The Wookey Hole
Wookey Hole, Wells, situated in the beautiful Somerset Mendip Hills, in south west England has been carved out by the River Axe creating the most fascinating underground scenery. A visit to Wookey Hole is a great day out for all the family. The tour takes visitors through the history of the caves and of man, including legendary tales and folklore, where the first cave dive was attempted and the site where the legendary Witch of Wookey was turned to stone.
The 19th-centrury Papermill houses a variety of fascinating attractions including a Cave Museum, Victorian Penny Arcade, Magical Mirror Maze, Haunted Corridor of Crazy Mirrors and Wizard’s Castle play area.
Enjoy Puppet theatre shows and live entertaining family shows, learn the art of magic with Magic lessons in our Wizards Theatre (Shows most weekends and school holidays). Relax in our Enchanted Fairy Garden or stroll around the Dinosaur Valley. Explore the Wookey Gorge and the wonderful views from the Mendip hills with our easy to follow Nature Trails.
Archaeologists and anthropologists have discovered that the caves have been inhabited for 50,000 years. Ancient peoples found them a safe and comfortable place to live, the temperature is a constant 11° Celsius. The Celts lived in or near the entrance for more than 600 years until the Romans settled 2,000 years ago. Workmen digging the canal in 1857 found the remains of prehistoric man, including flint tools, as well as the bones of tropical and ice age animals. In 1912 the archaeologist Herbert Balch completed a two year excavation of the caves. He found the almost complete skeleton of an old woman, goat remains, a dagger, household items and a polished alabaster ball. The museum houses information about the history of the caves, archaeological excavations, artefacts and cave diving.
The Victorian Paper Mill demonstrates via film the fascinating history of paper. Visitors can learn how the Egyptians developed the use of papyrus. Calligraphy was invented in 2700 BC and true paper around 105 AD by the Chinese. These skills spread to the west and in 1476 William Caxton established a mechanical printing office, mills spread over England. Wookey Hole Mill is recorded in the Doomsday Book in 1086. Handmade paper is still made here and visitors can watch it being made using original Victorian machinery or even have a go at making some paper themselves. The waterwheel can be seen working just outside the museum.
There is a spectacular ‘Sound and Light’ show every day in the caves allowing visitors to see the caves in a unique setting. The Magical Mirror Maze is a fun filled travel through an up to date version of the old fashioned distorting mirrors of yesteryear with over forty mirrors. The Victorian Penny Arcade in Wookey houses the biggest collection of machines in the country.
Open all year round 7 days a week from 10am. Last admissions: April to October 5pm – November to March 4pm. Please phone for Christmas opening times.
Guide books in Braille are obtainable on free loan and guidedogs are allowed. For deaf visitors written transcripts of the commentaries of the caves tour and papermaking film are available. There are concessions and special group rates on application. Various educational visits are accessible with guides, activity sheets for all ages, plus factsheets with planning and background information for teachers. Free indoor and outdoor picnic facilities are reserved for school and student parties during term time.
A gift shop for souvenirs and a self-service restaurant for refreshments is also available, and ample free parking. A number of special events can be booked at Wookey: a Flintstone Weekend, Dr Who Weekend, Spook Night Ghost Tours, Wookey Spooktacular at Halloween and Santa Land prior to Christmas. Birthday Parties and even Weddings may be arranged (It may sometimes be necessary to close or restrict any attractions without prior notice).
How To Find Us
Wookey Hole is 2 miles from the beautiful medieval city of wells, and 20 miles from Bath(A39), Bristol (A37) & Weston Super Mare (A371). From M5 Exit junction 22 from North or South.