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“Great day, interesting tour”

Honister Slate Mine
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Borrowdale, Buttermere and Beyond: Spectacular Ten Lakes Day Trip from...
Ranked #4 of 64 things to do in Keswick
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Honister Slate Mine is a unique award winning experience, England's last remaining working slate mine and England's very first Via Ferrata!!
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great day, interesting tour”
Reviewed May 6, 2011

Visited here for a 3:30 Tour, and we were the only two on the tour - a personalised tour just for us! The guide was excellent, not only knowledgeable in the mine and geology, but a good chat and understanding of a wide range of subjects. As we were the only ones, we got to see at our own pace, and also learn of the future plans for the tour - and I hope they are achieved, as it would be even better! I would highly recommend this tour !!

Visited May 2011
2 Thank Ian_Graham_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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971 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Very interesting tour in a beautiful part of the world”
Reviewed April 27, 2011

We found out about this tour via a leaflet in our hotel foyer. We have done loads of walking around the Honister Pass and think it's a lovely area. Over the years I had seen the mine go from being almost derelict (mid 80's) to bustling and busy (early 00's), but didn't know much about the history of it all.

This tour was excellent. Easy to find (straight up the Honister Pass from Keswick!), the tour starts with a brief video and safety talk, then you are taken up to the entrance of the mine by bus then spend around an hour inside the mine, being told about the history of slate mining, and how the techniques have changed over the years. This is a working mine so there is a lot of discussion around the modern techniques (they haven't changed that much from 300 years ago!)

There is some walking involved but nothing too strenuous. Best to have sturdy shoes/boots and lots of layers as it's cold! We had our two children with us (aged 5 and 7) who were enthralled by the whole mining story, and our guide (think her name was Kate?) was great with all the kids in the party, getting them to stand at the front and involving them with all that she was explaining. At the end you can take away a (small) piece of your own slate, before being bussed back to the visitor centre where you can buy snacks and hot chocolate (needed after being underground for an hour!) and the usual souvenirs if you want to. There is a workshop there where you can watch the slate being worked on, indeed there is an extensive range of goods that you can order to be made out of slate, from placemats, to door numbers, to garden furniture (didn't look at the prices but I would imagine on the pricey side).

Overall we thought this was a great way to spend a couple of hours, especially if the weather is a bit iffy outside. Make sure you take some gloves as it's only 10degrees centigrade underground and I was a bit chilly by the end of it! Best to phone ahead and book the tours, as they only run at pre-determined times. Ours was 12:30pm, think there had been one in the morning as well.

How tragic that the owner of the mine, Mark Weir, had recently passed away. I hope this attraction continues to flourish and do his memory proud after all the hard work he's put into it.

Visited April 2011
3 Thank lindyloo1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crawley, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Thrilling, Challenging, Excitinig”
Reviewed March 12, 2011

We have just come back to sussex from the Lake Distirct and on our last day there we visited Honinston Slte Mine, booking up the Outdoor Activity Via Ferrata. It was one of the best things we have ever done. In my mind I thought it would be like go ape in the hills, so I wasnt nervous, as I find go ape very easy. However when i found myself clinging to the face of a mountainside at about 700 feet of feet up with a sheer drop below me, any thoughts and comparisons with Go Ape went swiflty out of my mind. it was very challenging and you do need to be reasonably fit to do it, with no fear of heights. The Guide was great, and you are safe as you are clipped onto a cable that goes all the way up the mountain, and you have metal strutts dug into the mountain side, allowing you to climb. The Adrenaline was great and we had a great sense of acheivement once we go to to the peak about 2 and half hours from starting. We would truly reccomend this to anyone visiting the lake distrct looking to do something diffirent and exciting.

Visited March 2011
3 Thank mburm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2011

Great place to visit with dramatic views. Mine was good, interesting to see what is in the middle of those craggy hills!
Didn't try the via ferrata.

Cafe on site, didn't try but looked like a reasonable selection if you are there in the lunch time hours.
No toilet paper in the ladies when visited, might be a one off though, other wise toilets in good condition.

Visited February 2011
1 Thank OBeam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
84 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“More challenging than I expected”
Reviewed November 12, 2010

I did the Kimberley tour. It was more physically challenging than I expected, but then I am useless with steps and heights...
Anyhow, I did enjoy it very much.

1 Thank BU88LE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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