See pictures inside Surrey's incredible Crystal Grotto
- Credit: 36107339@N03, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
The Crystal Grotto in Painshill Park is a strange and magical place that you have to see to believe
Painshill Park is one of Surrey's best known beauty spots, beloved by visitors for its large lake, attractive vistas and some quirky bits of history.
It was built between 1738 and 1773 by Charles Hamilton, a painter, designer and Irish politician, who gathered aesthetic inspiration from his international travels - dubbed 'Grand Tours' - to create stunning vignettes in his very own manicured garden.
Bursting into life during spring, but equally pleasant at any time of year, Painshill also has some must-see secret spots that will delight and intrigue the intrepid Surrey explorer.
Along with a small cabin on stilts called the Hermitude, in which a real hermit is said to have stayed for a few weeks before emerging and heading to the local pub for a drink, there is also a man-made Crystal Grotto.
See below for some stunning pictures of the grotto in lieu of a visit yourself. It has been closed during lockdown to allow for social distancing but we highly recommend a visit when possible. Painshill is open for visitors but keep an eye on the website and social media for full details of when the Crystal Grotto will be open.
With twinkling stalactites and stalagmites made from crystals, intricately arranged to maximise their impact when visiting, the cave is jaw-dropping when the sun shines through.
The mysterious formation is alluring from afar but step inside...
And behold crystals dripping from the ceiling in mock-stalactite formation.
Or the supporting rocks which appear hollowed out with what look like faces peering out.
The soothing sound of trickling water can be heard as you take a moment to pause in one of the most unusual of Painshill Park's beauty spots.
Equal parts dazzling and haunting, this cave of crystals is a must-visit for fans of the obscure.
Take a video tour of the grotto.
Charles Hamilton certainly knew how to work his artistic eye to create real life scenes of beauty that he wanted to be seen as works of art. Would you visit this bizarre crystal cave? Read more about Hamilton and Painshill on the park's website.
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Check out some of our favourite spring walks, including Painshill Park.
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