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Llechwedd Slate Caverns
Llechwedd Slate Caverns

Llechwedd Slate Caverns

Enjoy breathtaking views of Snowdonia before descending into below-ground caves, lakes, and hand-carved tunnels on the UK’s steepest cable railway at the Victorian-era Llechwedd Slate Caverns. This family-friendly museum and activity center in the heart of Snowdonia National Park offers visitors an immersive introduction to Welsh mining history via interactive experiences, demonstrations, and more.

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Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, United Kingdom

The Basics

Learn about the history of slate—produced in the area since 1836—at Llechwedd Slate Caverns, which combines several attractions in one. Wander the mock Victorian village, have fun at one of the world’s only subterranean playgrounds, watch slate-splitting demonstrations, and take part in hands-on workshops. Adventurous travelers can also mountain bike and zipline at one of Europe’s longest zip courses.

While there’s plenty to explore independently, there are also daily guided tours of the Victorian mine, as well as adventure excursions which span the entire 2000-acre (800-hectare) site. During the latter, ride in an ex-military truck and sip hot chocolate, before descending into the mines.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Families can enjoy a fun and educational day out at Llechwedd Slate Caverns.

  • Dress warmly for the guided tour, as it gets chilly in the caverns.

  • There are on-site cafés and a gift store which sells Welsh handicrafts and slate cavern–aged cheddar cheese.

  • There are family discount tickets available for groups of four or more.

  • Due to underground paths and uneven ground, Llechwedd Slate Caverns are not fully wheelchair accessible.

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How to Get There

Llechwedd Slate Caverns are situated just outside the center of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Most visitors find it easiest to arrive by private vehicle. Exit the A55 road at Junction 19 and follow signs for Blaenau Ffestiniog or approach from the A5. There’s free on-site car parking.

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When to Get There

Llechwedd Slate Caverns are open daily from the mid-morning until the late afternoon. The last tours start anywhere from one to two hours before closing. Llechwedd Slate Caverns are typically busier during the school holidays and at weekends so visit outside these peak periods for a quieter experience.

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Mining in Wales

Mining has historically played a crucial role in the Welsh economy, particularly the coal mines of the Rhondda Valley and wider South Wales. However, slate mines tended to dominate in North Wales and at Llechwedd Slate Caverns visitors can get an insight into the region’s slate mining history, process, and industry. In fact, Snowdonia's slate landscapes are even UNESCO-recognized.

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