Winster Cavers - an adventurous perspective on our natural world.
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"The world is a book. Those who do not travel read only one page." Saint Augustine

Welcome to, our adventurous perspective on the world around us exists to share with you some of our experiences both above, and below ground – to aid adventurers of reasonable ability and sound mind in exploring new ground, and to help them find information where we have sometimes struggled.

PLEASE NOTE: This site is not currently being actively maintained. Information contained here is likely to be out of date and should not be relied on.

We're keeping the site live for now with the intention/hope that we'll replace it with a new site that is both easier to maintain and mobile friendly at some point in the future, but this is a longer-term project. In the nearer term, we plan to release some of our video archive via our facebook page,

The site contains a growing collection of “mini travel guides”, based exclusively on our personal experiences. More than just a blog, these travel-log style guides are intended to inspire, inform and occasionally amuse. Browse these pages, and you'll find a mix of walking guides, maps, cave descriptions and cave surveys / cave route descriptions and much more - all supported with a series of original photography, "How to get there" guides and various anecdotal notes.

You are more than welcome to print off any of our travel guides, route plans, etc. for your own personal use, but please remember that they are not, and cannot, be complete in every detail, but rather should help to point the reader in the right direction, without taking away the element of adventure. Nor are the guides a substitute for good practice either above or below ground, and those new to caving, walking, volcanoes, etc. are strongly encouraged to seek guidance as appropriate – either by joining a caving club, a mountaineering club, using the services of a professional guide, or whatever suits the situation.

Above all though - enjoy!

February 2016 - Interational Volcano-Speleology Symposium, Hawai'i

Just too tempting to resist. We're back off to Hawai'i - the excuse being the 17th Interational Volcano-Speleology Symposium! The blog will be here: Hawai'i 2016 - the Winster Cavers' blog

February 2015 - Deep Ecton Copper Mines photo gallery

Just added is a new photo gallery of shots from a couple of trips into Deep Ecton Copper Mines, Staffordshire: Deep Ecton Copper Mines, Staffordshire

December 2014 - La Réunion blog and photo gallery

The blog of our trekking in La Réunion has been on-line for a while: La Reunion 2014 - the Winster Cavers' blog

Just added is a new photo gallery with shots from the trip: La Reunion photo gallery - 2014

August 2014 - A return to La Réunion

Rather than make lame excuses about life being busy and promise we'll write stuff up which then doesn't happen, perhaps it is better to accept that updates here will happen when they do, and not when they don't. The Winster Cavers Facebook Page does, however, make a handy place for the occassional informal post. So if you haven't yet 'liked' our Facebook page, please do.

June saw a return visit to Sicily - a great time was had, predominantly walking in the Nebrodi, but with a somewhat stronger emphasis on relaxing than previous visits it didn't quite make the blog.

But now it's time for another proper adventure :-)

At the time of writing, our beloved Mt. Etna has been putting on a series of spectacular displays. An area of Iceland has been evacuated after a significant swarm of tremmors, Indonesia has its usual array of activity, there is a permanant lava lake in Halema'Uma'U, and we're going to...

La Réunion - again

As always, there's a story behind this. But this is also a return trip we've been thinking about for a while - it's just simply an amzing place to go hiking. We have two big hut-to-hut walks planned over a two week visit with, hopefully, just enough slack/recovery time to make it all achievable. What's for sure, is that there'll be a good bar story or two at the end of it. There always is with us!

Here, then, is the La Réunion Blog - 2014. (Expect updates to be about as intermittent as we expect our access to internet to be.)

September 2013 - The High Atals, Morocco

Yes - we're off again. No volcanoes this time, instead a 10-day trek through Morocco's High Atlas Mountains, which should culminate in topping out on the two highest peaks in Morocco - Mount Toubkal at 4167m, and Mount Ouankrim at 4089m.

We will, of course, be keeping a blog as we travel. We're expecting Internet access to be pretty much non-existent whilst we're trekking, but as and when we get the opportunity, we'll upload our writings to:

August 2013 - Calling all volcanophiles: Erta Ale expedition

Fancy an adventure to one of the hottest places on earth? (albeit at the slightly cooler time of year!)

We're exploring the possibilities of visiting the famous lava lake of Erta Ale in Ethiopia and the Danakil Desert. We could do with up to 4 people to join us to help reduce the cost per person. As with most of our adventures, you'll need to be reasonably fit, but not super-human, to be up for an adventure, have a good sense of humour and a sound outlook on life. We are lookng to travel either early 2014 (January - March) or later 2014 (November to December) as the climate is somewhat cooler then. Fancy it? Get in Touch!

Tha lava lake at Erta Ale
The lava lake at Erta Ale, Ethiopia

June 2013 - Indonesian volcano expedition reports

Two full reports are now on-line for our visits to Batu Tara and Paluweh volcanoes:
Batu Tara volcano, Pulau Komba Island, Flores, Indonesia - 4th-5th June 2013
Paluweh (Rokatenda) volcano, Flores, Indonesia - 8th - 10th June 2013

We've also polished off the Indonesia volcano expedition blog, including adding a few photos.

May 2013 - Indonesian volcano expedition - the blog

The Winster Cavers are about to go on expedition to Indonesia. Follow our adventure by reading our Indonesia volcano expedition blog

Internet access is going to be very intermittent whilst we're on expedition - neither of the remote islands we're travelling to have clean water, and Pulau Komba is completely uninhabited. We'll still be keeping the blog, and just uploading chunks as and when we get a chance! We'll also be updating the Winster Cavers' Facebook page when we can.

May 2013 - Last chance to join us on our next Indonesian volcano adventure

The Winster Cavers are heading back to Indonesia in June 2013 - this time to visit the remote islands of Pulau Komba with its active volcano, Batu Tara, and also Paluweh - which has recently been building an active lava dome and producing sporadic ash eruptions, with ash clouds reaching 7km+ high. We finish by climbing Mount Welirang, which has sulphur mining akin to that at Kawah Ijen.  The 9 short videos of our previous visit (below) will give you a taste of what to expect - but this trip is definitely billed more as more of an "expedition", with facilities on the remote islands of Pulau Komba & Paluweh being somewhere between very limited and non-existent.

There is still time (but not much!) for a couple of people to join us on some or all of our travels. You need to be reasonably fit, but not super-human, and you need to have a good sense of adventure! If you want to know more details, please contact us now.

March 2013 - Indonesian volcano adventures

We've finished editing the film from our previous visit to Indonesia. This has been divided up into bite-sized chunks, and is being released as a series of 9 short films, the first four of which can be viewed by following the link below:

October 2012 - Holiday Cottage in the Peak District

We are very excited to announce that as of early November, our holiday cottage in Winster, Derbyshire will be ready for letting. If you want to explore the Peak District National Park, this luxurious self-catering cottage is an excellent base. For more information, visit

September 2012 - More Lake District Walks.

After an excellent short break in the lake District, we have four more routes for your enjoyment

August 2012 - Winster Cavers on Facebook!

We've just set up a new Facebook page so we can promote new material on this site, and share with you some of our less formal moments! We also intend to (gradually) fill in the timeline with details of our adventures! Just 'Like' the Winster Cavers on Facebook to keep up-to-date.

June 2012 - Sicily, again.

It seems like a long time since we've trodden the slopes of our favourite volcano, Mount Etna. And in the two years since we visited, much has changed - the current eruptive phase has featured 25 separate paroxysms, mostly from the "new" South East Crater, making Etna one of the fastest growing volcanoes in the world. Follow our blog as we tread ground old and new - very new!

March 2012 - New walking information - Climbing Mount Teide, Tenerife.

Essential information and route options for anyone wishing to climb Tenerife's highest mountain, El Teide.

January 2012 - New photo gallery - Upper Flood Swallett.
(updated December 2011)

Just before Christmas we had an excellent trip into the extensions in Upper Flood Swallett, Mendips, Somerset, UK. Here are a few of the photographs from the trip.

September 2011 - Volcano trekking and caving in Java.
(updated December 2011)

September saw us travelling again - this time to visit several of the volancoes on the Indonesian island of Java. Just published is a small selection (76) of the photographs we took.


Sicily's Mount Etna is currently in eruption again from the New South East Crater - the tenth event so far this year. Spectacular views of this eruption - a stunning fire fountain and a lava flow advancing towards the Valle del Bove can be seen at the EtnaTrekking webcams and the Radio Studio 7 webcams.


The "Grand Lady" has gone back to sleep for now. If you missed this event, you can still expect to see more activity at this lively European volcano in the coming weeks.

August 2011 - Two new photo galleries underground in Derbyshire.

Two new photo galleries are now on-line:

June 2011 - Caving in Ireland, and new walking guides.

We're just back from an excellent week of caving in County Clare, Ireland - write-ups are in progress. In the meantime, two new North Wales walks are now on-line:

May 2011 - New Derbyshire walking guides.

Two new Peak District walks are now on-line:

Recent public showing of "From Ore to Orchids".

Our joint DCRO/Silence Mine project fund-raiser - an evening of film in aid of Derbyshire Cave Rescue and the Silence Mine Heritage Site - in which we showed "From Ore to Orchids" along with Dave Webb's new and extended version of his film on the High Rake project raise a very respectable £350 for two worthy causes - a big THANK YOU to all involved.

February 2011 - Etna eruption photo gallery, and another walking guide.

New on-line is a photo gallery of eruptions on Mount Enta between 2004 and 2008, and another Peak District walking route, this time a walk around Froggat Edge, Curbar Edge and White Edge in Derbyshire's Dark Peak.

January 2011 - Hiking in Tenerife

Fresh back from a week of excellent walking in Tenerife, an overview page and the start of a series of walking guides is now on-line:

Overview of Tenerife, the walking, the volcano, Mount Teide...
Tenerife - walk - Finca de Guergues
Tenerife - walk - Los Roques
Tenerife - walk - Montana Blanca

Coming soon we have some more walking in Wales, caving in County Clare, Ireland, and if all goes well, a volcano tour of Java, Indonesia... Watch this space!

Looking for information on Winster, Derbyshire? To find out all about Winster village, visit the Winster village web site.
For a veritable mine (excuse the pun!) of information about the historical family trees of Winster, immerse yourself in Dawn Scotting's amazing Winster Ancestry web site.

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Winster Cavers on You Tube:

We've been putting some of our video on You Tube - here's a taster!

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