Just 3 miles east of Keswick you’ll find the Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum. Housing the largest collection of working excavators, saddle tank locomotives and a railway carrying passengers into the quarry, this is a fantastic Lake District attraction for the whole family. We have lots of cottages nearby in Threlkeld.
This long abandoned industrial site, set beneath Blencathra, is different to the usual run of old slate quarries. The quarry walls are full of nutrient rich micro-granite, which allows plant life to grow.
If you take a trip on ‘Sir Tom’, the quarry’s narrow gauge railway, you can see foliage, mini dandelions and mouse-ear hawkweed everywhere. Near the terminus, towering rock walls shelter beautiful yellow bird’s trefoil, which form a carpet on the inner quarry floor – you might even spot a blue butterfly enjoying the flora and fauna. Here, you can hop off the train and take in the stunning sights and smells.
On the half-mile long return journey, you can see purple knapweed, white and blue scabious and admire the vibrant blue cornflowers. This really is a haven for wildlife and nature lovers.
The museum is a fantastic place for learning about the history of the industry, which thrived in the Lake District many years ago. The popular underground tours take you through reconstructed copper and lead mines so you can experience what it was once like for the miners. The geological and mining museums are full of artifacts and you can even try your hand at gold panning! We recommend a visit to the Engine House and Steam Engine, which date back to 1926!
The Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum is open 7 days a week from Easter until the end of October.
Cloughthwaite Cottage is set right next to the museum and has stunning views towards Blencathra and Clough Head.