These past few weeks have seemed rather empty due to UCU strikes and cancelled classes, so I decided that instead of binge watching The Great British Bakeoff, I should get out and explore more of the city. I’ve seen most of the major sites at this point and therefore thought that this was as good a time as any to see some of London’s hidden gems. It was such a beautiful day that something outside seemed to be in order. Chislehurst Caves here I come!
The caves are located in the little town (debatably a village) of Chislehurst, which is easily accessible by train. Head to the London Bridge train station where you can use your Oyster Card or buy a ticket and hop on a southeastern train that is heading toward Seven Oaks. Tickets are under 10 pounds and if have a rail card you can get a discount. You’ll hop off at the Chislehurst train station and take a left, heading down the road until you hit the next street, where you’ll take a right. A large sign points you in the direction of the caves which is really just a five minute walk from the train station. Along the way you pass a nice steakhouse/pub (no vegan options sadly) and a wine shop with decent prices – and that’s coming from someone who refuses to spend more than 5 pounds on a bottle of wine.
Tickets for Chislehurst caves are reasonably priced:
Adults (16-60) – 6 pounds
Seniors (60 and above) – 4 pounds
Children (3-15) – 4 pounds
There aren’t any student discounts but it’s really not too pricy. Since the caves are quite extensive you must purchase a ticket and go with a guide in order to access them. The tour itself is about 45 minutes and they leave on the hour, but while you wait for the tour to begin there’s a small museum area and gift shop to browse through. There’s plenty of seating and even a little cafe if you’ve got the munchies.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Chislehurst Caves. The tour guide was knowledgeable, friendly, and funny. The caves are very extensive and during World War II they were home to many people. There are some figurines set up throughout the tour that can be a little startling when you approach them in the dark. If, like me, you are a bit of a jumpy person, be prepared to be a little on edge during some points of the tour! I refuse to do haunted houses but I could handle this cave and it has honestly been one of my favorite experiences here in London so far. If you get the chance I would highly recommend it. From murals and carvings to ghost stories and Druids, it’s an experience unlike any other. You can check out more info on their website here.
Though I didn’t have time to explore the rest of the town it looks and sounds like there’s some great little hole-in-the-wall places worth checking out. The staff at Chislehurst Caves had some great recommendations for other things to do in the area so they’re definitely worth asking for more specifics. If you visit any more places in Chislehurst please recommend your favorites in the comments and if you have any other day trip ideas to hidden gems of London, like some of the amazing vegan street food, please share! As always, read and see more at www.voyagingherbivore.com.