The cave system was formed around 300 million years ago and then remained a secret world until 1860. At that time, lead mining was an important activity and led to several similar discoveries. The miners weren't too happy to find caves like this because there was nothing in there to mine but the owners had seen the success of the show caves in places like Castleton in Derbyshire and so they decided to open them to the public.
Bison, reindeers and remains of the small bear-like wolverines have been found at Stump Cross - you can see some of them on display in the visitor's centre.
The caves are lit, with decent pathways so armed with a hard hat, you can enjoy a visit with relative ease, taking in the stalagmites and stalactites. It's a good place to visit year round as it doesn't matter what the weather is outside - the inside temperature is always 7 degrees and it's dry!
In 1963 Geoff Workman spent 105 days living in Stump Cross Caverns, linked to the outside world only by an emergency telephone line to see the effect on the body clock of living without natural light.
Once you reach the surface again, you could enjoy a 'caveman breakfast' or other wholesome, home-made food in the Time Cafe, or go for a walk in nearby Troller's Ghyl where you might find the Barghest...