Britain is a nice country for tourists and travellers. Though it is not dependent on foreign tourists, there are many well developed sights with a good infrastructure. Most show caves and show mines have a shop, restaurant and additional facilities. The tours are generally interesting and the guides have some background knowledge and are able to answer questions.
The caves and caverns of Britain are rather cool. The temperature in caves depends on the long time average of the outside, so most of them are around 6 to 8°C, warm clothes are definitely a good idea. Mines typically get warmer to the depth, but as the touristic parts are close to the surface, the same applies to them.
Most caves and mines are closed in winter, but they typically make an exception for groups after appointment.
The entrance fees in Britain are in general really high. This applies to many sights, and unfortunately also to most show caves and show mines. Unlike other countries, the caves are managed by owners, who earn a living, not by a non-profit organization with volunteers. For castles and historc buildings there is always the possibility to become a (temporary) member of the Trust (there are three, but they operate in different parts of the country). Unfortunately there is no such thing for caves and mines. But if the money is a problem: public instutions like museums are free, and some show mines are actually government owned, so there is no fee at all. Our tip is to avoid Sundays.
A certain kind of animated scenes is very British. So many caves and mines are enhanced with life size figures of cavers, miners, stone age men or whatever, situated in a typical scene from their live or work. They tell their story from a tape and sometimes move. The style is sometimes a bit trashy, at least for foreign visitor.
Alan Thomas ed. (1989):
The Last Adventure,
75 pp, 19 colour photos, 5 B&W photos, HB GBP 12.00.
This is a history of cave diving in Britain. Each chapter has a different author, each an expert in his sphere. Nicely produced. Colour cover with glazed boards.