Poole’s Cavern & Buxton Country Park

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
Poole's Cavern & Buxton Country Park
Courtesy of Poole's Cavern & Country Park

Named after a 15th-century outlaw who reputedly used the caves as a lair and base for robbing travellers, Poole’s Cavern has held a firm grip on the human imagination for countless years. Just 10 minutes’ walk from Buxton town centre, this vast, two-million-year-old limestone formation is considered one of the finest ‘show caves’ in England and has been attracting visitors since the 1500s, when Mary Queen of Scots braved its dark depths, and the 17th century travel writer Charles Cotton included it among his seven ‘Wonders of the Peak’. The cavern was also frequented long before these intrepid adventurers, however, by prehistoric people from the Neolithic and early Bronze ages. Today, it is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and further excavations are revealing additional chambers still to be explored.

Modern day visitors are invited to experience the caverns and the remarkable crystal stalactites and ‘poached egg’ stalagmites they enclose by embarking on one of the expert guided tours that run each day. These provide an engaging (and kid-friendly) introduction to the geology of the site, highlighting important fossils and the vibrant red, orange and blue hues that adorn its walls. Above ground, a follow-up trip to the cavern exhibition at the visitor centre offers a chance to absorb this history in further detail.

Poole’s Cavern is located directly beneath Buxton Country Park, which is well worth a visit itself. Once part of the Chatsworth Estate, its rolling green expanse includes stretches of protected woodland, home to an abundance of wildlife and rare wildflower species (look out for Mountain Pansy, Leopard’s Bane, the Globeflower and wild orchids), adventure activities, and a nature-inspired sculpture trail; as well as Grin Low, which affords panoramic views over Buxton and the surrounding countryside (look out for Mam Tor and Kinder Scout on the horizon). Trek to the hill’s summit and you’ll find Solomon’s Temple – a Victorian folly that sits above an ancient burial mound – as well as evidence of the limestone mining that has occurred throughout the region for millennia. The park is prime picnic territory, but the centre’s cafe is on hand in case of less clement weather.

If you’re visiting with children, consider booking onto one of the Outdoor Genius sessions. Roughly two hours long, these offer woodland-based group activities linked to the National Curriculum and include fossil hunting, shelter building, bush-craft and (closely-supervised!) fire building. The Buxton Tree Top Adventure zip-wire route through the woods is likely to appeal to both little and big kids too.

Altogether, Poole’s Cavern & Buxton Country Park is the perfect place to enjoy some nature without straying too far out of town, and to discover Derbyshire on a subterranean level.

Poole's Cavern Visitor Centre, Green LaneBuxtonSK17 9DH View map
Telephone: 0129826978 Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • Monday9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Tuesday9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Wednesday9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Thursday9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Friday9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday9:00am - 12:00am
  • Sunday9:00am - 5:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Poole’s Cavern & Buxton Country Park

New Order at Wythenshawe Park

New Order play an all-day outdoor concert at Wythenshawe Park alongside Manchester’s own Johnny Marr and adopted Manc Róisin Murphy.

from £61.60
Idles by Daniel Topete, image couresy of SONIC PR
Idles at The Apollo

Taking the power of love on the road, IDLES bring their latest album TANGK, their most ambitious and striking record yet, to Manchester.

from £42.15
Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth

Enjoy fun and creative activities designed to encourage your little ones to play freely in the fresh air, while exploring nature and the outdoors with family and friends.

free entry

Where to go near Poole’s Cavern & Buxton Country Park

at Number 5

The Tea Room is currently offering a range of take away options including fresh soups – cream of butternut squash & sweet potato anyone? Cheesecakes, tartlets, and muffins. For something more substantial its main courses are a daily special featuring Szechuan chicken with sesame veg noodles and Jamaican jerk chicken with spiced rice & peas topped with garlic pickle.

Discover Buxton Tours Ticket Office
Tourist Attraction
Discover Buxton Tours Ticket Office

Take a journey through the fascinating history of Buxton, whether on foot or aboard the vintage tram. The team of knowledgeable guides are all local people with a real passion for the town. Discover Buxton Tours offer the best way to see and experience a town’s history.

Pavilion Gardens in Buxton
Event venue
Pavilion Gardens in Buxton

The award-winning Pavilion Gardens in Buxton harks back to the great golden era of Victorian public parks, when such amenities were taken seriously.

Event venue
Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art

Earth Pig is a working art studio and pottery located in Higher Buxton in the heart of the Peak District National Park.

Culture Guides

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Cinema in Manchester and the North

From the latest installment in the Mad Max franchise, to silent movie masterpieces we highlight the best new releases and big screen classics showing near you this month.