A labyrinth of dark, hand-carved passages that date back many centuries, the Chislehurst Caves are one of London’s most striking and unusual landmarks. Some claim they were used by Druids or ancient Romans, though their lineage is unclear; it is known, however, they served as flint and chalk mines for centuries. The caves also doubled as a location for ammunition storage in World War I and as air-raid shelters in World War II. Torchlight tours provide an atmospheric way to discover the landmark, and small groups are each provided with their own oil lamps to carry as they journey.
The Chislehurst Caves are included in the convenient London Pass® scheme, and it’s also easy to plan an independent visit.
Things to know before you go
*Entrance to the caves is only possible via guided tours, which do not need to be booked in advance (large groups, however, should reserve their places before visiting). *Due to uneven stone surfaces, wheelchair users and those with limited mobility may struggle to access the caves. *Children aged 3–15 and those over 60 enjoy discounted ticket rates; children aged 0–3 can access the caves for free, but the landmark might be scary for younger visitors. *A cafe and a gift shop are hosted on site; food and drinks are not permitted in the caves.
How to get there
Numerous trains run daily between London Bridge and Charing Cross stations and Chislehurst station; from the station, it’s just a short walk to the caves. If you plan to drive from central London, travel via the A102. Free car and coach parking is also conveniently offered on site.
When to get there
The Chislehurst Caves and the companion café are open Wednesday–Sunday, and on most school and bank holidays (with the exception of Christmas and New Year’s). Guided tours are held every hour on the hour, from 10am–4pm. They typically last for close to an hour.
As Seen on TV
The Chislehurst Caves have appeared in several TV programs over the decades, including Doctor Who and Most Haunted. The caves also served as a music venue in the 1960s, and legends ranging from David Bowie to the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix all once performed on site.
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