Mother Shipton's Cave
Mother Shipton's Cave
4
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
About
Mother Shipton’s is a beloved Knaresborough landmark and England’s oldest visitor attraction, open since 1630. Discover the fascinating story of Mother Shipton who was born in a cave by the River Nidd and whose prophecies (such as the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the Great Fire of London) became known throughout England. Visit her legendary birthplace and experience the wonder of the Petrifying Well, a unique geological phenomenon with cascading water which turns objects to stone - as if by magic. There’s something for the whole family including themed events throughout the school holidays, a large children’s Adventure Playground (access subject to weather conditions) and a quirky little Museum & Gift Shop. Refreshments are available to purchase from vintage-style kiosks in the middle of the woodland walk. There are plenty of picnic benches and scenic views. Dogs on a lead are welcome everywhere except the adventure playground. For more info and to book visit the website.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Alan P
    Bromley, United Kingdom739 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pretty good place to visit.
    To be frank at the beginning, this could merit 5* if the whole experience was better managed. My wife and I arrived on Saturday late morning not at all busy but the staff at the ticket booth are dreadfully slow and not at all forthcoming with information for the visitor to enjoy the experience properly. Prices are not displayed, so you have to wait for those in front to get sorted and find out. Also a point of note is that though the total distance to walk is not too far, there are some parts which have hills and steps which for those with mobility issues would find difficult. Some things just need to be made clear at the outset. That said this is in a nice location and it is a nice walk, just somewhere to be avoided at peak holiday times as I am sure it would be so busy that it would be not so enjoyable. Worth a visit at £8.00 per person.
    Thank you for contacting Mother Shipton's. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed a scenic walk through the woodland and found the experience to be value for money. We are shocked and disappointed to hear of the experience you had upon arrival at the attraction. Our staff are trained to deliver a high level of customer service and we regularly receive feedback about the warm welcome and fantastic amount of helpful information visitors receive at the gate. As your visit took place at the beginning of the season, during an off-peak time, we were in the process of training some new staff, so it is possible that they weren't fully comfortable in their role yet, and some information was missed which we do apologise for. Please be assured that we are constantly striving to provide visitors with a magical experience from the second they arrive and we are sure this is not something that will happen again. should you choose to visit us again in future - which we hope you will! Kind regards, Mother Shipton's
    Written 10 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 28 March 2023
  • Aphrobiteme
    41 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Dog friendly potter
    Went on their opening weekend of 2023 was still off season so quiet no entertainment but was cheaper to enter and as we don't have young kids any more and just wanted to see the cave this was ideal. There are a few things to see in the park itself, including a lovely view of the viaduct and the wier before you get to the cave. The petrifying waterfall is cool, and enjoyed the wishing well and listening to Mother Shiptons story in the cave which is more of a hollow to be honest but as it was quiet it was enjoyable. The gift shop is pricy I was going to get a petrified little teddy but they were £50 which I thought was a bit steep even considering they the time it takes to make them. Overall nice couple of hours potter around.
    Thank you for contacting Mother Shipton’s. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your trip to England’s Oldest Tourist attraction. We are pleased that you found the scenic walk with the stunning views of the viaduct and weir so lovely. It looks like your dog had a great time exploring too, and we hope they enjoyed their little dog friendly ice cream treat! We’d like to thank you for supporting our efforts to protect this ancient site, and for helping us to continue to tell the tale of Mother Shipton. Our gift shop has souvenirs and gifts for all budgets, from pocket money spends including individual gemstones and magnets to larger special items such as the completely unique petrified bears, which are sold in sturdy gift boxes with a certificate of authenticity. The petrified bears take 3-5 months to petrify, several weeks to thoroughly dry out, and also require a member of staff to install, retrieve, wash and pack the bears so we do believe that the price for these highly sought after one-of-a-kind souvenirs is reasonable. There is a huge demand for these adorable but not-so-cuddly bears. We do hope to see you again for another informative and scenic potter, Kind Regards, Mother Shipton’s
    Written 23 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 31 March 2023
  • aliRaven
    Derbyshire, United Kingdom27 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good , bad& the ugly
    Good- Fantastic well and cave and very interesting story. Surrounded by lovely park area. Great easter theme which all the children really enjoyed. Bad- A tad expensive as its just a walk, well & cave. Ugly- porta loos!!!
    Thank you so much for your 5 star review! We are delighted to hear that you found the Petrfiying Well fantastic and thought the story of Mother Shipton and her cave was interesting! It's wonderful that your family enjoyed our Easter event and you thought the park was lovely! We constantly work to ensure that pricing is fair and in line with market rates. As a privately owned attraction we receive no grants or subsidies, so all admission fees go back in to maintaining the park for future generations to enjoy. We're sure you can appreciate how much work and investment is required to maintain such an ancient attraction. We take on board your feedback re the portaloos too - plans are already in place to provide a better solution in the (hopefully) not too distant future. We hope to welcome you back again soon - perhaps for another of our themed events! Next up is Treasure Island for May Half Term, followed by Pirates & Mermaids in the Summer Holidays and Creepy Carnival for Halloween. Kind regards, Mother Shipton's
    Written 10 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 April 2023
  • Jenn
    Prenton, United Kingdom32 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A quirky little trip.
    Really enjoyed our visit, didn't know what to expect, realised it was aimed at kids very quickly but I'm autistic and embrace my inner child so I absolutely loved this. Made a wish in the well, learned a lot about the local area and Mother Shipton herself. The gift shop/museum was well stocked and was interesting to see all the previous petrified things. I really enjoyed myself.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 3 April 2023
  • Angie R
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Easter visit.
    On arrival we were greeted at the gate by a very helpful member of staff, he informed us of where to park, toilet locations etc. The walk along the side of the River Nidd and the views are wonderful, lots of photo opportunities. When we reached the Easter village our grandchildren were delighted with all the activities and enjoyed finding the clues on the activity sheet. Lots of photo opportunities around the place too. The lovely little cabins filled with lots of lovely things to see and do. They especially liked the one where a lovely young lady read stories and the potting shed with the quirky young man. We had our picnic lunch in one of the covered seating areas which was a lovely idea. Followed by a coffee from the little coffee van. We walked along to the cave and well which were interesting. We just had time to fit a visit to the park behind we left. All in all a very good experience and at a very reasonable price £33 for a car of 5! We will definitely return.
    Thank you so much for your fantastic 5 star review! We are delighted that you had an enjoyable visit to our Hoppy Easter event! It's great to hear that you thought the views were beautiful, the cave and well were interesting and there was lots of fun things to see and do! We're pleased to hear that you had a warm welcome from our staff - providing great customer service is very important to our team so it means alot when they are acknowledged for it. We would love to welcome you back to one of our upcoming events - next up is Treasure Island during May Half Term. Kind regards, Mother Shipton's
    Written 10 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 4 April 2023
  • Tracy W
    30 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Magical experience
    What a magical place! As we went at Easter time there was Easter attractions throughout. The area is beautiful. We took our dog who loved all the smells. We did say that it would have been so good if we had gone when the kids were little because there was so much to do for little ones. After the Easter attractions we made our way down the steps to the petrifying well and cave. There is a pre-recorded information button to press that tells you all about the history. After spending time here and making a wish in the well we made our way to the museum/gift shop. Lots of lovely trinkets and crystals, you can even buy a petrified teddy. There are refreshments available. £3.50 for coffee. All in all it was a fantastic day out. Will visit again in the summer.
    Thank you so much for your wonderful 5 star review! We are delighted that you found us a magical place to visit! It's great to hear that you found the park beautiful and thought there was lots for young children to do. We're thrilled that you had a fantastic day and hope to welcome you back again soon! Our next events are Treasure Island in May Half Term, followed by Pirates and Mermaids in Summer. Kind regards, Mother Shipton's
    Written 4 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 5 April 2023
  • Jenn Cara
    Birkenhead, United Kingdom74 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A really fun morning.
    I really loved this attraction! We stayed in Yorkshire for the weekend and was looking for fun things to do. I came across this and didn't realise it was aimed at kids, even though we are two fully grown adults we loved this! I am autistic so I am embracing my inner child but I really did love this. The museum and gift shop was great too! would definitely recommend this if you have a couple of hours to fill.
    Thank you so much for your fantastic 5 star review! We are delighted that you enjoyed your visit and embraced your inner child at our Easter event - we love that!! Really hope you will visit us again in future. Kind regards, Mother Shipton's
    Written 18 April 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 6 April 2023
  • Lydia J
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The most magical day out
    An absolutely stunning place to visit, so magical and really informative! Some really lovely photo opportunities, such a nice snack/drinks hut in the middle of the walk, the petrifying well is mesmerising and overall a wonderful whimsical day out and one of my favourite places in the UK now. It is very unfortunate that it isn’t accessible to all with several stairs to access the well/cave, the official website does have a detailed accessibility guide for more information
    Thank you so much for your fantastic 5 star review! We're thrilled to hear that you found the attraction a stunning, magical and informative place to visit! We are so pleased that you liked our catering facilities in the centre of the park and thought that the Petrifying Well was mesmerising! As you say, we do have a detailed Accessibility Guide on our website, but unfortunately due to the natural rock formation and 3 sets of steep steps, the cave and well may not be suitable for those with mobility issues. We really hope to welcome you back again soon. Kind regards, Mother Shipton's
    Written 30 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 24 May 2023
  • Shelbee B
    27 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great day out for all the family
    Had a great day there today with myself, daughter and 6 year old grandson. It's many years since I had last been and I loved the changes made since then. Pirate Steve was great fun with the children and their family members. Interacting with everyone to create the atmosphere and add heaps of fun. From his role playing to surprising the adults it was a joy to hear the laughter from the children. Fab day out.
    Thank you so much for your wonderful 5 star review! We are delighted to hear that you and your family had a fantastic time at our Treasure Island event and enjoyed meeting Pirate Steve! It's wonderful to know that he added fun and laughter to your visit - we'll be sure to pass on your kind words. It also means alot that you appreciated the improvements made throughout the park, we are constantly working to enhance the attraction and provide visitors with the most magical experience possible. We hope to welcome you all back again soon - perhaps for one of our upcoming themed events! Kind regards, Mother Shipton's
    Written 31 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 30 May 2023
  • Sue and Dave
    Sheffield, United Kingdom40 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A special mirning
    A glorious 2 hours walking by the river Nidd and exploring all this magical place has to offer. Beautifully done and in our opinion, good value for money. Lovely knowledgeable staff who are passionate about this beautiful part of Knaresborough.
    Thank you so much for your wonderful 5 star review! We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed a glorious riverside walk and had a great time exploring the magic of Mother Shipton's! It means so much that you noticed the effort we've put in to make the attraction a beautiful, special place for visitors. It's also great that you found your visit good value for money. We really appreciate your kind words about our wonderful staff and will be sure to pass along your feedback. We hope to welcome you back again soon. Kind regards, Mother Shipton's
    Written 15 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 June 2023
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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles1,920 reviews
Excellent
753
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563
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284
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156

Philip H
Merseyside75 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
The cafe isn't a cafe; it is a kiosk selling coffee and hotdogs. It also offers pies subject to availability; they weren't available. We had three kids with us who needed feeding. The rules are you can't leave and come back if you drive in. We were only told this after we paid. The team at the gate were very unhelpful but eventually begrudgingly let us leave to get some food.

The play area was closed. The museum is a tiny corner of the shop.

It is a fun place for the kids to visit for a few hours but overpromises.
Written 25 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for contacting Mother Shipton's. We don't have a cafe on site, but we do have a kiosk that sells barista coffees, sweet treats, hot dogs, ice cream and pies. We do apologise that we had ran out of pies at the time of your visit. We have plenty of covered seating areas to enjoy a picnic or food and drinks from our kiosk. We do not advertise our kiosk as a cafe, our team members would be more than happy to recommend options in the town if you were looking for something more substantial after your visit, and there are other car parks nearby for visiting the town. The website clearly states thar parking is only for visiting the attraction, it is also mentioned in the terms and conditions, written on information boards outside the main entrance and explained to visitors on arrival. Unfortunately the playground does have to be closed if the ground is too wet and slippery as it wouldn't be safe to allow visitors to enter in such conditions. We hope you can appreciate that visitor safety must come first. The fact that the playground is subject to weather conditions is also stated in our terms and conditions, and visitors are informed on arrival if this is the case on the day of your attendance. We are not usually open during February as we are a seasonal attraction, but this year we have opened earlier than expected and have enjoyed welcoming visitors back to the site at a reduced rate for this quiet season. Kind Regards, Mother Shipton's
Written 1 March 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

christinahj13
Leeds, UK48 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
Great for a visit to see the well and cave if you haven’t been before. The history of the place is fascinating and magical. We had a pram which you could bring in but had to leave it at the pram parking to go down to the well and cave. The cafe area looks like a great picnic spot for lunch and there’s a children’s play area. It’s perhaps a little bit pricey at £6 each for pedestrians but appreciate that they need to maintain the area. 1-2 hours suggested duration is about right. We parked elsewhere so we could explore Knaresborough.
Written 18 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for contacting Mother Shipton's. We are happy to read that you enjoyed a magical visit to Mother Shipton's, discovering the history of the site and exploring the ancient attraction. It's great to hear that you found Mother Shipton's to be fascinating and magical. We do indeed have a lovely area for picnics, including covered picnic cabins in the woodland. We serve barista coffees, ice cream, pies and sweet treats. Thank you for appreciating the immense effort and investment that goes into protecting this ancient site for future generations to enjoy. Kind Regards, Mother Shipton's.
Written 1 March 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

David P
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024
Brilliantly enchanting we had the best time every it was brilliant if you enjoy enchanting witchy things and history this is for you also great for the kids . You can take your dogs as long as they stay on their leads . Absolutely loved it and would go again. It is set in a very pretty friendly town of Knaresborough
Written 16 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for contacting Mother Shipton's. How wonderful to read that you found your visit to England's Oldest Tourist Attraction to be so brilliantly enchanting! We are proud to tell the fascinating story of Mother Shipton, and know that her legacy is adored by many, especially those interested in witchcraft and history, but we also have plenty to entertain families of all ages. We're so pleased to see that you would visit us again, and hope to see you this year for another enchanting trip. Kind Regards, Mother Shipton's.
Written 1 March 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rosie L
Birstall, UK132 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
We have visited Mother Shipton's Cave a few times now for both the Halloween and Christmas experience and keep coming back. The Christmas experience is absolutely magical and their Father Christmas is one of the best I have encountered. We love seeing all the amazing decorations and taking part in the different activities in the cabins and tents. The picnic cabins are a fantastic idea too for sitting and having a drink and a hotdog with a bit of shelter. The woodland setting is beautiful and we all enjoy the steady stroll down to the cave. You definitely need wellies or walking boots in winter months as it is all dirt paths through the woods. We plan to visit in summer time this year to take advantage of the playground.
Written 28 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for contacting Mother Shipton's. We are delighted to read your wonderful review of our Magical Christmas Experience. We're so pleased that you have become a regular visitor for our Halloween and Christmas events, and that you have made this a special Christmas tradition. We will pass on your wonderful feedback to Father Christmas and his wonderful team of elves, who put a lot of hard work into setting up all of the beautiful displays for the event. We're glad to hear that you also took advantage of our covered picnic cabins, we also have a heated seating area tipi at Christmas so there's always somewhere lovely and warm to enjoy your hot chocolate! We would love to see you again for another one of our events, and to see how the attraction transforms with the seasons. This year, our events include: Easter Wonderland, Lost Boys for May Half Term, Finding Neverland this Summer, Hocus Pocus Halloween and of course the return of our fabulous Christmas experience. We look forward to welcoming you back! Kind Regards, Mother Shipton's.
Written 1 March 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Samantha P
1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
We met here for a family get together.
The area is nice by the river and viaduct and the play area for the children is ok. One of our children did get a very large splinter stuck in their leg from the climbing frame so be careful.
The place was set up for Halloween so along the walk to the cave there were huts and Halloween decorations etc the children enjoyed this, though it wasn't open.
We got a hot drink around this area and carried on walking. The petrifying well was interesting and in our opinion the main attraction as the cave was a big disappointment. We were expecting to explore a cavernous cave but unfortunately it's more a hole in a wall.
The museum and shop were also a disappointment and for the admission price we thought there must be more but there isn't that is all there is.
I think it would be nice to visit for an event, but don't go if you're expecting to explore lots of caves as this is not case. We all felt that it is overpriced for what it advertised.

Written 2 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for contacting Mother Shipton's. We're pleased to hear that during your recent visit you enjoyed the beautiful riverside setting of our attraction and found the geological phenomenon of the Petrifying Well interesting. It's lovely to hear that your children enjoyed viewing some of the Halloween decorations prior to the start of the event itself, but we're sorry to hear that you were disappointed with other aspects of your visit. We're shocked to hear that your child got a splinter in the playground - we do have several procedures in place to ensure that the play equipment is safe for visitors, this should not have occured and we will be sure to look into this. With regards to the cave, we do not promote or advertise it as a network of caves to explore. Photographs of the cave are posted regularly on our social media pages and throughout our website to give visitors an idea of what to expect. It is small, but the uniqueness of this cave lies in the fact it is believed to be the birthplace of legendary prophetess Mother Shipton. Our Museum though modest in size contains lots of additional information about Mother Shipton, a display of petrified items from celebrity visitors and houses an exhibit of unique 'figments' from a local textile artist Mister Finch. The Gift Shop is filled with lots of unique trinkets and treasures which make delightful gifts for various budgets. We are selective in purchasing stock that is the right fit and feel for our unique tone of voice at England’s Oldest Tourist attraction. As a privately owned attraction we receive no grants or subsidies so all admission fees go back in to preserving the park for future generations to enjoy. We're sure you can appreciate how much maintenance and investment such an ancient site requires. Kind regards, Mother Shipton's
Written 9 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cleanfreak
Halifax, UK15 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Lovely Christmas Day out.On a normal day there’s not too much at Mother Shiptons Cave especially for very young children but the Christmas experience was magical.We paid £66 for 4 people including parking and visiting Father Christmas with a toy (not cheap tat).It was typical winter weather so we were all togged up but we aren’t the type of family put off by a bit of rain and it didn’t effect our day at all.The main toilets were clean, the staff were lovely and the Father Christmas was excellent, engaging and made our children really feel like he knew them.We have a 6 year old asking lots of questions this year but by the time we left she knew he was the real deal from how realistic he had been (luckily).The only downfall was that the play area was closed but we managed to wear the children out with the walk along the river.We have been to many Santa experiences at multiple places over the years but this was a lovely family afternoon 😀
Written 24 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for contacting Mother Shipton's. We are so delighted to hear that you had a wonderful family afternoon at our Magical Christmas Experience! We're so pleased that you had such a special, authentic visit to Santa and it's fantastic that the weather didn't dampen your spirits! We're sorry that the adventure playground was closed during your visit, but we have to make this decision in bad weather unfortunately as it can become very slippery and dangerous. We are thrilled that you still managed to have a lovely walk along the river after your festive activities and we hope to welcome you back again this year! Kind regards, Mother Shipton's
Written 9 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cherry W
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Had the most amazing and magical time seeing Santa with my 4 year old daughter. A very traditional and realistic experience set in such beautiful scenery. Very well thought out and you can tell a lot of work has been put into creating the experience. Santa and all the elves were fantastic. Good value for money. Will definitely be back again.
Written 23 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for contacting Mother Shipton's. We are thrilled to hear that you had an amazing time visiting Santa at our Magical Christmas Experience! We're so pleased that you found the experience realistic and well-thought out as we put alot of effort into making it as authentic and enchanting as possible. It's wonderful that you found the event good value for money and we look forward to welcoming you back again this year! Kind regards, Mother Shipton's
Written 9 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Samantha F
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
We had the most magical trip to see Father Christmas the other evening! It was so perfect, from the entrance, to the Father Christmas hut, and the other huts to visit. So much thought and effort had gone into every detail and it was incredible!
Written 23 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback on our Magical Christmas Experience. We are so delighted to hear that you had a wonderful time from start to finish! It means so much that you noticed the effort and attention to detail that has gone in to creating a truly authentic and memorable event, to hear it described as perfect makes us so happy. We hope to welcome you back again for our 2024 events. Kind regards, Mother Shipton's
Written 9 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

safirth77
Cleckheaton, United Kingdom6 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
We were in Knaresborough this week and decided on a whim to visit Mother Shipton's Cave, as the last time we were in the area it was closed. We went to the booth at the entrance and noticed a little sign in the window quoting that the price for pedestrians was £9.50 per person. Let the excitement begin!

The first 100 metres were OK - just a nice walk along a wooded footpath with the weir and river to our left. Nothing much else to see, other than a pair of stocks sited part way up a muddy embankment.

A few meters further on we arrived at the "Mother Shipton's Magical Christmas Experience", which consisted of a few small open-sided log cabins with picnic tables inside and three or four large tipi type wooden cabins. One of these was for children to listen to someone reading a story, another where children could visit Santa (which you have to pay extra for), and a couple more that appeared to be shops of some kind. There was also a little Citroen van selling tea & coffee. Nothing enchanting or magical about any of that!

We continued along the pathway, passing a tiny canon next to a storyboard about a canon being used hundreds of years ago to blow up Knaresborough Castle. Again, not very exciting or realistic - perhaps if a full size canon had been there we could be forgiven for not believing in the story.

Then, travelling up a long, steep stone staircase, we came to the highlight of the visit - or so we thought. What a disappointment! A stone wall, about the width of my living room, with some strings of tiny teddy bears and a few other random objects hanging in the flow of water, with only a few showing signs of 'petrification'. The whole thing was very boring and I certainly can't see children getting excited at all about it.

Next to that, there was what could only be described as a small hole in the wall (I definitely wouldn't class it as a cave!) inside which was a small stone statue of an old lady (I'd liken it to a garden ornament). The worst part was the false voice of a witch - i.e. Mother Shipton - that was relayed over a speaker system when you pressed the button. It was so amateurish and cheap that we couldn't wait to get away!

Next came a little (garden-size) shed in which there were 3 wax heads on stakes and a "body" inside a metal cage, the type often used as a punishment in medieval times. A complete waste of time and space - most people just walked straight past it, as only 2 people at a time can look through the shed windows.

Finally, we came to the Museum & Shop - my dining room is larger than this!! A couple of waxwork models, which have definitely seen better days, a glass cabinet with a few items provided by "celebrities" that have been petrified, and some cabinets with some ugly fairy models/ornaments in them. The other walls contained what constituted the shop. A lot of overpriced tut (mainly Christmas ornaments, which was understandable) and gimmicky things based on witches and witchcraft, but nothing that you couldn't purchase for far less money elsewhere.

And that was it! The end of our visit! We covered everything on the site in about 30 minutes and were completely and utterly underwhelmed by the whole thing.

We made our way back to the exit /entrance. Before we left the site I decided to visit the toilet. That was until I got to the doorway, where the strong smell of urine hit me and I had the creepy feeling of going into a dark and dismal place (maybe this was the 'cave' that the owners rave about!?!?), it was dreadful. Admittedly, I went no further, so did not get a look at the actual loo, therefore I don't know if it was clean or not, but the smell was enough to put me off - disgusting!! No doubt the owners will say that the toilets are cleaned daily - maybe they are, but perhaps they should try cleaning the stone floors as well. I can't imagine anything worse - any children being taken there by their parents must feel scared at the prospect of going in there!

Our 30 minute visit to see a few wooden sheds and an overpriced shop was not worth the £9.50 each that we paid. Perhaps a fiver might have been JUST about acceptable.

Finally, to add insult to injury, I checked my bank account the following day, only to see that £24 had been taken out by Mother Shipton's, not the £19 we were expecting.
I contacted the owners who said "The price boards at the entrance have the prices for off peak and peak prices for during our standard open dates, not for the separate Christmas event prices. The price you paid is correct for visiting during our Christmas event." I replied that we saw nothing indicating that we were being charged more than was indicated at the entrance booth, nor did the lady who took our card payment explain that we were paying more than the price displayed and that I believe their tactics to be very, very misleading, bordering on dishonest. Funnily enough, I have heard nothing since.

Anyone who takes the time to look at Mother Shipton's reviews before deciding to visit will see that many of the reviewers who have given a low score receive a rather grumpy and insulting response from the owners, along the lines of "they (the visitors) do not appreciate the time and effort that goes into the site, nor do they appreciate the fascinating legends, history, and geology. The 'cave' has been left as it was some 533 years ago".

I don't believe for one minute that anyone EVER lived in this cave, it would barely give any shelter at all, being so small, and how does anyone really know that this is the cave where Mother Shipton supposedly lived?

All in all, a visit that we wished we had never made, it is a COMPLETE CON. The site is more like a scruffy campsite than the "exciting experience" that the owners lead you to believe. It is a total rip off and we will definitely never visit again. I suggest anyone who takes time to read reviews takes heed of all the negative comments and keeps hold of their money. Go and visit the Castle at Knaresborough and wander around the shops and houses down by the river - they're much more exciting and it doesn't cost a penny!

In our experience, not only did we have a dismal time at Mother Shipton's, but we were ripped off. Paying £19 for the disastrously poor experience that we had was bad enough, but to later find that they've robbed us of another £5 without us knowing is tantamount to theft in my view!

Stay Away and find something better to waste your money on!!
Written 21 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

colleen t
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
We booked with the family to visit the winter wonderland ho my what an amazing time we had the kids loved every minute it was so magical santa was the best iv seen it was worth every penny and would highly recommend
Written 20 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for contacting Mother Shipton's Cave. We are delighted to hear that you had an amazing time at our Magical Christmas Expeience and Santa was the best you've ever seen! It's wonderful that you would recommend us and thought the experience was worth every penny! We're so happy that you and your children had a magical time and we hope to welcome you back again this year! Kind regards, Mother Shipton's
Written 9 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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MOTHER SHIPTON'S CAVE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Mother Shipton's Cave

Mother Shipton's Cave is open:
  • Sat - Sun 10:00 - 16:30