The valley of Borrowdale is an absolutely stunning part of the Lake District. With pretty lakes and impressive, craggy fells, it’s a photographer’s dream!
Perched high above the valley is Honister Slate Mine, which produces much of the Westmorland Green Slate that is prevalent around local towns and villages. It is also home to to some incredible adrenaline-pumping activities like Climb the Mine, a Via Ferrata, and an Infinity Bridge.
This is a fabulous day out for all the family - you can take on the full range of activities or pick and choose those that you prefer. If you want to enjoy everything that’s available, you will have to get there first thing to make the best of it!
The Via Ferrata is the perhaps the best option for the thrill-seekers amongst you and there are two courses to try, depending how brave you’re feeling (or how fit you are)! Both routes follow the original miners’ track but with the addition of a continuous cable to make the journey safe.
The Via Ferrata Classic is suitable for most ages and abilities. The adrenaline rush of hanging off the side of a mountain coupled with the stunning beauty of the area will make a really memorable experience for individuals, families, and friends alike.
The Via Ferrata Xtreme is for those with a reasonable level of fitness and includes more climbing along vertical stretches of mountain, as well as a Burma Bridge and a Cargo Net crossing. It’s a thrilling experience that takes you twice as high as the shard in London and that will give you some of the best views in the Lake District!
Both routes are led by professional guides and all vital equipment such as helmets and harnesses are provided.
After this invigorating experience, you can relax for a little while in the lovely café, where you can warm up with a cuppa and a tasty slice of cake - or something more substantial if you prefer. Then get ready for a fascinating tour of the mine. Led by guides who all have an enthusiasm and a unique take on the tours, you will discover the rich history of the industry and learn about its importance to the area, all whilst exploring the tunnels and caverns deep inside Fleetwith Pike. This is also the perfect wet-weather activity!
If you’re looking for more thrilling adventures - or perhaps you want to enjoy an experience similar to the Via Ferrata but without the mountain drops below - then Climb the Mine could be your perfect option.
The only one of its kind in the UK, Climb the Mine is an indoor alternative to the Via Ferrata. Take on vertical climbs, a rope bridge crossing and steel ladder ascents in one of the huge caverns inside the mountain. You’ll be experiencing something similar to what the miners did over 100 years ago - but you’ll have the safety of ropes and an experienced guide!
If you find you still have time and want to squeeze out that bit more adrenaline, the Infinity Bridge is the way to go. So called because you often can’t see the other side, the wire bridge is the longest in England and dangles over a 2,000 foot drop above the spectacular scenery. Don’t forget to take a moment to look up from your feet to admire the view!
A day at Honister Slate Mine promises to be a memorable one for everyone who attends. Whether you’re travelling alone or are in a large group of different ages and abilities, it’s a great choice and provides options for summer days as well as for less-clement weather!
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