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Gaping Gill
  • Gaping Gill
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Gaping Gill


Gaping Gill, a guide by Kevin Dixon

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Gaping Gill

A guide to Gaping Gill, both underground and on the surface, including a fold-out map of the area and details of the region's flora, fauna, geology and history. The guide is intended for tourists visiting the pothole, attracted by the twice-yearly winch meets.

Sections include an introduction, geological history, human history and early exploration. Aside from surface features, much emphasis remains on 3D surveys and underground features. An excellent booklet about the cave.

Please see under 'Product details' for more information about this book; remember, the price includes postage.

Enjoy a free, caving-related laminated bookmark with your book order, while stocks last.

Product Details

Data sheet

New or used:
Book: new
83 colour and b&w photographs, 15 diagrams, maps and surveys
Publication date:
Includes fold-out map
Kevin Dixon

GAPING Gill is probably the most well known pothole in the United Kingdom.’ So opens Kevin Dixon’s Gaping Gill, an A5 guidebook unashamedly aimed at tourists visiting the cave, probably during one of the two annual winch meets, though it will certainly have a broader appeal. Prior to publication Kevin commented that he thought it might therefore be ‘a disappointment from a caver perspective,’ but not so.

The book is packed with information about the Gaping Gill system and the surrounding area, from the environment, geology and local weather to the moorland’s flora and fauna, history and suggested walks. In the latter case, a fold-out Ordnance Survey map provides an annotated extract at 1:25,000 that is even on a decent weight of paper stock (actually, so are all the pages) that comes with a complete key to features.

Kevin is known not only for working on a new Gaping Gill survey, he was also the author of an article about laser scanning the Main Chamber in Descent (204) and, as might be expected, the 3D models also appear in the book. The coverage of this as well as details of how the cave’s exploration has proceeded – with line surveys to illustrate the extent of discoveries – is concise yet readable, and is likely to include information new to all but experts on the cave. One example is a photograph taken by James Farrer of Édouard Martel making his famous descent in 1895 – a photo, that is, not one of the engravings that are more commonly seen.

In 42 pages Kevin has included about a hundred illustrations, all in colour, making this an extremely attractive production. The book is not perfect, but then again what is? Gaping Gill lacks a contents page and index, but at £6.50 (which includes UK postage) it is a good buy.

Based on review by Chris Howes in Descent (246, October 2015

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We regret that due to the volatility of Royal Mail postage charges, we have been forced to remove the option for two-year subscriptions. We have also been forced to remove the option for economy mail to the EU, given indications that Royal Mail intends to remove this service.

All international mail is now being despatched in paper wrapping using Royal Mail customs and address labels mandated by them. We also regret this means we can no longer indicate the last issue of your subscription on the mailing sheet or supply a reminder to renew with the final edition. Please track your own subscription ending or check with us at any time. Subscriptions begun since September 2021 have a comment added in your account (under the tab for the order) which records the final issue to be supplied.


On 1 July 2021 the EU removed all exemptions for tax and customs duty on low value items posted from the UK to the EU, meaning that although VAT is 0% on books and magazines in the UK, it is charged within the EU and the VAT (potentially plus a handling fee) now apply to all orders to the EU.

Ideally, the VAT should be paid at the point of posting, but doing so requires registration with an agent to handle the payments, and this is incredibly expensive and not financially viable. To be clear, all small publishers in the UK are in the same position and we are unable to post any items to the EU with VAT or other duties paid.

Ordering any item from Wild Places, including a Descent subscription, requires that you accept responsibility of paying the VAT and any other local charges on delivery.

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NOTE: Subscribers in Norway or Switzerland (which are outside the EU) should place your order on the Subscription International page or contact us first.


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Gaping Gill

Gaping Gill, a guide by Kevin Dixon

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