Mother Shipton’s Cave

Family Friendly

Prophecy House, High Bridge, KNARESBOROUGH, North Yorkshire, HG5 8DD

Tel: 01423 864600

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 1634 reviews1634 reviews
Large mineral deposit Petrifying Well with items haning that have been turned to stone under the water


Mother Shipton’s is a beloved Knaresborough landmark and England’s oldest visitor attraction, open since 1630. This popular visitor attraction tells the story of Mother Shipton and the Petrifying Well.

Historic Woodland Walk

A picturesque mile-long walk along the River Nidd features the cave where famous Yorkshire prophetess Mother Shipton was born. It is situated next to the Petrifying Well, a unique geological phenomenon. Over hundreds of years curiosity has drawn millions of visitors to the well to see cascading water turn everyday objects to stone - as if by magic. People around the world visit the park, a remnant of the Royal Forest of Knaresborough with some of the oldest, tallest beech trees in the country.

Who was Mother Shipton?

Mother Shipton was born in a cave in 1488 and grew up around Knaresborough. As she grew older, her prophecies became known throughout England. She foretold the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 and the Great Fire of London in 1666. She made her living telling the future and warning those who asked of what was to come. 

Fun for all the Family

Great for all ages, there’s fun for families in the adventure playground, scenic picnic areas, interactive trails during events, and petrified objects displayed in the museum and gift shop. Dogs are welcome in all areas, apart from the playground. Areas of the park have restricted access.

2021 Events

Families can be immersed in magic during Mother Shipton’s themed events. Details will be released on the website in due course.


Mother Shipton’s cave has a great deal of scope with regards to the subjects contained in the National Curriculum. A comprehensive range of activities that link to all subjects and to specific objectives of the Curriculum are available here. Special discount rates apply for school visits. A visit links well with Key Stages 1 to 3 in history, science, geography and English. Please contact us for more information or to arrange a visit.

Book Tickets Online

Opening Times

Season (29 Mar 2021 - 31 Oct 2021)
Monday - Friday10:00 - 16:30
Saturday - Sunday09:30 - 17:30
Bank Holiday09:30 - 17:30

Guide Prices

Tickets must be pre-booked online at this time

Please check the website for special events, up-to-date opening times, and any unforeseen park closures.


  • Mother Shipton's Cave


Booking & Payment Details

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)


  • On-site light refreshments
  • Picnic site


  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children welcome

COVID-19 Response

  • Capacity limit
  • Clear signage
  • Contactless payment possible
  • COVID-19 measures in place
  • COVID-19 risk assessment completed
  • COVID-19 staff training completed
  • Deep cleaning between visitors
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Food available during COVID-19 restrictions
  • Hygiene screens in place
  • Online booking only
  • Open now
  • Outside seating
  • Pets welcome during COVID-19 restrictions
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Socially distanced spaced seating
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Time limited visits


  • Facilities for educational visits
  • Guided tours for groups - Group visits and guided tours must be booked in advance through telephone or email.

Property Facilities

  • Dogs Accepted
  • Gift shop
  • Public toilets
  • Smoking not allowed

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted


  • Yorkshire AwardsVisit York  Tourism Awards - Finalist 2020 Visit York Tourism Awards - Finalist 2020 2020

Public Transport Directions

If travelling by rail or on foot the Main Gate is a 5 to 10-minute walk from Knaresborough train station. Northern Rail offer direct trains to Knaresborough from Leeds and York. Walk down the hill from the station and past the church, then left and over high bridge to the entrance. There is a bus stop at the entrance to Mother Shipton’s with regular buses from Harrogate.

If travelling by car we are located next to High Bridge in Knaresborough on the A59. Use postcode HG5 8DD for satellite navigation.

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