Gaping Gill: Don’t Be Stupid

MikeachimEngland6 Comments

Hey, come have a look at this.

Just clamber down there. Follow the side of the stream. (Yes, makes me want to take my shoes and socks off too, it’s that kind of day and that kind of stream, but leave that a second and come over here).

Interesting acoustics, aye. Our voices, a little reverb – but the other tourists over there, they’re just swallowed up.


Careful now. Some of those rock are scummed with green algae. The grass doesn’t help. But if you lie down and hook your feet somewhere, you’re fairly safe to….

…just…crane your head over…


Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Can’t be too far, surely? And with this stream going into it, there must be water at the bottom (although I can’t hear it). Makes you….want to test it out, you know?

Try dropping a pebble.


Nope, me neither.

Feel that…awful, stupid urge to jump?

Me too.

NO, don’t get any closer. It may look like an easy scramble but look at that algae, and with the trainers you’re wearing? You’d go in for sure. Although…if you avoided the sides, the water down there would probably break your fall….?


The problem, my friend, is that to break your fall, the water would have to be a lot deeper than you think. That hole falls away for 100 metres. But you wouldn’t hit the water first, oh no. About 50 metres down, you’d probably clip Birkbeck’s Ledge.  And just past there, this pothole widens and opens into a cavern the size of the nave of York Minster.

This little hole is Gaping Gill, and you’re peering into the main entrance of a cave system 11.6 kilometres long.

Now get back from there. It’s dangerous.

Further reading:
Gaping Gill – Wikipedia
Maps & access  information – Bradford Pothole Club
Image: SAGT