Creswell Crags and Belph Spoil

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The walk starts by walking along the impressive limestone gorge of Creswell Crags. This stunning ravine is studded with caves and smaller fissures.

The caves were used by Ice Age hunter-gatherers as a seasonal camp over 43,000 years ago. These folk came following herds of mammoth, bison and reindeer as they migrated to their summer grazing grounds. Creswell Crags was at that time one of the most northerly places settled by human beings.

Archaeologists, exploring the caves, have found fossil animal bones including mammoth and hyena and flint tools left behind by the hunters. The earliest known cave art, dating back 12,000 years, was recently found in one of the caves.

Cave tours are one of the most popular activities on the site. An experienced guide takes you from the Visitor Centre into the gorge and to Robin Hood Cave, the largest of the caves. Most of the caves however, are not open to the public and are protected by metal grills to preserve the rare archaeological deposits that remain inside.

After skirting the village of Creswell itself, a pleasant woodland stroll takes us up to the start of a long stretch along quiet roads. This takes to Belph Spoil. No one would call the landscape on this spoil heap 'pretty', but it is has a strange, almost alien quality that makes it a pleasure to walk. Following Belph Spoil, a good path and a woodland track take us back to the visitor centre.

Dog-walkers please note the presence of some distinctly dog-unfriendly stiles. Also, the pavement-free 50m on a B-road at Waymark 8 could give cause for concern.

For a shorter version of this walk, see Walk 3980. For a longer version, see Walk 3978.

England - Central England - Nottinghamshire - Countryside


Birds, Gift Shop, Lake/Loch, Museum, Nature Trail, Public Transport, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
11/27/2016 - Malcolm Watts

Creswell Crags are well worth a visit and the visitor centre has a cafe with a range of sandwiches, drinks and baked potatoes, etc. The exhibition gives a good introduction to the area. The pay and display car park has a fixed charge of £3. The path over the spoil heap in Section 11 is no longer accessible and as a result of extended quarry workings has been rerouted around the area adding a few hundred metres to the walk. This is clear enough on the ground as new fences channel walkers round to Waymark 12, from where the description continues. Starting at Waymark 7 avoids the car park charge and means the cafe and crags are at the end of the walk, perhaps a better option?

10/23/2014 - Paul Smith

A generally enjoyable walk, but there are three issues which need addressing. 1 Creswell Crags has a fabulous new visitor centre with toilets, small shop, permanent display and an excellent cafe. 2 The lakeside walk can be accessed via steps and a woodland path from beside the visitor centre. 3 The bridleway to Belph has been re-routed around the edge of a field, avoiding the quarry workings.

Walkingworld members near this walk

Holidays and activities
Distance away
14.9 Miles
Pubs, cafes and restaurants
Distance away
29.9 Miles