an underground river, which he blessed and splashed at the witch, immediately turning her into stone, forming the stalagmite seen today.
In 1912, an archaeologist named Herbert Balch excavated the 1000 year bones of a woman from the cave, which have been linked to the apparent witch!
Other Caves At Wookey Hole
The Wookey Hole Caves tour includes access to five additional chambers:
- Great Hall: As you may have guessed, the Great Hall is one of the tallest chambers in Wookey Hole. Soaring up over 70 feet high, it features stalactites and recently discovered witch markings!
- Witch’s Parlour: Carved out by a swirling whirlpool, this is the largest natural underground dome in the UK, over 200 feet below ground, and with 110,000 tonnes of rock overhead.
- Cathedral Chamber: The largest ‘rift’ chamber in Wookey Hole, it’s sheer height and red walls from iron oxide make for stunning views.
- Chamber 20: Very recently opened, 4,000 tonnes of rock were removed to unveil this beautiful cavern with its subterranean lake and breathtaking rock formations.
- Hyena’s Den: Archaeologists believe that the hyenas that gave this cave its name occupied the cave between 35,000 and 25,000 BC.
Thanks to their high humidity and constant year-round temperature, caves have historically been used as the perfect place to mature cheeses.
The cheese-makers at Ford Farms have revived this age-old tradition in the caves of Wookey Hole, carrying their cheddars two hundred feet underground by hand where they are left to take on the distinctive earthy and nutty flavours from the atmosphere.
The resulting Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar has won many awards – most recently a Gold Medal at the British Cheese Awards, and is available to sample and buy in the Wookey Hole Cave gift shop!
Wookey Hole Attractions
As well as the chance to explore the incredible caves, your ticket provides entrance to a number of other attractions including a game of Pirate Adventure Golf, a knee-knocking wander through Valley of the Dinosaurs amongst more than 30 life-size animatronic beasts, a 30 ft tall model of King Kong, and a Mystic Fairy Garden.
You can also access a range of museums, including the Handmade Paper Mill, where you can have a go at making paper the Victorian way, as well as the Vintage Penny Arcade, where you can try your luck on the biggest collection of original machines in the country!
View the full list of attractions here.