During the last Ice Age, between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago, Creswell Crags was among the most northerly places on earth to have been visited by our ancient ancestors, a story that is unique on a European and World scale. Wooly mammoths roamed the lands around Creswell Crags, and nomadic Neanderthal man sought shelter in Creswell Crags’ caves whilst they were following these migrating animals.
Creswell Crags is a limestone gorge honeycombed with caves and smaller fissures. Stone tools and remains of animals found in the caves by archaeologists provide evidence for a fascinating story of life during the last Ice Age between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago.
Creswell Crags is a picturesque Magnesium Limestone gorge located on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire county border. The gorge is honeycombed with caves and smaller fissures, and is a wonderful, serene and beautiful site to explore with the whole family.
Home to Britain’s only known example of Ice Age cave art, dated 13,000 years old, it is simply dripping in history to be explored.
Cave tours to this incredible site run throughout the year, so why not transport yourself back in time, immerse yourself in the history and beauty of Creswell Crags, and see artefacts, hand tools, and other fascinating things our Ice Age ancestors left behind.
Our Life In The Ice Age tour takes you deep into Robin Hood's Cave, the largest cave on site, where you will be transported back to the Ice Age and beyond: discovering the history of the gorge, from 120,000 years ago when it was a Mediterranean climate with hippopotamus wading and wallowing in the lake; through to the freezing climes of the Ice Age; the Victorian Age when the gorge was almost changed entirely if it weren’t for the decisions of one man, all the way through to modern times, and in particular, 2003, when the Cave Art was discovered and the site was propelled into world famous status.
You will learn about the animals that used the gorge, why they came here, and most importantly, about the Neanderthals and Early Modern Humans who followed these migrating animals all the way to Creswell.
Inside the cave you will get chance to sit where our ancestors sat during this freezing period, learn how they used animals in their entirety to help them survive this harsh climate, and how they were so sophisticated as to create tools and weapons to help them survive. You will venture deep into a hyena den, and discover how the caves are still being studied, on a global scale, by many archaeologists.
The Rock Art Tour takes you into Church Hole, on the Northerly side of the gorge. You will, with help of the guide, interpret these unique, fascinating and world famous engravings that are on the walls and ceiling. You will discover the unique way in which these etchings were found by three archaeologists, and the meanings behind them.
Why not take our Witch Mark tour and see hundreds of protective marks that have been discovered at Creswell Crags. This is believed to be the largest collection ever found in the UK. Join our tour guide for a unique opportunity to discover the most recent secret revealed at Creswell Crags.
If all of this isn’t enough, there is the award-winning museum to explore before or after your tour, where some of the most famous discoveries from Creswell Crags are housed. Get up close and personal to the artefacts of this incredibly fascinating place.
If you’re not short on time, there are wonderful walks to incorporate into your visit. These can take you into the surrounding beauty of Welbeck and Clumber, or just around the local area using the many bridle paths.
The gorge is dog friendly, as is the café, which has both summer and winter menu’s with tastes to suit everyone. Quench your thirst with speciality coffee’s using our own blend of Crags Coffee beans, or satisfy your hunger with jacket potatoes, panini’s, soups and home-made lighter bites. An array of cakes and tray bakes will mean you definitely have room for dessert!
Once you have finished, there is a wonderful shop to visit so you can take home a memento of your day. With books written and signed by the archaeologists who found the art, unique branded gifts, food and drink from local businesses, large fossils and other sculptures, to educational toys and gifts linked to the curriculum, there will surely be something that will catch your eye.
|Ticket Type||Ticket Tariff|
|Adult Concession Exhibition Entry||£2.00 per concession|
|Adult Exhibition Entry||£3.00 per adult|
|Creswell Crags talk & exhibition||£8.00 per adult|
|Creswell Crags talk & exhibition||£5.00 per child|
|Life in the Ice Age tour||£10.00 per ticket|
|Witch Marks tour||£10.00 per ticket|
Exhibition Entry is free for children under 16
All our tours can be booked via the website bookings page, https://www.creswell-crags.org.uk/ . If you require any further information or need assistance regarding your tour booking, please call our friendly team at 01909 720378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children under 5 years are not allowed into the caves and children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult
- Visit England VisitEngland Quality Assured Visitor Attraction 2019
- Regional and Miscellaneous WTTC Safe Travels 2021
- Disabled access
- Disabled toilets
- Facilities for hearing impaired
- Facilities for visually impaired
Booking & Payment Details
- Credit cards accepted (no fee)
- On-site catering
- On-site light refreshments
- Picnic site
- Baby changing facilities
- Children welcome - Children under 5 are not allowed in the caves. Children under 16 must be accompanied by and adult on cave tours.
- Education/study area
- Facilities for educational visits
- Facilities for groups
Meeting, Conference & Wedding Facilities
- Facilities for conferencing
- Facilities for corporate hospitality
- Parking with charge - £4.00 per car, up to 3 hours. £6.00 per car, all day.
- Dogs Accepted - The gorge and café are dog friendly but dogs are not accepted on cave tours (except for assistance dogs)
- Public toilets
- Smoking not allowed
- Welcome Host
- Accepts groups
- Coach parties accepted
|Season (1 Mar 2022 - 30 Sept 2022)|
|Monday - Sunday||10:00||- 17:00|
|Season (1 Oct 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)|
|Monday - Sunday||10:00||- 16:30|
|Season (1 Nov 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)|
|Saturday - Sunday||10:00||- 16:30|
* The gorge is a public bridleway and is open to walk around year round, via the public paths from Creswell and Welbeck, however please note that midweek in November, December and January, the Car Park and Centre are closed, with no facilities provided. Our Meadow area will also be locked. This is due to the terms of our lease and we are unable to make exceptions. Please park in the village and use the bridleway path to access the gorge, and the Woodland Path rather than the Meadow paths to continue through the site.
Please note that the Café closes 30 minutes before the Museum and Visitor Centre.
The Car Park will Close 30 minutes after the Museum and Visitor Centre. You will still be able to leave after this time, as the exit gate is on a sensor.
Map & Directions
From North/South Leave M1 motorway at junction 30 and take A616. At next roundabout take 2nd exit and at next roundabout take 1st exit. At next roundabout take 2nd exit. Continue on A616 to traffic lights at awkward junction and bear left (A616). Continue on A616 passing under low bridge. Continue past rail station sign in Creswell then turn left at brown sign for Creswell Crags Visitor Centre (B6042, Crags Road). Follow road for approx ½ mile and turn right, then turn left into car park.
From East Follow A617 to the M1 motorway roundabout and take 4th exit (M1 north). Leave M1 at junction 30, then follow route from North/South.
From West Follow A619 to Chesterfield. At traffic light controlled roundabout (Matalant) select middle lane and take 3rd exit. Keep in left lane and at traffic lights go straight on. At next roundabout select right hand lane and take 3rd exit. At next roundabout select left lane and take 2nd exit (A617). In approx 4 miles reach M1 motorway roundabout. Select left lane and take 1st exit (M1 north). Leave M1 at junction 30 and follow route from North/South.
Public Transport Directions
Accessible by Public Transport: Creswell station is 1 mile away.
There is a £6.00 charge for all day parking (ticket machines require exact change – change is available from reception).