The Priest's Hole is surrounded by dangerous ground, rescuers said. Photo: Mick Garratt CC-BY-SA-2.0

The Priest's Hole is surrounded by dangerous ground, rescuers said. Photo: Mick Garratt CC-BY-SA-2.0

Rescuers warned that only competent hillwalkers should attempt to reach a Lake District cave popularised by a television programme.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team said the Priest’s Hole on Dove Crag is surrounded by dangerous ground and is hard to find.

The cave was the scene of a fatal fall last year, after it featured in BBC One’s Secret Britain series.

The warning came after the team was called out to search for a man lost on the fell on Saturday.

Patterdale team members were attending the local village fete when they were called out about 12.20pm to find and rescue a 53-year-old man lost on Dove Crag. He had been trying to find the Priest’s Hole.

They found the walker and escorted him to safety.

A team spokesperson said: “The team would like to remind people that while the Priest’s Hole is marked on the map, the access route is not and it is very difficult to find. The Priest’s Hole is surrounded by dangerous ground and should only be tackled by competent people.”

Earlier this month, Patterdale MRT was called out to the Priest’s Hole after a couple got into difficulties in the early hours. The woman was suffering from hypothermia.

In October last year, Kevin Ryan fell 500ft to his death from near the cave, while with a group planning to spend the night in the cave.

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