Chislehurst Caves are a tourist attraction in southeast London. These caves have a very long history and they are shown in a guided tour, as one can easily get lost in them.
We were not allowed to take pictures during the tour, but could get some at the end. The tour is just under an hour and it is so worth it. Our guide was so funny and told us lots of interesting stories and facts about the caves. I would gladly visit them again. For more details check their website.
The caves are a labyrinth of tunnels, entirely man-made. The maze they create is over 6 Hectares and are up to 30 metres below the ground.
The caves were taking visitors in guided tours from 1900, and dogs were trained to guide back visitors that were getting lost in the caves, by showing them the path to the exit. The caves were used by the military for storage munition, it was used for growing mushrooms, and during WWII it became an air-raid shelter. Up to 15000 people were sheltering there during the Blitz. It was really interesting to learn about the conditions in the shelter and how it was managed. I’ve been to another air-raid shelter, south of Manchester and they were doing things differently. The sense of community that emerged was fascinating to learn about.
After the war for around 3 decades the caves were used in a different way, as a venue for dances and concerts.
I enjoyed our visit very much and I would highly recommend it to anyone in London or nearby. The tours are lamp-lit, which makes the whole experience even more special and unique.
They have free car park and a coffee shop, so if you have to wait for the next tour, as we had, there is not an issue. There is a station nearby, in walking distance, if you are using public transport.