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“Great morning at Honister”

Honister Slate Mine
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Private Tour: Lake District Day Trip from Windermere
Ranked #4 of 71 things to do in Keswick
Certificate of Excellence
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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
Reviewed November 12, 2012

We enjoyed a family visit to Honister Pass and booked up the Classic climb. It was great for us hikers to get a taste of climbing and Johnnie was a good guide with just the right level of humour to get our slightly less 'keen' team members through the tough bits. We are looking forward (most of us!) to coming back and having a go at the extreme route.

Thank Hardytraveller1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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945 - 949 of 1,107 reviews

Reviewed November 5, 2012

Group of us went for the day, lots of snow on the motorway coming up so wasn't sure how well that would effect the climb. Luckily it made it amazing, I think this is a great outdoor activity whatever the weather...with the exception of gale force winds.

Natural elements apart, great fun! our guide added to the enjoyment, by winding most people up at some point along the way. Sense of exposures brilliant and the rope bridge was a real rush, but felt perfectly safe all the way through. Surprised by how tiring it was though, definitely need to have a descent level of fitness. And topping off at the summit - the views are amazing.

Great services at the slate mine too, would highly recommend this to anyone with a love of the great outdoors.

Thank Andy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2012

Booked the full package for ourselves and a very active fourteen year old (we're somewhat older!). The Via Ferrata was excellent and our guide Adam kept a very watchful and encouraging eye on everyone. Probably not for you if you have real fear of heights but otherwise go for it, it's great fun looking back! Lunch was soup, a panini and a drink all included in the price - good quality and more than we could eat. We finished off with the mine tour where you get to learn more about the lives of the miners and also about Mark and his vision.
A great day out.

Thank ADCottenham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2012

we just drove past whilst on a driving route around to Buttermere and parked up for the views - didnt go in.... brilliant views though

1  Thank freyajones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

My boyfriend; Mark had planned the mine tour, the Via Ferrata adventure and a stay at the Paradigm House (more about this later) as a surpise for my birthday. Just to confirm that the adventure part was alright with me, Mark showed me the web site for the Honister Slate Mine that includes some photos of the Via Ferrata as well. I was quite excited by the pictures and immediately signed up for it..! (Hint: if the photos of the Via Ferrata excite you and challenge you, the chances are very high that you will be able to finish it without problems). I consider myself physically fit except for a slightly weak knee. Since we had a choice of 3 days, we made sure that we DIDN'T go for a strenuous hike BEFORE I went for the Via Ferrata, to "save" my knee for the adventure. We also chose the least rainy and windy day possible (we prefer dry days for such adventure..!) . Upon our arrival, we were asked to sign a release form and given instructions along with safety harness and helmets, then taken up to the beginning point of the adventure. There were 5 of us in the group to begin with. A trained instructor/ guide leads the adventure, although in reality, he generally "follows" behind taking photos (since we were not allowed to take photos while climbing, for safety reasons.!) But, the point is he is there to help at a moment's notice. One of the women in the group decided it was too much for her and left the group. In case, you had over-estimated your nerves or your muscle strength, you get to know pretty quickly what your limits are and there is the option to leave (it's pretty early on in the adventure. so, don't count on being able to leave "anytime"). Besides, if you stay after the first hill, you are likely going to be fine. It seemed a little tricky at first, as I tried to understand what it involves. But after the first 20 minutes, I felt very much in the swing of things. And really started enjoying myself. For me the key was : Don't look down, Concentrate on the task at hand, and as the instructor says ALWAYS make sure that you are tied to the rope by atleast one of the two carabiners. And when it comes to the Burma Bridge, just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other with your hands extended away from your body. The view from the top is gorgeous, we could see all the way to Scotland (it was smart to choose the least rainy day, wasnt it?).!
I got quite a few bumps and scratches on my knees and hands but it was a small price to pay for such a wonderful experience. One of the best things about such experiences is how simplified it makes life. Your entire attention gets devoted to the task at hand. It's liberating.! And as Uncle John; a rock-climbing instructor himself says, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained"..!!

We have heard about a possible addition of a zip line that will bring the adventurists back to the base, after they have reached the peak at a speed of 60 mph! We know what we are going to do again on our next trip to the Lake District..!

The mine tour afterwards was good as well. It gives the history of mining around the area in the past & the present and our guide had a witty sense of humor. Home made soups and sandwiches served in the cafe were a welcome treat..!

Side Note: The same group that owns Honister Slate Mine also, owns & manages a few cottages around the area. We stayed in one called the "Barn". It was an elegantly decorated cottage, one of those rare places which are warm & homey, yet, the furnishings look like pieces of art. The very wonderful Jan; our hostess, provided us with a refrigerator full of goodies. There was enough to serve us breakfast for 4 mornings and dinner for one evening. Check out "Discover Paradigm" for more info. Jan, you need to set up a separate listing for your fabulous cottages..!

2  Thank SwatiMark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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