THE new book Adventures Underground by Dave Haigh and John Cordingley takes its readers on a journey of exploration through the caves of the Yorkshire Dales.

The book's concept and title are inspired by the classic book, Underground Adventure by Arthur Gemmell and Jack Myers, which was published in 1952 and detailed their discoveries from 1938 to that date.

Dave said the fact that it was reprinted in 1990 (with a forward by John) bears witness to its popularity and place in caving history.

Dave said: “Not only was Underground Adventure one of the earliest books to chronicle cave discovery and exploration in the Yorkshire Dales, it was one of the finest.”

Dave, who grew up in Halifax and now resides in Penrith, says like many other teenagers in the 1950s and 60s, he was excited and inspired by stories in the book and made a decision when the opportunity arose to try and follow in their footsteps.

He said: “I wanted to experience my own underground adventure and dreamt that one day I would be lucky enough to discover a new cave.

“Soon after reading their book, the opportunity to go caving did arise and I was hooked.

“I was able to follow in Jack and Arthur's footsteps and have enjoyed more than 50 years of thrills, spills and fun exploring caves and potholes in the Dales.

“Mostly I was in the good company of like-minded club members with a passion for seeking out new caves, or extending ones already known.”

So now Dave and John, a highly respected caver and cave diver, have written tales of cave discoveries, most of which they have been personally involved in over the years.

Dave has been caving with Bradford Pothole Club for 55 years and is an honourary member and past president of the club.

John, a Lancashire lad who now lives near Ingleton, is a member of Craven Pothole Club, Northern Peninne Club and Cave Diving Group and is responsible for many cave discoveries in the Yorkshire Dales.

Dave and John's stories capture the thrill of discovery and the highs and lows of success and failure underground. They blend their narrative with dark humour known only to cavers.

They tell of the Hunt for the Penyghent Master Cave and of the fascinating story of how Gaping Gill was connected to Ingleborough Cave.

Lovers of Malham, who have stood beneath the limestone cliff of Malham Cove watching the River Aire flow from some unknown subterranean depths at its base, will be intrigued to learn of the kilometre and a half of hard won spectacular underwater passages that have been discovered and are still being discovered beneath.

John has been heavily involved with this project for many years, and finally reveals the secrets hidden behind the Cove.

Readers will also treated to the story of how the final links were forged in the Three Counties System, which joined Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire underground to form a massive 100 kilometre long system.

Dave said: “Even after dozens of times reading, some of these tales still make my hair stand on end, especially John's underwater struggles whilst making dramatic discoveries.”

Adventures Underground is published by Abergavenny-based Wild Places Publishing, who redrew all the maps and surveys and not only sourced, but took many of the 270 photos in the 240-page book. Many images were also taken by both authors.

Adventures Underground is available online from, from Wild Places Publishing, PO Box 100, Abergavenny, NP7 9WY, UK or by ringing 01873 373707.

The soft back edition is priced at £24.95 and the very limited hardback edition at £39.95 and is available from Inglesport of Ingleton, Castleberg Outdoors of Settle, Ingleborough Cave, Penyghent Cafe and some bookshops.

Authors' royalties from the book will be donated to charities, specifically cave rescue and Macmillan Cancer Support.