The longest and deepest caves
- View the complete list of the longest caves in UK and Ireland.
- View the complete list of the deepest caves in UK and Ireland.
- For more options, select from the list on the left.
This site contains information on all caves in the United Kingdom and the Republic Of Ireland that are either at least one kilometre long or at least sixty metres deep. The caves can be viewed by country, region, or all together, showing either the list of longest caves, or the list of deepest caves.
The list of longest caves shows all caves at least one kilometre long. The list of deepest caves shows all caves at least sixty metres deep.
Maps and descriptions
Cave surveys are used on the maps (click the buttons) but are in sufficiently low detail as to avoid copyright issues. Brief cave descriptions are also provided in some cases for caves I know or caves that other cavers have provided descriptions for. If I find cave descriptions or surveys on the web, I may choose to link to them via the short description, but I cannot copy descriptions from other web sites, or guide books, as that would be a breach of copyright. For other descriptions and/or surveys, please see the credits and references page.
Help me keep this database up to date. If you know of a cave within the United Kingdom or the Republic Of Ireland that is either at least one kilometre long or at least sixty metres deep, and is not already listed, please let me know about it so I can update the database. You can also send me corrections or extra information about the caves that are already in the database.
Why 1 km long?
Before I created this site, I used to maintain a list of the 20 longest caves in South Wales. This was a nice short number, and included all caves of 1 km or more. Then when I started making the site, I wanted to do all major caves. I also wanted to make the list manageable. With 1 km, I get about 150 caves. That is about right for the amount of time I can spare. Besides which, I lived almost on top of Ogof Draenen, and was used to doing 30+ hour trips in there, so even 1 km seemed short to me.
I know that 1 km misses out on some very important caves, like Radford Cave in Devon, which is far more popular than many of the longer caves there but if I decrease the minimum length, that will dramatically increase the number of caves, and I don't have the time to maintain a list that size. Also, when I bought the book on Co. Fermanagh and Cavan, that did not have any length information at all, and I was struggling to get accurate lengths for some of the caves shorter than 2 km.
Why 60 m deep?
This again is due to the information on Co. Fermanagh and Cavan. The book also did not have any depths (except in a few rare cases) and when I contacted one of the authors, all he could provide was the list of the 25 deepest caves in Ireland. This gave all caves 60 m deep and above, so that was where I had to stop. I would have preferred 50 m, but I could not get the required info for Northern Irish caves. Providing information on 60 m deep caves gave about as many caves as the list of longest caves, so I am happy enough. In addition, 60 m seems to be a magic number at which diggers like to announce their discoveries (don't ask me why), so it would be very hard to obtain information for active digs that are less than that depth.
I have spent a substantial amount on all the books required and spent months researching other caves online. Please be satisfied with what I have managed to do so far. I will try to keep as up to date as possible, but if you can offer any corrections, please do.