Never before seen caverns and tunnels are finally ready for the public to view following a major expansion project at Wookey Hole Caves.
Teams have been working 24-hours a day to blast into the unknown and create a new tunnel which has opened up previously unseen caverns 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.
Specialist consulting engineers carried out a full geotechnical survey of rocks and 70 metres of tunnel has been created. The new cavern features a stunning Subterranean lake and breathtaking rock formations including one fluted rock which is baffling experts.
Managers say the project has been the most exciting development at the attraction in more than 40 years with more people having walked on the moon than in the vast underground caves, which were recently named some of the most incredible caves in the world by The Daily Telegraph Travel.
The move is part of a £4 million investment in the tourist attraction which now boasts one of the biggest showcave systems in Europe, bringing visitors and tourists into the West Country from all over the world and boosting the economy.
Director Daniel Medley said: “It has been tireless work to blast through the rock and open up the never-before-seen cavern but it is so worth it! We have literally been tunnelling into the unknown but the hard work has paid off and the new cavern is nothing short of
“The new access tunnel is 70 metres long and enables people to go into the 20th Chamber, which the cave divers have named King Arthur’s Beard because of the shape of a rock formation in it.
“It took around a month of work to get to this point and we’re so pleased it is ready in time for the summer holidays. The new chamber will give people an insight into a world only glimpsed by a few people.
“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 documentary makers have tracked the progress of the project.”
The tunnel and associated work would represent 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 and this year the Walkabout Dino, a life-sized walking dinosaur which can be found in the valley has been added to the bill.