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!
After exploring the unique sights of Wookey Hole Caves, pop into one of our friendly Somerset restaurants for a classic British pub meal made with locally-sourced produce. Plus, you can top it all off with a pint of proper Butcombe beer, from our impressive selection behind the bar.
Places To Eat Near Wookey Hole Caves
Offering delicious, locally-sourced meals and award-winning Butcombe beers and ales on tap, our range of restaurants near Wookey Hole Caves are the ideal places for a bite to eat after a busy day exploring this picturesque part of Somerset.
The Rising Sun
We’re passionate about great food and drink at The Rising Sun – expect delicious seasonal dishes and hearty pub classics, with a focus on fresh ingredients and produce carefully sourced from our local suppliers. Behind the bar you’ll find a selection of award-winning beer from our own Butcombe Brewery, and you’ll notice that our menus and daily specials also feature our own ales where possible – like our Butcombe Gold beer-battered fish and chips. The Rising Sun offers a huge beer garden with children’s play area, and large carpark – the perfect place to stop after a day exploring Wookey Hole Caves.
The Swan Inn
A haven for walkers, cyclists and locals alike, The Swan Inn is all about delicious, locally-sourced food – pub classics, flatbread pizza, and tasty bar snacks – with a cosy, welcoming vibe and an impressive selection of award-winning Butcombe beer on the taps. Stop by after exploring Wookey Hole Caves, while walking your dog, or after visiting other popular Somerset attractions like Glastonbury Tor or England’s smallest city – Wells.
The Bower Inn
With beer-battered fish and chips, our delicious ‘Bower burger’ and our famous Sunday roast, you’ll find something you love at The Bower Inn. Enjoy your locally-sourced meal in the refurbished, historical 18th-century cottage and beautiful gardens, and pair your dish with an award-winning pint of craft beer from behind the bar – the perfect end to the day after enjoying the sights of Wookey Hole Caves.
The Lamb Inn
Not far from the wonderful Wookey Hole Caves, you’ll find The Lamb Inn – a charming, cosy, 15th century converted coaching inn, complete with traditional beams, open fireplaces, a beautiful beer garden for alfresco dining. For a characterful and historic place to enjoy a delicious, home-made, locally-sourced classic pub meal, paired with an award-winning pint of Butcombe beer, you can’t do much better than The Lamb Inn.
The Langford Inn
For a true taste of the West Country, you can’t do any better than The Langford Inn pub-restaurant. On the menu, you’ll find a mix of seasonal dishes with hearty pub classics, all made with local Somerset produce in a field-to-fork approach to sustainable dining. Bring your pup along after your day out taking in the sights of Wookey Hole Caves – The Langford Inn is dog-friendly, so your pooch will feel right at home!
In the heart of Chew Magna, not far from the unique attraction of Wookey Hole Caves, you’ll find The Pelican gastropub, with an intimate bar, cosy dining area, crackling log fire, and pleasant terraced beer garden for alfresco dining and drinking. Choose from the delicious seasonal menu of classic pub dishes, a range of local Butcombe beers, spirits and cocktails behind the bar, and sample a tasty, wood-fired pizza straight from the oven.
Ring O’ Bells
The Ring o’ Bells is a local legend in Compton Martin and throughout Somerset, boasting secret live music gigs from renowned pop artists like Kylie Minogue, Paul Weller and Coldplay, while retaining its traditional country gastropub vibe. It boasts a beautiful beer garden, kids’ play area, live sport, locally-sourced pub grub and cracking selection of award-winning Butcombe beers and real ales behind the bar. Book a table while you’re exploring Wookey Hole Caves and stop by after to enjoy modern twists on hearty pub classics, unlike anything you’ve had before.
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.