1 Ask just about anybody in the region to name a visitor attraction with caves and the chances are that Wookey Hole - www.wookey.co.uk - will be among the first on their list. The showcaves are the largest in the country and and have been a major visitor attraction for generations, but the number of other attractions at the location steadily grows. They currently include everything from animatronic dinosaurs to live circus shows.

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2 The centrepiece of Cheddar Caves and Gorge - www.cheddargorge.co.uk - is Gough’s Cave, the largest of the attraction’s show caves and home to some of the earliest members of the human race. In addition to enjoying the sheer spectacle, visitors can learn about the history of the area, take a fascinating clifftop walk and explore a nature reserve. Cheddar Caves and Gorge consistently scores impressively in online polls of family attractions.

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3 The mere notion that Pen Park Hole in Bristol exists is enough to entrance anybody with a fascination for mysteries far beneath their feet. We tend to expect caves to lurk beneath rugged countryside and mountain ranges, but the entrance to Pan Park Hole is next to a popular golf course. Unlike many of the other attractions on this list, the cave is suitable for reasonably fit people only, and access is restricted. Anybody wishing to experience what must surely be one of the most unusual locations to be found beneath any British city should begin by visiting www.penparkhole.org.uk, which has plenty of information about the cavern’s history and how to arrange visits.

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4 Clearwell Caves, near Coleford in Gloucestershire, represents a millennia-old meeting of the natural world and human ingenuity. The network of caves carved by ancient underground rivers and streams drew countless generations of miners eager to extract iron ore. In the last century they were opened as a visitor destination which offers, among other attractions, the chance to go beyond the show cave sections and venture - safely and under expert guidance - into deeper territory. Further details can be found at clearwellcaves.com

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5 The Hellfire Caves - www.hellfirecaves.co.uk - in West Wycombe, not much more than 50 miles from Swindon, are named for the Hellfire Club, the notorious 18th century group of well-heeled and politically-connected mischief-makers. The network of caverns, a legacy of quarrying in the area, was used for club meetings, and 21st century visitors can tour them while learning about their history.

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6 Along with the model village at Babbacombe and the Living Coasts zoo and aquarium, Kents Cavern is a must for visitors on the lookout for family attractions in the Torquay area. A favourite among tourists for many years, the cave system - www.kents-cavern.co.uk - is millions of years old. It was once home to early humans, the creatures hunted by early humans - and the creatures which hunted early humans. Knowledgeable guides run frequent tours.

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7 Llechwedd Slate Caverns in Gwynedd - llechwedd.co.uk - should be on anybody’s list of unusual attractions to visit during a holiday or long weekend in North Wales. Visitors are taken far below the surface to the slate workings where Victorian miners toiled.

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8 The National Showcaves Centre for Wales - www.showcaves.co.uk - in Swansea is beyond the range of all but the most determined daytrippers, but is well worth a visit by anybody spending longer in the area. The underground system includes many spectacular sights, but the most spectacular of all is the enormous space known as Cathedral Cave. Another space, Bone Cave, is so named because the remains of more than 40 ancient people have been discovered there.

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9 Sygun Copper Mine, like Llechwedd Slate Caverns, is a popular attraction in North Wales. The mine - www.syguncoppermine.co.uk - is in Snowdonia National Park. The Romans were the first to dig true mines at the site, and had to because even older peoples had exhausted the surface deposits. The mine holds a Prince of Wales Award for tourism.

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10 Carnglaze Caverns near Liskeard - www.carnglaze.com - is a series of chambers cut into the landscape by slate miners. In addition to being a tourist attraction it is used as a venue for concernts and special events.

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