Underground Mine Exploration

Underground Mines

Go underground and explore a new world. There are many mines around Eryri (Snowdonia) that reveal a lost dark world that is both fascinating and intriguing. With head torches on, the underground mines can be entered. There are a variety of mines and routes, which offer a range of challenges to suit different ages and experiences.

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For all weathers, underground offers a unique environment to explore.

"I didn't know what to expect, but it was definitely my best activity!"
Jenna Dodd

Walking Exploration

The underground slate mines that we explore can be all open, enabling you to walk upright around them. There are connecting tunnels, excavated chambers and a series of levels that make for an interesting adventure. 

We involve the group in using the surveys to plan their route safely through the abandoned mine, using known routes that are regularly inspected. Our lamps easily light the way but it is great to experience total blackness for a brief moment of time too. 

underground mine uk

Zip lines, Clip lines & Boats

It is possible to do much more than just walking around the old mines. Routes can be chosen that involve ropes and harnesses to access steeper sections or cross flooded chambers. Zip lines can be setup to cross the water features, hanging from your harness. We can include abseils to move down between levels or roped traverses to move along the exposed traverses. In one mine there is even a raft in place to paddle over to the next tunnel.

We will gauge what is best for each group so they are happy with the level of adventure offered.

History & Artefacts

The history of mining, and in particular the slate mining, is a huge part of the heritage of North Wales. Exploring and appreciating these mines offers a unique opportunity for groups to gain an insight into a different culture and time. A world away from any show mines or caverns, our qualified instructors have access to abandoned mines which have been approved for group use. There are often artefacts and clues to the way the miners lived and worked left in the mines for you to see.

underground boat ride North Wales
underground Outdoor Education Courses uk

Learning Outcomes

For Outdoor Education Courses

  • Learn about the mine history and working conditions when this industrial landscape was created.
  • Working together to navigate and explore the underground workings.
  • A unique environment, often new to all, and puts everyone on an equal footing.
  • Take responsibility to lead the team on given legs around the mine.

Activity Venues

Near Blaenau Ffestiniog is the slate mine of Wrysgan, a mine with large open chambers. You can journey up  from level 1 to level 5 looking at artefacts and their working conditions. This mine also provides the opportunity to traverse on ropes high above the chamber below and then abseil down from one level to the next.

Another popular slate mine is Rhiwbach in Cwm Penmachno. Walking up through a mossy, coniferous woodland to find the mine entrance provides an intriguing start to the adventure. This is a mine with flooded chambers, a maze of tunnels, and plenty of artefacts. Using an inflatable raft, ropes and a map the group journey through this mine emerging from the mine high on the hillside. The walk back down takes you past old abandoned houses which miners would have lived in. 

Underground Mine Courses

Underground exploration forms part of our outdoor education courses at Arete, it is a great full day activity. Through the outdoor adventures, and residential stay, we incorporate a range of educational benefits for the pupils. Underground can also be part of a geography field work, looking at human impact of mining as well as the history of this industrial period. 

Courses of all lengths available throughout the year. A dedicated and experienced instructor is allocated per group. They will tailor the outdoor education programme, that will be flexible to adjust to pupil progression and weather.

Costs: As an example, a 5 day fully catered course starts from just £235 per pupil for courses in November – February.

How to Book: Please email info@aretecentre.co.uk or use our contact form. Let us know the time of year, approximate size of course, year group and any aspirations or learning objectives you may have.

 See our Primary or Secondary section from more information on our outdoor education courses. We also have a general Teachers & Leaders Guide.

All of our activities, including underground exploration, can be booked as a private session for any type of group. Underground  is a full day activity. 

Costs: Regardless of activity combinations, £70 per person for a full day of activity, £50 per person for half day of activity.
Minimum payment of £280 for a full day or £200 for a half day of activity.

Discounts: For groups, every 10th person can attend for free. 10% discount for schools, colleges, scouts & guides, cadets and certain youth charities.

Ratios: We run our courses at low ratios of 1:11 or less to ensure your safety and maximum participation.

Included: Safety kit, wetsuit and / or waterproofs as necessary. Transport can also be provided if you’re staying at Arete Outdoor Centre.

How to Book: Please email info@aretecentre.co.uk or use our contact form. Let us know your preferred date, approximate size of course, year group and any aspirations or learning objectives you may have.

More information: Please see our page on Adult Groups, Youth Groups or Family Activity.

We run Gold DofE Residential courses and Summer Camps during the holidays. Underground exploration can form a part of this 5 day multi-activity course. The accommodation is fully catered. You will meet like-minded individuals and have a great week of adventure.

2018 Dates: 9-13 April, 20-24 August, 27-31 August, 3-7 September.

Cost: £295 per person fully catered

How to Book: Please email info@aretecentre.co.uk or use our contact form. Let us know you preferred date.

More information: See our Gold Residential or Summer Camp page. Alternatively contact us if you have further questions.