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Clearwell Caves

Clearwell Caves
Clearwell, Nr. Coleford, Royal Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, GL16 8JR

01594 832535

Clearwell Caves near Coleford in the Forest of Dean
Clearwell Caves near Coleford in the Forest of Dean

Clearwell Caves

For thousands of years iron ore has been mined at Clearwell Caves. You can still meet a Free Miner here: men whose ancient birthright entitles them to dig for minerals within the Hundred of St Briavels and the Royal Forest of Dean.

Clearwell Caves are now a working mining museum where visitors can see impressive caverns with geological and mining displays. Iron ore from the Caves has been used over many centuries to make tools, weapons and machinery. Some forms of the iron ore occurs in powder form, red, yellow, purple and brown ochre; they are highly valued as pigments and still mined at Clearwell Caves. The Caves are an important but secret part of the Forest of Dean's history and environment.

  • Atmospheric mine workings with impressive caverns and winding passageways
  • Nine impressive caverns to explore
  • Visitor centre with Phyliss Lewis 'Forest Story' collection
  • Deep Level adventure caving activities
  • Ochre workshop
  • Educational and fun for the whole family
  • Guided tours for pre-booked groups
  • Excellent Gift Shop with crystals, minerals and ochre to buy
  • Special events throughout the year
  • Spectacular Christmas Fantasy throughout December and New Year
  • Great cafe
  • Surface walks
  • Children's play area
  • Picnic areas

As well as entering an extensive natural cave system, when you visit Clearwell Caves you are experiencing some of Britain's oldest underground mine workings, dating back well over 4500 years. You walk through impressive caverns created by many generations of Forest people who made their living by mining iron ore and ochre at Clearwell Caves.

Clearwell Caves - Opening times 2024

Open from: Saturday 10 February 2024
Season ends: Sunday 3 November 2024

Weekends and School Holidays only - Check website for more details

Clearwell Caves - Special seasonal openings

  • Halloween
  • Clearwell Caves Christmas Fantasy

Clearwell Caves can open at any other times, if pre-booked.

Clearwell Caves - Admission charges 2024

NB: Pre-booking is advised.

  • Adults: £12
  • Child: £10 (5-16yrs)
  • Children under 4yrs are free (no need to book a ticket for them)
  • Concessions: (Students/OAP) £11
  • Family: (2+2) £40
  • Guided tours of the Caves: Normal entry price plus £50
    Tours take around an hour and a half. Tours can focus on particular subjects or interests. Please telephone in advance to book.

More information about Clearwell Caves booking and admission charges

IMPORTANT - Before your visit

Clearwell Caves recommend that visitors should wear stout footwear.

Clearwell Caves - Dogs policy

No dogs or other animals allowed into the mine.  However they are very welcome in the Lamproom  café, gift shop and around the site. There are lovely walks around the common, please ask if you would like further information.

Clearwell Caves - Disabled access

The Caves are real mine workings and may not be suitable for people with walking difficulties. The pathways are steep and uneven, they can be wet in places depending on the weather, there are handrails in parts where it is steeper. You can take a buggy through, but it is difficult for wheelchairs, and it is not suitable for mobility scooters.

Caving experiences at Clearwell Caves

Throughout the year 'Caving Taster Sessions' are available at Clearwell Caves and led by an experienced team of instructors in the field of caving, help make this adventure an exciting time for all to enjoy (age restrictions do apply).

Visit Clearwell Caves website for more details of Semi and Deep Caving.

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