February 20, 2017
Organisers of a special ‘Torchlight Tour’ through the caves and caverns of Smugglers Adventure in Hastings say it proved so popular in 2016 they are staging more tours throughout 2017.
The tours, which run from 5pm-6pm 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.
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 were delighted with the positive response we received from visitors last year and, because we were receiving so many new enquiries, we have decided to run the tours again in 2017,” 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 an underground 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.