White Scar Caves, Yorkshire Dales

It was a very cold English April and Millie was 7 months pregnant with our daughter Aspen. We had gone for a local staycation in Norfolk around the same stage of pregnancy with our son, Milo, so thought it was a good idea to do it again! My older sister was super generous, looking after a nearly 2 year old Milo (as well as her two kids) and we drove North in search for Yurtshire, our home for 3 nights.

Yurtshire is set in the beautiful little village of Newburgh Priory, which has a tea room and a shop or two. It also has a beautiful pond and some winding roads that ribbon over the hilly landscape of Yorkshire. It was particularly beautiful as we live in Norfolk – the flattest county in the UK!

After assuring a slightly nervous looking owner of Yurtshire that Millie was going to be just fine, we found our Yurt and settled in. Yurts are traditional Mongolian and Turkish tents that are round, bamboo framed and canvas clad. Ours was well kitted-out with a log burner, stove, running water and a pretty comfy bed!

We spent the first couple of days exploring the area, enjoying the ruins of Byland Abbey, an afternoon tea in the local tearoom and the White Horse of Kilburn – a horse image cut in to the side of a large chalk hill.

On our last day we decided that we couldn’t spend time in the Yorkshire Dales without experiencing a cave, despite Millie’s now rather large bump, so we made our way to White Scar Caves. The roads were surrounded by fields and rural landscape: the inclines made for some beautiful villages and the peaks made for some stunning views.

It was clear we had arrived as the word CAVES in big capital letters was painted on the roof of the reception area. When we booked our tickets at the kiosk, the dear lady couldn’t help but look a bit concerned at Millie’s pregnant condition as she handed over the change. She explained that Millie might not be able to squeeze in to all the area of the cave, but that it was a pretty straight forward route out if we had to turn around at any point! As we left to get our helmets for the tour, the lady at the kiosk muttered “I don’t think anyone’s ever given birth in that cave before” and I’m glad to say we left the cave with that status in tact!

Our guide was friendly and relaxed. He explained how the cave was found and there was a model of the boy who had stumbled upon the cave many years before. Many of the landmarks in the cave had been named by those who first found them and it was nice to see they had kept the names. The cave was pretty comfortable to move around in, without having to crouch down too much and no crawling needed to be done. One little area was a bit of a squeeze for Millie, but she managed to get through! We saw a beautiful underground waterfall that had been lit for our enjoyment.

Eventually we came to a larger opening after walking along an incline. There were lots of steep steps to climb and we decided at this point it was time to head back. Despite this, we didn’t leave feeling disappointed as there was so much we had been able to take in and enjoy. A definite recommendation whether 7 months pregnant or not!

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