Wild Wookey FAQ
Overview: Our top level caving instructors are the very best in the business and will work with you to overcome any challenging moments presented to you during your Wild Wookey experience. However, there are a few limitations on who can complete the Wild Wookey experience and it is essential you have a good read of these before booking for yourself, or buying the experience as a gift for somebody else.
The Wild Wookey experience is suitable for individuals who enjoy exercising regularly and are willing to work their way through enclosed spaces, adrenaline inducing heights and demanding climbs. The experience is a calorie-burning combination of caving, climbing, abseiling, crawling and walking. With this in mind, we ask that you are healthy, active and have the necessary physical and psychological strength to endure and enjoy your experience with us.
No previous experience of caving or climbing is necessary.
Please ensure you meet the additional requirements listed below:
Max age: No maximum age. In fact, many experiences cavers will keep caving well into their retirement! However, please bear in mind that a reasonable degree of fitness and flexibility is essential from all participants.
Max group size: 7 participants (please enquire if your group is larger than this)
Unfortunately the experience is not suitable for those living with any of the following:
- Heart conditions, e.g. Angina
- Knee, shoulder, or ankle problems/previous sporting injuries (dislocations/fractures)
- Prone to attacks of fainting, dizziness or blackouts
- Recent surgery
Disclaimer: If you do not meet the requirements listed above, you could be refused entry, and no refund will be issued. Please ensure you arrive dressed appropriately (see “What do I need to wear?”), fit the appropriate height and weight restrictions and come with a strong, positive attitude!
This is an instructor-led activity deep underground in the Mendip Hills and consequently, it is absolutely vital you listen to and follow, all directions and instructions given to you by your activity instructor(s) on the day. Wild Wookey reserves the right to withdraw you from the caving experience, at any point. The decision is at the discretion of the instructor(s) and the decision will be final.
What is the experience like?
Exhilarating, fascinating and strenuous!
Wild Wookey is an experience truly like no other in the country, or even in the world. Our geographical location makes the adventure entirely unique, as we are the only caving experience held inside the world renowned natural attraction; Wookey Hole Caves. The route has been devised and implemented by world-class caving instructors, and exceeds all existing boundaries of adventure caving in the UK. Inspiration has been taken from European style climbing which has been carefully woven into the experience for your pleasure, enjoyment and satisfaction.
The experience jumps between various different techniques; all of which are necessary to take you through the cave system in this unique way, so do be prepared for a non-stop, adventure work-out like no other!
What are your opening times?
We host two sessions a day; the morning session begins at 9.45am and our afternoon sessions begin at 1.45pm. Wild Wookey offers caving experiences all year round as the caves are a cool, constant temperature of 11° throughout the seasons. Please enquire if you would like to embark on Wild Wookey outside of normal opening hours.
What do I need to wear?
Equipment: Wild Wookey will provide each member of your party with an over-suit and all of the specialist equipment needed for your journey through the caves.
Clothing: You must however, bring an under layer of clothing. This should be clothing that allows you to move freely and also, something which you do not mind getting slightly muddy, damp or dusty. Our recommendation is tracksuit style or fleece material clothing; long-sleeved tops and leggings are best. Please avoid wearing jeans; as they become very heavy when wet, shorts; as they do not provide adequate protection and do not wear anything too warm, as you will be continuously moving throughout.
Footwear: You must bring your own footwear for Wild Wookey. Wellington Boots are standard caving footwear and we highly recommend bringing or buying a pair for the Wild Wookey experience. Alternatively, walking boots are fine but please ensure your footwear fits well, has good grip and will stay on your feet during all of the weird and wonderful positions you will find yourself in! Wear any other form of footwear and you may find yourself excluded from the session.
Is there a minimum age for the Wild Wookey caving experience?
Yes, the minimum age to participate is fourteen.
Can groups do Wild Wookey?
Yes, absolutely! Wild Wookey is a fantastic team building experience/activity which will leave your group with memories and accomplishments to last a lifetime. There are photograph opportunities before and after your experience and your instructor(s) will provide you with their images from your experience, free of charge. Maximum group size is seven however, larger groups can be split into teams and catered for – please enquire for further details.
The experience is licensed for Under 18s with the Adventure Activities Licensing Service so youth groups are also welcome; please just ensure all participants meet the requirements. (See ‘Requirements’)
I went Potholing once – is it like that? Do we have to squeeze through narrow gaps?
Yes, a little bit! The experience is defined as ‘Adventure Caving’ so as a result, it is inevitable that some caving is required. However, this is merely a portion of the experience as it is combined with incredible abseils, a boat ride, European style climbing, a Zip Line and some walking. All things fun!
What if I find I don’t like it once we have started?
If you really aren’t enjoying the experience once it has commenced then you can still travel through the main show cave route with all your caving equipment on. You will however, not be able to leave the show cave and change back into your personal clothes until the whole team are ready to do so. This option is only available to adults or, under eighteens who are accompanied by a responsible adult for safety reasons.
Is it safe?
Caves naturally possess many hazards and dangers. However, all incidents and injuries are avoidable providing participants exercise a cautious and sensible demeanour.
You will be provided with the essential safety gear. However, we do strongly remind you that wearing the safety gear will not make you indestructible and you are still responsible for yourself and your safety inside the caves. Slips, trips and falls onto rock can result in serious harm.
If it is just me and my friend, will we be joined by people we don’t know?
The maximum group size is 7, so yes! There is a strong possibility there will be people in your group you haven’t met! Meeting other likeminded individuals is all part of the fun and is quite often a highlight of the experience.
Most outdoor pursuit organisations have a ratio of 1:10 whereas here at Wild Wookey, we prefer a smaller ratio for a higher quality experience. A minimum of 4 participants is required to run the experience so please be prepared that, if numbers are below 4 we may transfer your booking to another date.
I am afraid of heights. Is it suitable for me?
Our experience involves two abseils (descending on a rope) and several climbing sections. If you have a genuine fear of heights, this will not be a suitable experience. If you are unsure, we recommend taking a look at our website/Facebook page for more images of the abseils and climbs before making your mind up. Alternatively, give us a call and we can help you decide. Most people experience slight feelings of unease when confronted with heights; however a paralysing fear could prohibit yourself and others from completing the experience. Not fun!
I suffer from claustrophobia. Is it suitable for me?
Due to the nature of caves and caving, you will experience some small and enclosed spaces with Wild Wookey. If you have genuine difficulties with enclosed spaces, this again is most likely not a suitable experience. Please take a look at our Facebook page for more customer photos showing various stages in the experience if you are unsure, or give us a call and we can advise you over the phone.
I’ve got body piercings? If we are wearing a harness is this a problem?
Nope! We just ask that you consider covering them with a surgical dressing before arriving or remove them for the duration of the experience.
I’ve got long hair! What should I do?
We have hairnets available (free of charge) which are capable of containing most hair while also enabling helmets to be worn properly. Anyone with masses of hair (braided, dreadlocked etc.) which stops a helmet being properly fitted and fastened might not be able to participate and risks forfeiting their place – please talk to us before booking if you have any doubts about helmet wear.
Will we get soaking wet? Is there any swimming?
No! Absolutely not. The Wild Wookey caving experience does not involve swimming, wading or immersion in water. During the winter months there is a puddle which can make your oversuit and personal clothing a little damp but there is absolutely no swimming. Please leave your wetsuit, flippers and snorkel at home!
Is there any deep water?
Yes; the world famous Wookey Hole Caves has a subterranean river (the River Axe) running through it in places and on several occasions the Wild Wookey caving experience takes participants close to this river, and directly above it in one section! There are safety systems in place which participants will use under observation.
What equipment is provided?
Over-suits, helmets, lights, harnesses, safety connectors and glove hire are all included in your price and will be provided to you on the day.
Is there somewhere I can put my personal possessions: valuables, wallet, phone etc.?
Have no fear! We have on-site lockers available for each of our participants so you can have peace of mind underground that your items are locked away securely over-ground. Our instructors oversee access to all locker keys to prevent keys from being dropped irretrievably during the adventure caving experience.
I have a different question?
A member of our team will be more than happy to answer any other questions you may have about the experience. Pick up the phone and talk to a friendly member of our team today or, alternatively drop us an email, we’d love to hear from you!
Tel: 01749 672243