I visited the Priest's Hole Cave last week, as part of a circular walk (from Deepdale Bridge), which included Dove Crag, Hart Crag, Fairfield, Cofa Pike, and St. Sunday Crag.
The cave had been on my Lake District walking agenda for many years, but somehow I'd never got around to visiting it.
Having now done so, I can say that the place itself meets with all I've read - being a spectacular location, and a superb vantage point for views across the eastern fells.
What did surprise me was the amount of litter, and general untidiness brought about by numerous grubby old sleeping mats left by previous visitors. - I acknowledge and applaud the traditions of leaving useful items for future visitors, but in all honesty, the place looked like a rubbish dump!
Most distressing was the fact that someone had removed/stolen/discarded the large tin which I understand had been there for many years, containing the visitor books. I did find two of the books in the cave, but they had been left under a dripping overhang, and were completely sodden with all the pages stuck together. - Completely ruined, and now useless for the time honoured tradition of leaving, or reading previous visitors comments. (I left the books in a dry part of the cave, but I doubt whether they will now be of any use even when they dry out).
Unfortunately I live outside the Lake District, and am only able to make occasional visits, but would implore anyone who intends to visit the cave in the near future to continue the "clean up" and hopefully replace the tin box and supply a new visitor book. - (I did remove as much rubbish as could be fitted in my daysack).
Perhaps I should have taken photographs of the state of the cave, but I didn't. Choosing instead to photograph the beauty of the scenery which attracts (most!) people there in the first place.
Best regards Mike Valentine.