Mother Shipton’s Cave – Know Before You Go
Mother Shipton’s Cave is home to the birthplace of one of the most famous prophetesses. It also sits next to England’s oldest visitor attraction, the Petrifying Well. It was heart-warming to be able to visit this magical place again and see first-hand that the new rules and procedures implemented to combat Covid-19, have not affected the visitor experience at all.
Parking – all entry is by car and is on a pre-booked slot/session system. Sessions last for 2.5 hours with availability from 9.30am until the last admission at 3pm, with slots every 10 minutes. Entry is simple. Just drive up to ticket booths at the entrance and show either a print off your pre-booked tickets or the barcode on your phone from the ticket confirmation email that you will have received. Staff in the kiosks then clearly explain directions to the plentiful parking areas as well as reiterating important safety information.
Attraction Experience – situated in historic woodland along the River Nidd, there are an array of places within the attraction to stimulate the imaginations of both children and adults. Children are given a Pixie Trail adventure sheet on entry and given the quest to find hidden clues in the beautiful Pixie Village. There is also an amazing Adventure Playground with climbing frames, pirate ships, swings and much more. From knocking coins into logs, to looking at the amazing wood carvings all around, there is so much to entertain as you go through the beautiful woodland walk towards the Petrifying Well, Wishing Well and Mother Shipton’s Cave. The museum is also well worth a visit with some surreal petrified items on display.
Sanitiser Stations – Although it is strongly suggested that you take your own, stations are plentiful, especially in the areas of high footfall like the adventure playground entrance. It was also pleasing to witness people using them and encouraging their over-excited and often distracted children to do likewise.
Food/Drink - A selection of hot drinks, soft drinks, cakes, ice creams and locally made sandwiches are available near the Adventure Playground – we had deluxe hot chocolates with extra cream and a flake! There are also plenty of benches for people who want to bring their own picnics.
Do you have to wear a Facemask? – adults and children (11 and over) must wear a face covering to enter the Museum and Gift Shop and to order food or drink, unless medically exempt. Elsewhere, facemasks are not required.
Verdict – fantastic. Mother Shipton’s has implemented all procedures to instil confidence in visitors. Clear signage, instructions and safety facilities are evident throughout and despite these slight changes, it was an extremely enjoyable day with laughter from little and big children heard all afternoon.
Our prediction – although we cannot predict the defeat of an Armada or when there will be another Great Fire, we can predict that you will feel very safe and thoroughly enjoy your visit.