May 5, 2016
Organisers of a special ‘Torchlight Tour’ through the caves and caverns of Smugglers Adventure in Hastings say it’s proving so popular they are adding another additional date.
The tours, which run from 5pm-6.30pm and must be booked in advance, offer a spooky and highly atmospheric insight into the history of the underground tunnels; including their use as a military hospital for Wellington’s troops during the Napoleonic Wars and as an air-raid shelter in World War II.
So far the West Hill attraction has added two extra dates to cope with the high demand and they have now announced a third tour will take place in June.
A maximum of 30 people are taken on a dramatic exploration of the caves, which cover a total area in excess of five square kilometres, in the company of an expert guide whose flickering lantern provides the only illumination.
“We have been delighted with the positive response we have got from visitors and decided to add the new date in June because we were receiving so many new enquiries,” said Smugglers Adventure’s Leanna Lawson.
“On the most recent tour we had a lady who slept in the caves when they were used as air raid shelters in World War Two, as well as a gentleman who had performed in a band there and another lady who had attended a disco!
“It just goes to show the rich heritage and history the caves have, and continue to have today,” she added.
The tour begins in the 45-metre long Monk’s Walk with its 23 pairs of arched candle niches.
Visitors learn all about the bizarre re-discovery of the caves by the Victorian Joseph Golding and the geology which enabled them to form in the first place.
From mysterious carved figures to the spectacular ballroom, royal visits to ghostly apparitions, the torchlight tours offer the perfect combination of thrills and chills.