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Go deep into the caves in Hastings
Smugglers Adventure (Hastings)
Member Name: lyndsey1989
Smugglers Adventure (Hastings)
Advantages: Fun, educational
Disadvantages: Not too much there, scary at times!
We decided to visit Smugglers Adventure on Saturday as we were in the Hastings area. We decided to go here because my partner was very interested in it and thought it would be good fun. It also looked like a place where adults could quite happily go alone and not look like big kids! Smugglers Adventure is some caves located in Hastings which used to be used for smuggling. Smugglers Adventure now tells the story of the smugglers.
So we set out to find the place. We had a leaflet which suggested we park in one of the pay and display car parks and then walk up to the caves. So this is what we did, only problem is it was very difficult to find! Although it was signposted on the seafront, once we got to the car park there were no signs and it was more a guess! There was a small map on the leaflet, however we still found it difficult to find. We ended up asking a man who pointed us in the right direction and then we managed to find it. Incase you do go, it is located at the top of Hastings (so there are quite a few hills to walk up) and you go across a sort of village green to get to it. It is also worth noting there is limited pay and display up near it so you may be better off hazarding going up there to park.
Upon arrival there are some steps to go down and then you go forward into the caves. The man behind the counter was very friendly and helpful, asked if we wanted to pay separately or together and was not at all pushy asking if we wanted to ask guide books etc.
We then progressed into the caves. There are lots of tunnels to go down and you will quite often have to bend down to squeeze through so this is not an attraction which can be visited by disabled people. There is a buggy park at the start as these cannot be taken in either. However, free loan baby slings are available which I thought was a nice gesture.
The tunnels guide you round and there is only one way to go round, you cannot get lost! One of the first places we went into was a large room where as we entered a large video started playing on the wall. This told the story of Hairy Jack, a smuggler who used to use the caves.
You then go forward and there are lots of things to look at in display cabinets including things which were used by the smugglers and their clothes. There are also a lot of models here showing the smugglers in action. There were also a lot of games for children to play on including computer games and seeing how the smugglers used to live, these were educational and children seemed to love them (there was a school trip there at the same time that we were there).
You then go on to watch another video which was educational and good fun and then progress through more tunnels in order to understand how the smugglers used to live. There are lots of buttons to press around the caves for commentary and you can learn a lot if you are prepared to listen.
That was the end of the caves and you then go on into a small gift shop. There were some souvenirs here which were reasonably priced but we didn't buy anything. You then have the option to fill in a comments card and leave. I imagine you can return throughout the day once you have bought your ticket but we didn't ask about this.
We spent about 1 ½ hours in the caves and we were trying to take our time as we knew there wasn't too much there. The signs say to allow an hour for your visit which I would say is about right. We enjoyed our visits to the caves and learned a lot. It would be a great place to take kids as it is something different and there is plenty to see and do. We would visit again as it was good fun and good value for money, however we would have preferred it if we could have spent more time there. I would not recommend this to people with very young children as it is very dark and at quite a few moments I was quite scared!
Prices (for 2010) are as follows (however, you can get joint tickets for here and Blue Reef Aquarium which would be great if you were looking to spend all day in Hastings - prices for both are about double the entrance fee just for Smugglers Adventure).
For Smugglers Adventure:
Senior Citizen £6.20
It is open 10am-5pm during summer months and 10am-4pm winter months.
For more information and how to get here, please visit the website http://www.smugglersadventure.co.uk/smugglers/smug glers.shtml
A nice place to visit for an hour, very educational and a nice alternative to a zoo or farm! Would visit again.
Summary: Nice place to visit, would visit again
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