The internet is a wonderful thing, and without it we wouldn't have known about the wonderful place that Mr C and I visited on Bank Holiday Monday – Scott's Grotto in Ware.
This most bizarre of places was built in the 1760s by the Quaker poet, John Scott and now lies between some modern houses on a normal looking residential street in the outskirts of Ware.
The grotto consists of six subterranean rooms, connected by passages and ventilation shafts. The walls (and the ceiling and floors in some rooms) are all covered in flint, shells and minerals. It really is something that is so hard to describe, but totally takes your breath when you see it in front of you.
Throughout the grotto are seats built into the walls, again surrounded by shells. I am assuming that these were originally intended for Scott's visitors (his grotto being quite a tourist attraction when he originally built it) but then one room is entitled the Council Chamber. Quite what council would have sat in this room (if any) I have no idea, but the though of anyone sitting in such a strange environment to conduct business is a peculiar one.
With the exception of the Council Chamber the grotto is unlit so as visitors go around with torches you have no idea as to what you are going to find next. While at first this is a little disorientating it adds to the charm of the place.
A totally unexpected experience and one I'd urge you to take if you ever happen to be nearby when they're open.