An experimental investigation was conducted to determine the flow characteristics of shallow swept cavities at a free-stream Mach number of 2. The investigation described herein focused on obtaining information on both time-averaged and time-dependent flow features. The data consisted of steady and unsteady pressure measurements as well as some surface oil and schlieren flow visualisation. The effective length-to-depth ratios l/d of cavities investigated ranged between 5·65 and 8 for shallow ‘open’ cavities and between 11·31 and 16 for ‘closed’ cavities. The cavity sweep angles were 0°, 15° and 45°. The results of the swept cavities, when compared to the datum cases of the straight (0°) cavities, showed some distinct differences. With regard to time-averaged flow characteristics, in an open swept cavity (5·65 < l/d < 8), the flow displayed quasi-open flow behaviour, distorted by the spanwise cross flow within the cavity. In the case of the closed swept cavity (11·31 < l/d < 16), flow features resembling the ‘closed’ to ‘transitional closed’ cavity flow types were seen to exist simultaneously across the span. Unsteady pressure data indicated that for an open cavity at 15° sweep angle, the discrete frequencies observed were similar to those of a straight open cavity. In contrast to this, at 45° sweep angle, the frequencies were broadband with no discrete frequency across the cavity length. For the closed cavity, the frequencies were all broadband irrespective of the sweep angle. The investigation also showed that the influence of the sweep angle on the pressure drag of the cavity strongly depends on the type of cavity flow: a sweep angle increase from 0° to 45° approximately doubled the pressure drag for an open cavity, while it led to a drag reduction of about 37% for the closed cavity.