Welcome to the University of Nottingham Caving Club!
University of Nottingham Caving Club (NUCC)
Trips - Training & Socials
We are a welcoming, active club for those inclined to go adventuring underground. We travel the UK to explore amazing cave systems, have regular training and social evenings and have longer trips away in the holidays! You don’t need any experience and we’d love to have you on board. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any questions!
Combine adventure, exploration, the playground of your dreams and the wonders of the natural world and you’ve got caving! We explore the underground through walking, scrambling, abseiling and traversing natural obstacles. You’ll encounter stunning rock formations, colossal caverns, subterranean streamways and waterfalls, winding passages and much more, all in team spirits, before emerging onto the surface, ready for the social night to follow.
Can I cave?
Of course! Almost all our members start as complete beginners and no great fitness levels are required. The club also provides all the specialist kit you need.
What we do
The first trips of the year will be day trips to Peak Cavern in the Peak District – an ideal introduction to caving! We then run regular weekend trips around the UK. Throughout the year we train the rope techniques needed to access deeper caverns – then visit these! There’s also the opportunity for longer trips in the UK and abroad in the holidays.
Freshers’ Day Trips
The first trip of the year will be to Peak Cavern in the Peak District. This is a huge network of tunnels, much of which is accessible to complete beginners. In the morning we travel together to the caving hut in Castleton. Throughout the day small groups will be guided through the cave by experienced members of the club while the rest hang out at the hut, getting to know each other and playing caving games. The route through the cave is spectacular: you enter through the vast caverns of the show cave then go beyond and deeper into the cave. Here you’ll find cavernous passages (including some of the best tubular passage in the country), waterfalls, ladders, impressive underground streamways, rock formations and plenty of boulders to scramble over. This is an ideal introductory trip, however if you don’t make it, don’t worry: you can join the club at any time.
We run regular weekend trips throughout the term to some of the most stunning parts of the UK: the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, South Wales and the Mendips. We stay in caving ‘huts’ (really cottages with dorm bedrooms), travelling there on the Friday, socialising that night, caving on both the Saturday and Sunday (optional for the tired/hungover), making a big joint meal then more socialising on the Saturday evening then travelling back on the Sunday evening. The first will be to South Wales where we will visit Ogof Ffynon Ddu – an enormous cave system 275m deep and with 61km of passage. We will be tackling routes accessible to complete beginners and you’ll get an idea of the vast labyrinth of tunnels here.
On the weekend trips you will see a wide variety of caves, from those accessible by only walking and scrambling to those requiring SRT (Single Rope Technique – what we use to get into more vertical cave systems). Some have huge pitches to abseil down, some with accompanying waterfalls, others have an intricate network of tunnels to explore, some with raging streamways, some with scrambling, some with incredible rock formations – all of them a challenge and a showcase of the amazing natural world. Early trips will focus on more horizontal (walking and scrambling) caves, moving on to the more vertical when we have trained you in SRT.
We meet every Tuesday at 6:30pm at the climbing wall at the David Ross Sports Village for our training and social evenings. These are a perfect chance to get to know the club without committing to membership as this is open to all. This is where we teach the Single Rope Technique (SRT) to tackle the more vertical caves. In a safe, controlled environment you’ll learn to abseil, traverse and ascend rope, trained by more experienced members of the club. We then move to Mooch (the bar on University Park campus) to drink, chat and share vastly exaggerated stories of our adventures underground. We’d love for you to come to both parts of this evening but, if you’re curious, feel free to come and say hello at either half!
The Caving Community
Caving is a rare opportunity to mingle and make great friends with students at Universities across the UK. We often run joint weekend trips with University clubs such as Sheffield and Leeds and all University clubs are joined by the Council of Higher Education Caving Clubs (CHECC). This is a great resource for training and accumulating caving knowledge but an even greater one for socialising. Every year we attend the CHECC forum, where (almost) all the University clubs from across the country gather to meet and cave. This has many training opportunities, lectures, lots of socialising and chances to go caving with different people. There’s also Northern CHECC, a similar, smaller event held later in the year for northern caving clubs.
There will also be the opportunity for longer trips in the holidays. These may be a longer version of our weekends away in the UK, a caving holiday abroad or a holiday for a related activity such as via ferrata (mountaineering with in-situ steel cables) or canyoning (abseiling and swimming down a gorge) or an expedition abroad in an attempt to find new, undiscovered cave. These could be with the club or with some of the many contacts you’ll make through mingling with University (and other, more grown-up) clubs throughout the year.