Home ยป Indoor Caving at Whinfell Forest

Indoor Caving at Whinfell Forest

When the lovely people at Center Parcs offered us the opportunity to take part in the indoor caving adventure at Whinfell Forest. I knew this was something Joe and his best pal Fin would love.

They are both adventurers and love a challenge but if I am totally honest I was not sure it would be enough of a challenge for Jack and his best buddy Harry. How wrong could I be?

We have all visited Center Parcs together for many years now so I know the boys and their confidence levels quite well. Jack and Harry are adrenalin junkies the higher and more challenging the better. So although they were so looking forward to indoor caving, I underestimated it a tad. You see from the outside it looks very tame.

PicMonkey Collagecaving

Chris and I were lucky enough to be involved too. But it never really entered my head that indoor caving would be at all taxing

As it was an artificial environment I thought it would all be very tame and easy. Although I guessed this would not be 100% the case when a family exited as we were waiting to enter. The Dad of the family stumbled out and rolled his eyes at us, as if to say, “the things I do for my children.”

First I have to mention Danny our guide, he was fantastic and an experienced caver, he made the whole experience so real. Danny got us all rigged up in our protective equipment and made us do some warm up exercises before we started on our caving adventure.

He explained how caves are formed from water flow. Discussed stalegtites and staelgemites and the difference. The boys were enthralled; it quickly became apparent that this was not just a physical activity but also an education one. We learnt how to date caves from drawings and star constellations. How to tell which direction the water flows from in a cave, and all about fossils. It was so interesting.

PicMonkey Collagecaving 2

Physically indoor caving was difficult, the caves were tight and winding, in fact there were points where they looked too small to get through.

It is actually very surprising what small spaces you can get through. It so odd, as we were going through the caves, even though we knew they were not real; it all felt so very real.

Indoor Caving at Center Parks lasts  for 45 minutes; in that time we were challenged physically and learnt lots of new information.

Danny ensured the boys were fully engaged throughout the whole activity, they thoroughly enjoyed every minute. In fact when the activity finished and we had  said our thanks and goodbyes to Danny, the boys, especially the older ones declared it was the best activity they had ever done.

So if you look at caving and can’t quite decide if it is challenging enough, I would say it is great for all ages; Joe and Finn are 8 and 9, Jack and Harry 13 and 14. They all loved caving. They found it exciting, interesting and a challenge. And trust me keeping that adventurous lot interested is a big ask.

For more activities for kids and teens click here.


Author of Extraordinary Chaos a family lifestyle and travel blog from a 40+ mum of teenage boys, sharing our family travels, recipes, reviews and country living. Also the co editor of Cruising With Kids Family Cruise Blog

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. 3rd January 2015 / 12:38 am

    What a fantastic idea! I bet my oldest 4 would thoroughly enjoy this activity.
    Looks like you all had a great time, although it sounds like you might have trouble topping this one! xxx

    • SarahJChristie
      3rd January 2015 / 10:50 am

      Thanks Katie, ha ha yes, although I have got them tree tracking in a couple of weeks Kids love adventure don’t they x

  2. 3rd January 2015 / 8:32 am

    This looks like the perfect family activity – especially for adrenaline junkies. What appeals to me is that you get all the thrills and excitement of caving without any of the danger. It sounds like you had a fabulous time. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    • SarahJChristie
      3rd January 2015 / 10:51 am

      Ha ha yes, I am not sure I could do it in a real cave, with running water. but I did enjoy this x

  3. 3rd January 2015 / 8:52 am

    I think you are all really brave for doing this. I’d be terrified. I’m not a fan of small spaces. Great activity for your lot though and I know my SIL’s boys would love this!

    • SarahJChristie
      3rd January 2015 / 10:52 am

      Yes i didn’t realy think about that until I got in, it was a bit scary at points but I am so glad I completed it and the boys loved it x

  4. Jenna
    3rd January 2015 / 2:44 pm

    Such a clever idea and looks like you had great fun. I think I’d really enjoy this!!

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

    • SarahJChristie
      3rd January 2015 / 7:07 pm

      Thanks Jenna, yes it was and i really enjoyed it, I don’t think I will ever grow up ha ha x

  5. El and Baby A
    4th January 2015 / 10:01 am

    Oh what a fun activity! I think something similar opened not too far from me – this definitely makes me want to give it a try x

    • SarahJChristie
      4th January 2015 / 11:00 am

      Ooh do try it is great x

  6. Steph (midlife mummy)
    4th January 2015 / 7:07 pm

    Wow – you’re brave!! I’m not such a fan as small tight spaces so not really sure how much I’d love it before I started to panic – but hey – perhaps it’s something I need to try!! Though – you might say you’re surprised at the small spaces you can actually get through – we’ll wait and see if my bottom has other ideas!! Hahaha. Steph xxxx #SundayStars

    • SarahJChristie
      4th January 2015 / 9:14 pm

      Ha ha Steph I think we are similar size, but yes it does feel a little confined exactly like a cave, I loved it x

  7. 5th January 2015 / 9:37 pm

    I think you are braver than me but I know my son would love it! Well maybe when he is a bit older anyway! Looks like so much fun! Thanks for linking up with #sundaystars xx

    • SarahJChristie
      5th January 2015 / 10:36 pm

      Yes its such a great activity and felt worth the bravery, I was so proud of myself after and earn cool Mum points ha ha x

  8. 6th January 2015 / 5:36 pm

    This looks like so much fun and something I would love to do. I know the girls will be like Matt and I, adrenaline junkies when they are older. I loved catching frogs, newts and toads as a kid – gotta be done. Well done you for having a go! I’ve never been to CP but always wanted to. I love the idea of going when you went (Christmas) definitley need to do some research. xxxx

    • SarahJChristie
      6th January 2015 / 8:04 pm

      Yes Kat it is so magical, Santa’s village is lovely so magical. Even though the Boys are getting older they still love Center Parcs and so look forward to it every year. x

  9. Danny Barnes
    19th May 2016 / 10:15 pm

    Glad you enjoyed the sessions guys!
    The boys were as good as gold all through and made the session just as much fun for me too!
    Take care

    • SarahJChristie
      20th May 2016 / 10:35 pm

      Ah thank you it was a great session, we all had such a great time x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.