UK Caves on Google Earth – a quick guide

Mendip Cave Registry, Derbyshire Cave Registry and CaveMaps have done a great job of gathering cave data together but not everyone will have realised some of the benefits.

Over the years most of us have probably used Google Earth at some point, so we thought some readers might appreciate a quick summary to using Google Earth data available on various caving web sites elsewhere to add thousands of the UK’s caves to your Google Earth places.

It takes just a few minutes to setup and install the files, which you can download using the links below:

Mendips –
Derbyshire –
Yorkshire Dales 1 –
Yorkshire Dales 2 –
Yorkshire Dales 3 –

Once they’ve downloaded simply open each file in turn in Google Earth and when you’ve opened all of them save “My Places” and they’ll be available each time you reopen Google Earth.

Once it’s set up you can bring it up anytime, which can be very handy for working out which hole you’re standing next to in unfamiliar areas – but see below for notes on using on mobile phones!

Other data is available for other countries, for example Matienzo in Spain, available at although this is a big file, if you are downloading to a mobile device it may not appreciate it!

So far as we know data isn’t yet available for all areas but three of the main caving areas of the UK are covered to different degrees. If you know of any areas we’ve missed please let us know, and we’d be happy to add links to areas anywhere else in the World if you have them!

Don’t forget you’ll need to update the files from time to time, otherwise eventually your data will be out of date!

Notes for using on mobiles:

Android: The Northern caves files work well but unfortunately the Mendip and Derbyshire registries currently don’t, which appears to be because the files are created “on the fly” as you download them using Network Links, which doesn’t work on Google Earth for mobiles.

iPhone: We haven’t got one so haven’t tested it – please let us know if the same applies – we think it does!