Have you ever had to decide between an underground escapade and an underwater adventure? Thankfully, in Hastings you can experience two attractions in one, so you can get the best of both worlds. Visitors have the chance to discover the town’s wicked smuggling past at Smugglers Adventure, and take advantage of the seaside location with the Blue Reef Aquarium. The two attractions couldn’t be more different, but both provide great entertainment for the whole family.
Nestled in the belly of Hastings West Hill lies the history of Hastings’ secret past, rife with smugglers and gangs. This warren of caves and caverns was discovered by Joseph Golding, a greengrocer given the task of cutting a garden seat into the side of the cliff. When his pick went through the rock, he found a maze of tunnels and passageways that sparked a life-long enthusiasm of exploration amongst the underground passages. The caves have been an attraction since the Victorian years, but today visitors can discover the themed sandstone caves filled with life-like scenes, eerie sounds and smuggled
cargo. Kids and adults alike can learn about the history of the old town, complete with its labyrinth of tunnels and hiding places, with interactive displays, shows and a museum. Discover some of the items that were smuggled into Hastings, including tobacco, leather, tea and spices…but watch out for supernatural incidents, as rumour has it the caves are
A short walk away in the historic old town is the Blue Reef Aquarium. Not only can visitors see tanks filled with fascinating fish found in every type of water, but it’s also a chance to develop an understanding and appreciation of the underwater world. The displays at Blue Reef take visitors on a watery tour from the shores of England to the tropical reefs of Australia – and everywhere between. Crabs, seahorses and sharks prowl in over 40 naturally recreated tanks just waiting to be discovered. The highlight of the aquarium is the giant ocean tank with an underwater tunnel that allows you to get up close to hundreds of beautiful fish and coral - it’s the closest you can get without getting wet!
Whether you prefer to learn about sharks in the sea or from the past, Hastings offers a great day out for everyone. It’s a fun place to learn and explore, with a diverse selection of attractions to keep everyone entertained.