Children will be able to experience an underground adventure in Blackpool, following the opening of a new attraction, the first of its type in the North West.
The Cave is a 100 metre long, interactive indoor caving system at the award-winning Ascent Trampoline Park, complete with hidden chambers and its very own party room that can be accessed through the cave itself.
Inside the complex of tunnels there are also ball pits, squeeze chambers, and rat runs.
Participants are also urged to try to set the fastest time to complete the cave course.
Lee Hennigan, assistant manager and head of marketing at Ascent Trampoline Park said the attraction is something they have been considering for a while.
He said: “We had researched into offering a cave system for months but we wanted to offer something completely different to what has been seen before.
“We asked the manufacturers to include features like sound effects and the haze machine, which they had not created before.
“It was a key aim to create something that was really niche that would attract not just Blackpool residents and tourists, but also people coming further afield, from around the north west.
“The fact this is the first of its type in the area is great, and the nearest other is in Birmingham, so we do believe that people will come here specially.”
Lee also said that, even though it has only been open two weeks, the cave has been popular and has received good feedback.
“It has been non stop over the school holidays and we have had some brilliant feedback from both the children and adults.”
The new feature took three weeks to construct and Lee said the design of the outside and party room was just as key as inside the caves.
He said: “We are creating an experience for everyone that comes to the park, not just the people taking part.
“We got a local graffiti artist to do all of the art on the outside of the cave as well as in the party room, and they look great.”
The party room has been designed to look just like the caves, with one wall looking out onto mountains. Up to 20 people can be in the caves at the same time and Lee expects the party room to be very popular as an event at the complex.
The caving system also has sound effects, such as dinosaur and wildlife, and interactive features, such as a haze machine that can spray mist.
Coby Allan, 10, and Eddie Manson, 11, from Poulton, tried the caves for the first time, and said they wanted to come back again.
Coby said: “Its quite hard and quite narrow but good fun.
“You can’t have a bad back to do it.”
Eddie said: “I got really hot in there because I was running around. I liked it.”
Coby’s mum, Rebecca Redman, didn’t realise the complex was at the trampoline park and said she will be bringing the children back again.
She said: “I come about once a month ago with the kids and I wasn’t aware this was being built.
“I think it’s brilliant and so different, especially for the kids.
“Also if the kids get bored with being on the trampolines for too long, they can have a go on this instead.”
Before you enter the cave, a helmet, protective gear, and non-slip socks are provided, and there is a practice run with a guide.
Lee added: “We have already started the fastest time round the course [contest], which currently stands at 45 seconds.
Each week, the fastest person on the scoreboard will win a prize.
“We have also going to create some events such as a treasure hunt, where we will hide prizes around the caves.
“Also, we want to implement an ‘escape the cave’ feature similar to escape rooms, where we can put clues and objects in the cave so people need to figure their way out.
“One of the biggest things we are looking forward to is Halloween, which we expect to be really popular.
“We are going to change the sound effects and get some of the staff dressed upinside the cave to scare people.
“We have more ideas planned and the future is looking good for us.”
Ascent Trampoline Park, based on Cornford Road, opened its doors in March 2016 and has been expanding ever since.
It is the largest trampoline park in the UK and has more than 100 trampolines, a flip zone, dodgeball, slam dunk basketball, foam pits, an air bag and a ninja assault course.
A climbing wall and wipeout zone were recently introduced as well.
It has won numerous accolades including the New Business Award at the 2017 Lancashire Tourism Awards and it took the silver medal for New Tourism Business award at the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2018.
What does the park have to offer?
If caves are not your thing, there are numerous items at the Ascent Trampoline Park to keep you entertained.
The park started as just a trampoline site and is largest of its type in the UK.
A new climbing wall was introduced last year and has proven a popular addition.
The park is also home to the UK’s largest airbag, which allows people to try new flips and tricks safely.
Included in the open jump park are the foam pits and the Ninja Assault Course with a balance beam, raised steps, and ladders with people able to also battle it out with gladiator sticks.
Other features include dodgeball and basketball areas, as well as three trampoline lanes dedicated as a ‘flip zone’.
For those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground, there is a dedicated games area.