Home » Tourism - Where to go » Chislehurst caves

Chislehurst caves

Arguably the most arresting thing you could visit in a 30 mile radius.

In pleasant suburban Kent as you drive though a quaint manicured garden village of hedgerows and cottages you will happen up-on a sleepy and unassuming village called Chiselhurst, there is no strong reason to go there, maybe a pleasant afternoon lunch at their nicely arranged pubs? But if you're feeling a little more adventurous we highly recommend taking the hour long tour of Chislehurst Caves. Not really caves in the way we envision them, they are actually a series of mines, that were carved out of the ground to use the native materials of flint, chalk and granite for construction purposes but the Romans, Saxons and the Druids, so basically any historic population that ever settled in the area.

It's quite an arresting notion being some 35 meters below the earth's crust for any period of time where you don't have a Tube elevator to get you out, but these mines are the real thing and as your guide leads you in you do will feel a slight pang of anticipation for what lies ahead. The smells are the first thing that hit you, its proper damp gloomy, startlingly different from the sunny outdoors you will have entered from, the second thing that gets you is that this is dark, and in places darker than anything you ever experienced, the closest you will ever get to being blind in-fact. As you travel though the mile long tour (the actual network is estimated at 22 miles) you learn more and more about the history and condition of how it was to live down there as a bomb shelter refugee during the war, you learn that this was used as a jazz venue in the 1950's and how the big stars of the 60s and 70s (Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, David Bowie and many others all did gigs down there. Of most interest was to learn how there is a part of the cave that is haunted (so they claim) after the remains of a murdered lady were found in the water pool area. And how there was a challenge laid down in the 1950s of "a weeks wages" (about £5 at that time) to anyone who could spend the night next to this pool on their own. After spending just 2 mins in the dark with a crowd I can attest how nightmarish that must be all night on your own.

This all culminates in emerging into welcome daylight and a satisfying sensation of having experienced something both amazing and historic. This location is 25 mins drive from Grays town-centre and comes as one of the most recommended afternoons out I can think of.

Postcode: BR7 5NL
More information:

Source: Source: