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Pumpkin sitting outside the Smugglers golf kiosk in Bournemouth
Spooky Tales from Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf
The life of a smuggler is hard – the first rule is, be careful who you trust. Your life depends on it!
Posted October 6, 2021

As the dark nights draw in and with Halloween approaching, Cap’n Ed from Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf shares a cautionary tale with his Moonshadow Gang from Bournemouth’s real-life smuggling history!

“The life of a smuggler is hard – the first rule is, be careful who you trust. Your life depends on it! Cunning and bravery get you so far, but lady luck has her part to play and you must treat risk and reward as sides of the same coin. If caught, it’s prison, transportation to the colonies or death, if you tangle with a King’s Excise Man!

But a month’s wages in one night is better than working 30 days in cold fields and farms at Kinson. And as we know in these trying times of high taxes, people must have their little luxuries of tea, gin and rum!

But remember danger lurks everywhere. One moonless night in 1765, on the beach not far from Smugglers Cove, or North Shore as Bournemouth’s Beach was known then, Lt Down, Commander of the Cutter Folkestone, landed on the beach with his men and found 20 of us loading tea onto horses. One of his men jumped onto a horse and rode into our midst shouting that the goods were seized in the name of the Crown. But we overpowered him and dragged him into the sea. Slippery as seal he was and broke free running for his life to hide in the wooded valleys of one of the many Chines here about.

Not to be outdone, Lt Down and the rest of his men entered the fray firing shots and our leader Robert Trotman was shot dead! Those that could scarpered and thought themselves lucky to get away alive! Poor Robert’s grave lies in St Andrew’s church yard at Kinson to this very day…”

This October half-term fun and Halloween experience Bournemouth’s smuggling past for yourself with 18 holes of action-packed adventure. Located at Pier Approach, next to Bournemouth’s award-winning seafront, smuggle your ball past treacherous rocks, church ruins and gravestones – make sure you look out for the grave of Robert Trotman!

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