Millican Daltons Caves – Borrowdale, England - Atlas Obscura

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Millican Daltons Caves

Borrowdale, England

It's believed a local adventurer spent 50 years living inside this cave.  

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Millican’s cave was the home to Millican Dalton for around 50 years. He was a British self-proclaimed “Professor of Adventure.”

He left his city life and decided to live in a cave and remained self-sufficient. He also offered climbing and walking adventures for visitors to the area. He was famous for his hat and raft that he used to travel to the nearest town of Keswick. A few of his famous quotes are inscribed on a stone outside his cave.

By all accounts, Dalton was a gentleman, very much a free spirit, and ahead of his time. The nearest town of Keswick is now called the Adventure Capital of the Lakes. You can still visit Millican’s cave and it’s easy to see why he chose this spot, it’s beautiful, off the beaten track, has access to fresh water, and provides great shelter from the environment.

Know Before You Go

The Borrowdale Valley is beautiful and there are buses that will get you to Rosthwaite, the local village.


Once in the village, you need to walk alongside the local river, following it as it travels towards Derwentwater (the nearest lake). The footpath then heads up towards Castle Crag, follow this until you find a network of caves, there are multiple.


If you keep heading up, you will get to Millican Daltons Cave, which is the highest cave with the best views. The hike is difficult, so you need to be fit or be prepared to take your time. On the return journey, back in Rosthwaite, there is a cafe, Flock Inn, and a pub where you can reward your exertions. 

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April 6, 2022

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