Going Underground… at Kents Cavern!
Fancy doing something a little different during your break? Kents Cavern could be just the thing! Just a half an hour drive from Galmpton, this naturally formed cave system (also the warmest in the country with a constant temperature of 14ºC) is a great day out for the whole family.
This system of caves date back to prehistoric times, when settlers would live in the cavern, but today it offers one of the best day trip adventures you will find. Visitors can experience the Stone Age lifestyle of the people who lived in, and found shelter from the weather in the caves. They made fire, created tools and made a life for themselves in this amazing labyrinth of rock that is over 400 million years old.
Kents Cavern offer guided tours (which usually last about an hour), where you can discover how the caves were formed and see evidence of how people lived. The tour will also take you deep into the Cavern to see some of the earliest tools used in Britain, and you can also get a glimpse of animal bones and teeth that have been left behind from long ago. You can also experience the famous total blackout in the Bears Den – one for the braver amongst us!
There is more than a kilometre of cave passage and the visitors’ tour only covers a third of it! If you have a little caving knowledge and experience, there is also a ‘Dig Deeper’ package that let’s you delve into the depths even further. Be warned – there are some really tight squeezes to get in and out of down here, so it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted!
May is the perfect time to go, as there is plenty of half-term fun to be had with special on-site activities. Go on an Ice Age animal hunt through the woodland trail, go shopping just like a caveman and see if you can match all ten shops to your activity sheet, or how about going in search of fossils inside the caves? The Fun Dig lets kids go on a mini excavation for fossils, and if you dig deep enough – maybe even gemstones! With all this and more going on, a great day out is guaranteed.
As well as the breathtaking tour of the caverns, you can enjoy walks in the area with its spectacular scenery, and there is a ‘Stone Age School’ on the third Saturday of every month, where kids can go along and learn a new skill that the people of the Stone Age used every day. (It’s £5 for a single session or £35 for the year). One adult for up to four children is admitted free, but be sure to pre-book for this, as it’s very popular. Sessions run from 10am to noon, or from 2pm to 4pm. Children get to take home their creations as a keepsake at the end of the day too! It could be a leather pouch made in the Gathering Session, a bow drill made in the Firemaker Session or a bow and arrow or a Stone Tool Session! There’s lots to learn and discover, and you can create lots of different essential tools from the past.
The Cavern is open every day except Christmas Day, the restaurant and cafe open at 9:30am and the cave tours operate from 10.30am to 4.00pm. Adult admission is £10, children (3 -15 years), students, and seniors are £9. Children under 3 are free.
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