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“Impressive caves but would be better if we were allowed torches!”
Review of Chislehurst Caves

Chislehurst Caves
Ranked #1 of 14 things to do in Chislehurst
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed October 26, 2012

My husband and I visited the caves in October this year for the first time as we are interested in caves, ghosts and WWII.

The attraction is well sign-posted and there is ample car parking. The building houses the entrance to the caves, a small gift shop and a cafe. The tours are run on the hour from 10:00-16:00 and last approximately 45-50 minutes. Ours lasted nearer 70 minutes but you don't notice how long it's taking because it's so enjoyable!

The website and literature states that the cave experience is not suitable for those with a fear of the dark or who are of a nervous disposition. There was a very young child on our tour (3-4 years old?) and he was fine - very well behaved and didn't look scared at any point. However, those with claustrophobia may not enjoy the experience as you go quite far into the cave system. The caves are very dark, lit only by the guide's torch and your oil lamp. Wear suitable footwear as some of the floor is a bit uneven. You will walk approximately one mile on your tour.

Our guide was quite funny and made the tour interesting but we did feel that he didn't dwell for long on many of the points and it would have been nice to hear a bit more detail on each stop.
Also, only the guide is allowed to use a torch so some of the artifacts and writing weren't visible to us or visible for very long as he flicked it around quite quickly. There were a lot of things on the walls that we would have liked to have seen but we didn't as visitors are not allowed to take torches in and the oil lamps do not provide enough light to read or see very well by.

One other point to mention is that my husband was told that he couldn't use his camera in the caves unless there was 'natural' light there already due to the flash blinding people. The guide did say that if there was anything we wanted to photograph, let him know and he would shine the torch on it. However we didn't want to interrupt the tour too much by doing this so left without many visual records of our visit, which is a shame.

You exit your tour back where you started - in the gift shop and cafe area. The gift shop is basically a few shelves of souvenirs and guide books which you cannot browse around yourself - you have to ask a member of staff to serve you as everything is behind the counter.

The food in the cafe was absolutely excellent and very good value. We live about 2 hours away from the caves but my husband said that if we lived nearer, he would like to go back there just for lunch!

Overall these caves are well worth a visit as the history and stories behind them are great to listen to. However please could the management take on board that it really would enhance the experience if visitors were allowed to use torches to take in more of their surroundings themselves. Every other cave system that we have been in has allowed this and while I appreciate that Chislehurst Caves are not as well lit as other caves, surely adults can be trusted not to shine torches in people's eyes?

1  Thank JerseyGirl1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 25, 2012

when i went , it was with the school on a day out i was 12yrs old and couldnt wait to go i was so excited and it really lived up to my expectations , i can still remember now i'm 64 old fart

2  Thank Vivienne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

The tour is quite interesting, especially the stories they tell about people trying to escape the caves in the darkness.

Thank beatbeatbeat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2012

Chislehurst caves has been on my to do list for many years.. Its only a 10 minute drive from home. Today I made the effort and it was quite a let down really..
In its favour I must say that everything was cheap and parking was free.. Many tourist attractions do their utmost to fleece visitors for every penny. Entrance for me was £3 , being an old fart.
The tours run from wednesday to sunday , one per hour , on the hour. All tours are guided..
The ground is extremely uneven so wear appropriate shoes..
Caves are a bit of a misnomer, they are man made tunnels , and to be honest once you have seen the first few metres of tunnel you have seen it all.. There is no lighting except for the small hurricane lamps carried by the visitors themselves. As you moved around our guide pointed out a few areas of interest, but his quiet voice and uninteresting manner made the narrative mostly unheard... especially with a group of 30 people murmuring in the dark.
We were told yarns of druid sacrifices and roman diggings which it turns out are all a fantasy for the benefit of the punters ... check out the history of the place and you will see what I mean..
Back on ground level there is a cafe, toilets and gift shop .. everything is very reasonably priced .. No rip offs here, but on the whole pretty dull.

2  Thank Chris-Mansfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 28, 2012

This is a really cool place to visit if you want to get amongst the outer suburbs of London. It is probably most easily accessed from the Chislehurst rail station. Entry to the caves is only £5 from memory, with entry comes a guided tour, definitely value for money. There is some interesting history associated with these caves. They have been used for gigs by many notable bands, such as Pink Floyd. They also were a substantial shelter during WWII. It's almost like walking around the relics of an old underground town. I recommend if anyone is looking for an alternative attraction away from Central London.

2  Thank TeeKay61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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