Draenen Access

Access to Draenen is only allowed through the main entrance. Park opposite the Lamb and Fox pub (sadly now closed) on Gilwern Hill above Blaenavon. The entrance is at Grid Reference SO 2467:1176, Altitude: 362m (shown on the map below). The cave should be approached by the path from the road by the Pwll Du Adventure Centre.

The cave is gated and padlocked and requires a key to get in. Keys are held by several of the member clubs of the PDCMG, so if you are member of one of these getting a key should be straightforward. Multi-club trips are also allowed as long as one of the members is from a key-holding club, so this may be another option if you know someone from such a club.

You can also request a temporary key from the Permit Secretary.

It is a requirement of access to the cave that all trips in the cave are logged and there is a logbook installed at Cairn Junction within the cave for this purpose. Please report any shortages of pencils or paper to the Secretary. Please also follow the Code of Conduct.

Entrance Politics

The political controversy surrounding Draenen entrances has been possibly the most contentious issue in British caving over the past decade.

Although Draenen currently has more than one entrance, using one of these (or digging a new one!) is against the current agreed Access Policy with the PDCMG member clubs and the landowner (Pwll Du Conservation Ltd). Using one could bring you into conflict with the landowner, or get you involved in some pretty hairy caving politics. As an example of how seriously people take the issue, the police have been involved at various times by national bodies and various interested parties.

The policy on additional entrance is currently being reviewed. In the meantime, please don’t exacerbate the situation, and don’t let the politics put you off visiting one of the UK’s greatest caves.