Honister Slate Mine for Kids
Location : Keswick
Ordnance Survey – NY 226135
Honister Pass, Borrowdale, Keswick, CA12 5XN.
Tel 017687 77230.
Honister Slate mine is at the top of the Honister Pass in Borrowdale in the Lake District. You can watch slate being riven (or split) using processes that have changed little over the past 300 years.
You can go on a guided tour into the mine that are available several times a day, showing the history and spectacular features of the mine. The tour shows how the mine works, and how a mixture of modern and traditional methods, is still extracting the slate which was formed some 400 million years before Tyrannosaurus Rex strode the land.
Honister slate is a distinctive green slate, though Lakeland slate comes in a variety of shades and colours. It is a strong and durable material, excellant for roofs , and also for floors and walls. After being mined the slate was taken by packhorse over the western edge of Great Gable and Wasdale, for loading onto boats at Ravenglass.
The visitor centre has a series of information panels showing the history of the mine, its characters, its triumphs and its disasters.
The mine produces roofing slate but there is also the chance to buy smaller items made from slate in the shop.
Quality refreshments are available at the Sky Hi Cafe, and you can spend time going to the gift shop and showroom, where you can pick up many slate souvenirs.
The centre is open open all year round seven days a week.
Mine tour and aerial photos by Simon Ledingham.
Honister’s Via Ferrata is a fantastic adventure climbing system that uses a fixed cable for safety and protection up the rock face of the old miners’ route. You are attached to this system by a harness provided by Honister. Full safety instructions are provided and initially all tours will be guided.
You have to be 10 years old to go use the via ferrata.
See the Honister website for more information.
Via Ferrata photos by Simon Ledingham.
Related Links :
Cumbria for Kids Rocks and More Rocks Menu
- Cumbria for Kids Menu
Grown Ups Honister Slate Mine Menu
- North Lakes Area Menu