Mumbler Reviews: Stump Cross Caverns and The Time Cafe
Our last (and first) visit to Stump Cross Caverns was back in February, and we all loved it. The world has very much been turned upon its head since then! And time and time again throughout the lockdown days my daughter use to say to me “When everyone’s better, can we go back to Stump Cross Caverns?” I promised her once it was reopened, we would go back up to these magical caves.
And that’s finally what we did this weekend! It’s very much a family run business up at Stump Cross. As I said, its only my second time here and I was welcomed like a family member! That’s exactly how they treat everyone that walks through the door, and that’s one of the reasons that everyone is raving about this place. Don’t take my word for it – read their reviews! Some of the things I’ve read on Trip Advisor have brought me to tears! Lisa, Nick and their team go above and beyond to make your trip to Stump Cross Caverns as magical as possible! It’s no wonder they received a 2020 Travellers’ Choice award from TripAdvisor.
Since they re-opened back in the summer, they’ve done everything possible to not only make your experience as magical as possible but also as safe as possible. They’ve taken every COVID-19 measure you can think of, and then some! As Lisa said to me, it’s on her head if anything happens. If you’re feeling practically vulnerable, then get in touch with her – she’ll talk you through everything, and has even been known to open the caves up early so her customers have had the added benefit of being the only ones on site!
It’s so nice to go somewhere that’s put so much time and effort into making their establishment as COVID secure as possible. That now nearly constant fear I have going anywhere indoors in public wasn’t there when we went this weekend. A true testament to how much Lisa, Nick and their team care!
We went on a cold but Sunny October Sunday at around 12.30pm, probably their busiest time! You can pre- book online for their café and the caves but if you just turn up (like we did!) they’ll try their hardest to fit you in! We were looking to eat first then go down to the caves. The café was pretty much at capacity – so we were given the option of waiting for a table indoors and going to the caves first, eating in their cinema room or eating outside.
We opted to take advantage of the weather and eat outside! It was a bit nippy, but the glorious autumnal sun was out and we loved it! If you’ve never been up here – the surroundings are beautiful! Right on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales! Plus, we have a 4-year-old, so she was loving running around in garden – there’s a mini maze, a huge dragon (!) and a giant sandpit to keep her amused. Which was so much easier than keeping her amused sat at a table indoors! Therefore, my top tip – if the weather allows it – eat outside!! We loved it!
The food at The Time Café is all freshly made by their much loved and REALLY talented chef! Everything is made freshly to order, so you will have to wait a little longer but believe me it’s worth the wait! This isn’t any ordinary café – the food here is top quality! Think of it as more like going to a gastro pub! They’ve got a great menu, lots of smaller offerings for kids too which are really reasonably priced! They also have a pretty extensive specials board, which included Fish and Chips and a Crayfish and Prawn Sandwich whilst we were there.
We opted for a sandwich and ciabatta for us parents, with a side of chips (goes without saying!) and our little one had the home-made chicken goujons, chips and peas (which comes with a free drink!). Everything was amazing – seriously, gastro pub standard! Such a refreshing change when you’re on a family day out! Usually food choices are just a means to an end – but not here. I couldn’t fault anything; portion sizes were on the large size which is always a bonus in my books! The chips here are ridiculous. They remind me of the chips my Nan use to make when I was a little girl – what I like to call PROPER chips!
If you’re not looking for a full-on meal – then you need to try their sausage rolls! Although having said that – be warned they are HUGE and could easily pass as a meal! You only have to look on their media sites – whenever they post a picture of their legendary sausage rolls – they get so many comments! They’re flaming delicious!
All their cakes and tray bakes are freshly made in house too. Oh, my days. Please do treat yourself – the Rocky Road is immense! I’m salivating just thinking about it! They do some delicious ice creams too – and it’s a licensed café! You can even enjoy a Stump Cross Ale!!
I cannot recommend the café enough. The food is faultless and so is the service! The waiting staff are so friendly! They all made such a fuss of my little girl – and all the other children that were there! As I said – it was pretty busy when we were there – but they were all doing a brilliant job and still made the time to make sure everything was perfect! It was!
After we’d been fed, we headed down to the caves. You’re allowed down in time slots in one booking at a time. Essentially, you go down there in your own bubble. You’re sent down at staggered time, so you’re less likely to see another bubble. But there are times when your paths will cross. You’re asked to pass at the passing points where there is more space to socially distance. Masks are worn at all times in the caves.
Before you go down you’re given a briefing about what to expect, how long it will take etc. The caves take about 50 minutes – so if you’re going with little ones make sure you’ve done a toilet stop first!! There is a little fairy trail to follow, and the younger guests are given little torches so they can investigate all those little nooks and crannies!
You’ll go down to the entrance where there are hard hats. There are two different containers – new and used. After each hard hat is used its thoroughly cleaned before going back in the new container! There are also a lot of adult sized wellies. They’re usually not needed – but they were this weekend. Whatever the weather I’d advise you take your kids in wellies – they’re always a puddle or two!
There are lots of stairs to content with and you’ll be bending down a fair few time – the hard hats are definitively a necessity! The caves are just brilliant – the kids just love it! It’s a bit magical, a bit mysterious! My daughter loved looking out for the fairy doors, and I loved finding the answers to the fairy door quiz – the quiz was really interesting! It’s one of those family days out that the whole family can enjoy! Something a bit different and really interesting. A much-needed change of scene to soft play!
One of the great things about Stump Cross Caverns is it’s a perfect day out all year round! Come rain or shine, it’s a constant 7 degrees down there and always a bit wet! If it’s been raining heavily some of the walk ways will be flooded – but that just added to the sense of adventure for us!
All in all, we had a fab day at Stump Cross Caverns! A day out for all the family – you can even bring the dog if you want (although they’re not allowed down the caves!).
Check out their website for latest offers and to see what events they have going on. We love it here, it’s my daughter’s favourite place! She remembered all the names of everyone we met they made such an impression on her! So if you’re looking for somewhere safe to go in these funny times, somewhere extra special with amazing food and somewhere the whole family will enjoy the SCC is the place to go!
And if that isn’t enough to tempt you did you know they had a cinema room too!!! You can rent it for only £6 per person!
Disclosure: Mumbler was lucky enough to receive this for free however we pinky promised to only write a truthful account of our experience. Phew, we really enjoyed it! (otherwise that could have been awks!)