creswell crags outdoor panorama Cresswell Crags is a limestone gorge with walls up to about 30m high, and a stream runs through it. Being limestone it's prone to cave formation and it has a series of deep caves.

In these caves has been found the remains of ice age animals such as wooly mammoth, hyena and sabre toothed tiger.

More significant still is 15,000 year old cave art (drawings of animals) that are the oldest in Britain, and among the oldest in Europe - they are the most northerly examples of rock art; they compare in date to the 17,000 year old Lascaux Cave art in France (although the Lascaux images are more vivid and in better condition). creswell crags outdoor panorama

These pictures were made before the last ice age ended. The eyes that made the pictures could have seen sabre tooth tigers, hyenas, and mammoths walking the crags in a frozen landscape similar to Siberia today.

Nowadays the cave entrances are protected by steel bars, but up until the 1980s they were open, and incongruous 1970s grafitti mars 15,000 year old images of birds and horses.

They do run guided tours of the caves, both for cave art and as caves in their own right,although contact them in advance to find out when they run. When we got there they were already underway.

creswell crags outdoor panoramaThere's also a visitor centre (opened by David Attenborough in 2009) with displays of the finds and a history of this internationally significant site. The crags are free to enter (there are public footpaths through them) and so is the visitor centre.

There's also a shop where educational stuff can be bought. The B6042 road used to run though the grags, but it was re-routed 150m to the north in 2007. The Google Map location is Here and the satnav postcode is S80 3LH .

See also (external sites)

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