What is Creswell Crags?
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. All of the caves are protected by metal grills to preserve the rare archaeological deposits that remain inside. At the east end of the gorge is the Museum and Education Centre. The gorge is part of the Creswell Heritage Landscape Area.
Creswell Crags represents one site among a significant cluster of cave sites inhabited during the last Ice Age in Britain. The dramatic limestone gorge is tucked away within the gently undulating limestone landscape on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border. Archaeological and environmental evidence excavated from the caves show how the area witnessed dramatic changes in climate at the edge of the northern ice sheets and was populated by Ice Age animals such as hyenas, mammoths, woolly rhinoceros, and migrating herds of reindeer, horse and bison.
Significantly the caves provided shelter for nomadic human groups through a crucial period of human evolution between 55,000 and 10,000 years ago. Stone, bone and ivory tools from the caves reveal Middle and Upper Palaeolithic occupation, in addition to portable and recently discovered 13000 year old engraved rock art figures of deer, birds, bison, and horse. This evidence connects the Ice Age human cultures at Creswell Crags to groups across north west Europe.
Our centre, gift shop and museum are open on the following schedule:
November, December, January: Weekends and Bank Holidays 10.00am – 4.30pm. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
February: Every day 10.00am – 4.30pm
March – September: Every day 10.00am – 5.30pm
October: Every day 10.00am – 4.30pm
Cave tours run at weekends and during Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire school holidays. We strongly advise to book in advance by telephoning the centre on 01909 720378, as private bookings may alter our tour schedule.
Please note that the car park closes half an hour after the Museum and Visitor Centre.
There is no charge to visit Creswell Crags site or to walk around the lake and gorge. It is also free to visit the shop and coffee shop. There is a £3 charge for all day parking (ticket machines require exact change – change is available from reception). Details of charges for the exhibition and Cave Tours are given below:
Exhibition Entry – £3 adults, £2 concessions, children free
Ice Age Cave Tour (including Exhibition Entry) – £9 adults, £7.50 concessions, £6 children
Rock Art Cave Tour (March to September only, including Exhibition Entry) – £9 adults, £7.50 concessions, £6 children
Combined ticket (both caves and exhibition) Adult £13.50, concession £11.25, child £9
Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) £25.50 per tour, or £38.25 for both tours (combined ticket)
Children under 5 years are not permitted on cave tours for Health and Safety reasons.
Tel: 01909 720378