Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is Creswell Crags open?
Yes, from 1st August, Creswell Crags Museum and Prehistoric Gorge will be open daily from 10am. This will include the Visitor Centre, and café. The Visitor Centre and cafe will close at 4.30pm but the downstairs toilets will be available until 5pm.
The car park will be accessible via our main gate from 9am every morning.
Please note that cave tours will only be available when booked in advance. See our cave tours page for more information. The only way to access the caves is on a pre-booked cave tour, there is no public access at other times.
Q. Can I use the car park outside of opening hours?
Our gates will open from 9am every morning, and you are welcome to park in the car park from that time. The gates will close at 5pm, but will open automatically for you to leave the car park after that time. Overnight car parking is not allowed.
Q. What is there to do at Creswell Crags?
From 1st August we will be almost fully open. You will be able to walk around the prehistoric limestone gorge, use our café for takeaway food and drink, enjoy our outdoor seating and picnic tables, and buy a ticket to visit the museum exhibition. The toilets will also be open.
From mid-August, we will have pre-booked cave tours available for families/households. Please see our cave tours page for more information.
Initially, our gift shop will be closed and we encourage purchases via our online shop. We hope to open the shop in mid-August.
If you are interested in school trips, parties or group bookings, please see the relevant page of the website: in the first instance we recommend emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to have a conversation about your requirements.
Q. Where do I park, how much does it cost to park, and how do I pay?
We have a large car park near our Visitor Centre: follow the signs to our entrance from the road and you will arrive at our car park via our private entrance road.
Disabled spaces are directly in front of the entrance to the Visitor Centre. Please display your Blue Badge prominently. Disabled visitors do not have to pay to park. For our full access statement, please see the Access page of our website.
Our car parking spaces are intentionally wide to allow for space around your car, helping access and social distancing.
There are parking machines located in the car park. These accept payments via cash and contactless card. You must pay to park at all times (unless you are displaying a Disabled badge). You will need to enter your registration into the machine: tickets are not transferable.
It costs £4 to park for up to 3 hours and £6 to park for a full day.
We do not offer car parking discounts or concessions, however we do have an annual parking pass. This costs £15 and entitles you to park as often as you like for a year. Please ask at our front desk to purchase one.
Q. I already have an annual car parking pass and it expires soon. What do I do?
We will honour all passes for an additional 6 months after their expiry date since you have not been able to use it during lockdown. However, if you are able to renew it at its expiry date, we very much appreciate your support.
Q. Can I walk around the gorge outside of opening hours?
Yes. The main footpath around the gorge is accessed via the public bridleway from Creswell village. You can walk around the lake, and along the woodland path to our car park, from where further paths lead towards the Welbeck Estate and Dukeries countryside. However, our car park – which is gated – is only open between 9am and 5pm, and we will also lock the gates to our Meadow area at 5pm daily. Please note that our toilets are inside the Visitor Centre and therefore not open when the Centre is closed.
Q. What do I do with my litter?
There are litter bins near the Visitor Centre, please use these responsibly and do not overfill them. If they are full, please report this to a member of staff. There are no litter bins in the gorge. Please bear this in mind and, if you can, please take your litter home and recycle it/dispose of it in your own dustbin. This will really help our team and protect our site.
Q. Are dogs allowed at Creswell Crags?
Dogs, on leads, are very welcome at Creswell Crags for walks around the gorge and Meadow. We have dog waste bins on site and we ask that you use them. We do not allow dogs inside the Visitor Centre or café, but they are welcome on the café terrace and in outside seating areas. We sell Frozzy’s (frozen yogurts for dogs) in the café and provide fresh water for dogs on the terrace outside the café.
Please use dog waste bins responsibly, and do not leave dog waste in plastic bags by footpaths or around the bin. If the bin is full, please report this to a member of staff.
Q. How do I book tickets for cave tours, and how much do they cost? How do you define a ‘family’ or ‘household’ for the purpose of these tours? What restrictions are there?
Please see our cave tours page here, which includes a link to book and all the information you need. Under 5s are not allowed to take our cave tours, and the caves are unfortunately not suitable for wheelchair users or visitors with mobility issues.
You will not be able to come on a cave tour unless you have booked in advance.
Q. I have a Groupon Voucher for a cave tour. Can I still use it? If not, how do I get a refund?
Unfortunately, we are no longer able to offer the same cave tours that were part of our pre-lockdown Groupon offer. You will be contacted by Groupon regarding a refund for any outstanding booked tickets and we are working with Groupon to find the best solution for outstanding vouchers. We will be in touch.
Q. Will you still have special events?
Sadly, we had to cancel most of our events programme in 2020. We are monitoring government advice on gatherings such as performances, and talking to our events suppliers about options for the remainder of 2020. Please see our events page and our social media feeds for up to date information as this develops.
Q. I have a ticket for an event that has not yet been cancelled, what do I do?
If you booked your ticket through our Eventbrite page, or directly with the team at Creswell Crags, we will be in touch with an update during August. If the event is going ahead, we will ask if you still wish to attend. If you do not wish to attend, or the event is cancelled, a full refund will be offered.
If you booked your ticket through a third party – such as Chapterhouse Theatre Company – please follow their advice on how to seek a refund for cancelled events.
Q. How will you ensure that we can visit Creswell Crags safely?
We have put in place a range of measures in line with best practise for preventing the spread of coronavirus. Our site has been risk assessed for both staff and visitors. These include:
- screens at the front desk and café counter
- one-way system through the building including the exhibition
- social distancing markers where queues form
- hand sanitiser around the building
- an enhanced cleaning schedule
- alternate toilet cubicles and sinks closed off
- takeaway only in the café with pre-packaged food and no indoor seating
- contactless payment for car parking
- extra staff to provide information and ensure visitors are adhering to guidelines
- limited shop stock on display
- visitors asked to wear face coverings in enclosed areas in the Visitor Centre
Track and Trace: We will be participating in the NHS Track and Trace scheme. If you enter the building, you will be asked to provide your details for this. Please do so at the front desk. This information will only be used for Track and Trace and will be erased after 21 days.
If you just park in our car park and walk through the gorge, you do not need to give your information to us for Track and Trace.
Good to Go: We have been awarded the ‘Good to Go’ marque, the tourism industry’s award for high standards of health and safety.
Q. Is 2m social distancing still in place?
Yes. To maximise safety for our staff and visitors we are sticking to 2m social distancing on our site. You will see markers on the floor to make sure it is straightforward to socially distance in queues and we have created a one way system through our building to ensure social distancing is possible in narrower spaces. We ask that you observe social distancing between you and anyone who is not in your safe ‘bubble’ when you are on site, including our staff members.
Q. Do I need to book a time slot for the car park?
No. We recognise that many visitors will want to use the car park to go for a local walk rather than visiting the museum or going on a cave tour. However, you will need to pay for parking on arrival and we ask that you observe social distancing in the car park. If the car park becomes busy, we will divert staff to manage the situation and we might have to temporarily close the car park to new arrivals until there is more space.
Q. Can I buy items from the gift shop?
Yes, from mid-August, but the items on offer will be limited, and there will be less to browse. A full range of our gift items will be available via our online shop. If there is a particular souvenir you are seeking, and you do not wish to use the online shop, please email email@example.com or ask staff, we might be able to accommodate your purchase on the day.
Q. Do I need a ticket for the museum?
You do not need a ticket to enter the Visitor Centre. However, you will need to purchase a ticket to enter the museum exhibition of artefacts representing our Prehistoric heritage. This is £3 for adults and £2 for concessions, free for children. You can purchase this at the front desk.
Entry to the exhibition will be monitored and you might be asked to wait if it is busy, to ensure social distancing is possible. There will be a one way system in place through the exhibition. Touch screen installations will not be in operation.
Q. Will the toilets be open?
Yes. We have toilets on both levels of the Visitor Centre, including accessible toilets. We would prefer that visitors use the downstairs facilities, where social distancing is easier to enforce, however the upstairs facilities will be open for those arriving via the main entrance. Our toilets will be deep cleaned regularly, and we will be closing some cubicles and sinks to ensure social distancing. Please make sure you observe social distancing signage when using the toilets.
Baby changing facilities are available on the upper floor.
Q. Will we have to wear masks when we are inside the building?
We will follow the latest government advice on masks and face coverings, please check in advance if you are concerned. When we open on 1st August it will not be mandatory to wear masks but it will be strongly recommended inside the building, particularly the shop and exhibition areas. Children under 11 are not expected to wear masks, based on the government’s guidelines. Our staff will be wearing face coverings if they are not behind a screen and are interacting with members of the public.
We will have some masks available for purchase but recommend you bring/wear your own face covering.
Q. Will we have to wear masks if we go on a cave tour?
Yes, unless you are medically exempt from having to wear a mask or are younger than 11 years of age. We will need you to wear a face covering the whole time you are in the cave with the tour guide. The caves are enclosed spaces and this is to keep everyone safe. Our tour guides will wear a clear visor during the tour.
Q. Will we still have to wear helmets on a cave tour?
Yes, it is mandatory to wear a helmet on all our cave tours. Pre-booked groups will have their own set of hard hats assigned and ready for them on arrival. These will be disinfected after every use and stored separately from any helmets waiting to be disinfected.
Q. Can I bring a group to visit?
Our ability to offer group visits will depend on your requirements. Please call or email us to discuss your needs in more detail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Will I be able to meet up with family and friends at Creswell Crags?
The rules on our site will be the same as they are in any other public space. Please check the latest government guidance on social distancing and meeting people from other households.
Q. Will the children’s play area be open?
The children’s play area will not be fenced off. However, we must advise visitors that they will be using the equipment at their own risk and they must remember to wash/sanitise children’s hands both before and after they touch the equipment. They should not touch their faces, or consume food and drink, whilst playing, and must be supervised at all times.
Q. Can I still pay with cash?
Yes, you will be able to pay with cash in our car parking machine, for tickets and in the café. However, for everyone’s safety and convenience, we would strongly prefer you to pay by contactless card where possible.
Q. Will school visits be allowed?
We will be taking school bookings from September onwards. However, please contact email@example.com in the first instance, to discuss your requirements, risk assessments and availability.
Please also look out for the announcement of our new livestreamed digital package for schools, launching in September 2020.
Q. Will birthday parties and Life on the Edge badge visits be allowed?
We will be open to taking bookings for birthday parties and Life on the Edge sessions, after a discussion with you. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance, to discuss your requirements, risk assessments and availability.
Q. Are you taking venue hire bookings?
We will be open to taking bookings for our venue hire spaces, after a discussion with you. Please contact email@example.com in the first instance, to discuss your requirements, risk assessments and availability.
Q. Will I be able to use the mobility scooter/Tramper?
We have one Tramper available through Derbyshire County Council Access for All. You must be registered with the Council in order to use the Tramper. Click here to find out more about the scheme.
According to their guidelines, pre-booking in advance is now essential, as we will not be able to allow the use of the Tramper on a ‘drop-in’ basis. Please call or email us in advance of your visit. For your safety and that of others, we will be operating a morning or afternoon hire only. This is to ensure that we follow the appropriate government guidelines on hygiene and cleaning. Consider also bringing hand sanitiser for use before and after hire and please do not use the facility if you are symptomatic with COVID-19. When you pre-book, please always re-contact the centre if you need to cancel for any reason so that it can be made available to other users.
Q. I would like to support your fundraising campaign by making a donation, how do I do this?
We are a registered charity. You will find donation points in our building and around our outdoor site, where you can donate cash. We also have a contactless donation point in the Visitor Centre. You can also donate to us online at our JustGiving page or via our website.
If you are a UK tax payer, please say yes to Gift Aid when you book a ticket for a cave tour or buy a ticket for the exhibition. This allows us to claim additional funds from the government, at no additional cost to you.
If you have an idea for fundraising for Creswell Crags, please contact our Fundraising and Community Engagement Officer, Louise Revill: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Can I volunteer at Creswell Crags? How do I apply?
Yes, we are always grateful to have volunteers. Please see the volunteering page of our website for the latest role availability, updates related to COVID-19 restrictions and the online application form. If you are not able to access the website, you can ask for a paper copy of the form on site.
Please be aware that there will be reduced capacity to accept volunteers in August and September, and this might result in you being placed on a waiting list.
Q. I am an English Heritage or National Trust member. Do you offer a discount?
We offer a discount for English Heritage members, please enquire when you book. There is no discount for National Trust members. We are an independent charity and are not affiliated with either organisation.
Q. I have a question and could not get through on the phone. What shall I do?
We are working in the Visitor Centre and if you call back you might be able to get through. However, most of the team are working part time and there will not be a dedicated reception service until August. In the first instance, it is best to email us at email@example.com or send us a message through the Creswell Crags Facebook page.
Food and Drink
Q. Will the café be open as usual? Will there be changes?
The café will be open from 1st August onwards. However, it will be for takeaway purchases only and there will be no indoor seating. We will be expanding our outside seating.
Q. Can I visit the café without paying to park?
If you park in our car park, you must pay to park. If you park elsewhere and walk onto site, you are still welcome to come into the Visitor Centre and use the café.
Q. What safety measures are in place in the café?
There will be an enhanced deep cleaning procedure. We will be offering take away only, with pre-packaged food and drink. We are removing our cold drinks and ice cream fridges to prevent products coming into contact with customers’ hands as they browse. There will be a screen on the counter to separate staff from visitors. There will be a socially distanced queue system in place. Hot drinks will be offered in disposable, single-use cups. Sugar sachets will be removed from the tables and staff will add sugar to drinks at purchase. There will be additional outdoor seating.
Q. Can we bring a picnic?
Yes, you are welcome to bring a picnic and eat it in our outdoor areas. Please do not consume your picnic inside our building, or on our dedicated café seating.
As we are a registered charity, and every purchase supports us, please consider buying a hot or cold drink from our café to go with your picnic. We also sell picnic blankets.
Q. Will the café in the Visitor Centre be the only place to purchase food and drink?
We will be offering a small selection of food and drink for sale in the Meadow so that visitors do not have to return to the Visitor Centre to make a purchase.