BLASTING INTO THE UNKNOWN: UNSEEN CAVERNS OPENED UP AS PART OF £3 MILLION WOOKEY HOLE EXPANSION

Tunnel  and chamber 10 and  20 now open

Come to Wookey Hole Caves and see previously unseen caverns and tunnels.

Teams have been working 24 hours a day to blast into the unknown and open up the previously unseen cavern beneath the Mendips.

Three tonnes of explosives and thousands of detonators were used to blast through 1000 tonnes of rock and reveal the spectacular new cave which is now the largest at the attraction.

Seventy metres of tunnel have been created and the new cavern features a stunning Subterranean lake and breathtaking rock formations. Experts have been left baffled by one particular fluted rock.

The project which now boasts one of the biggest showcave systems in Europe and was recently named as one of the most incredible caves in the world by Daily Telegraph Travel.

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Wookey Hole Caves has blasted into a major expansion to create a new tunnel which opens up previously unseen caverns beneath the Mendips.

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Managers say this is the most exciting project at the attraction in more than 40 years with more people having walked on the moon than in the vast underground caverns.

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The move is part of a £4 million investment in the tourist attraction, which brings visitors and tourists into the West Country from all over the world boosting the economy.

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Specialist consulting engineers carried out a full geotechnical survey of rocks to bore an access tunnel through the rocks so that visitors can see a spectacular underground lake and cave formations only previously seen by cave divers.

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It has created one of the biggest showcave systems in Europe and represents a major boost to the region’s tourist industry.

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“The new tunnel is similar to the one created in 1973 which enabled people to see extra caverns and which is now an established part of our tour.

expansion strapline“The tunnel created then is also used to store Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar. The new access tunnel is 70 metres long and enables people to go into the 20th Chamber, which the cave divers have always called King Arthur’s Beard because of the shape of a rock formation in it.

“ The new chamber gives people an insight into a world only glimpsed by a few people that are brave enough to swim underwater with oxygen tanks to access it at the moment.

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“We have had in excess of three million visitors to the caves over the past 10 years but the new cavern is truly spectacular and will give people a reason to come back.

This is such a monumental phase of the caves history; so much so that we are in talks with documentary makers to track the progress of the project. Although we have seen images of the cavern taken by divers, for us we are literally blasting in to the unknown so we are all very excited to see what lies on the other side.”

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The tunnel and associated work  represents an investment of between £2 million and £3 million with a further £1 million investment planned for later in the year.

Last year Wookey Hole Caves invested £1 million in creating a 4D Cinema that has been in daily use entertaining adults and children alike with a series of exciting films.