Wales is a real adventure playground, both above ground and below. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or an all-round nature lover, the caves and caverns of this beautiful country are well worth exploring. So join us in our guide to the best underground adventures in Wales.
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Llechwyd Slate Caverns Zip World, Snowdonia
Question: what is more thrilling than zipping down a wire across a wilderness or through a forest? Answer: zipping down a wire buried deep in an underground cave system in Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. You journey through a series of caverns on zip wires, rope bridges, via ferrata and through tunnels. Don’t worry, safety is a priority.
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Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Carmarthenshire
It is said that Welsh gold is the most expensive in the world. This National Trust-managed site, in the heart of mid Wales, takes you on a journey to the Roman times. Discover how there really was ‘gold in them thar hills’ and try your luck panning. The underground tour offers a fascinating glimpse of life as a gold miner before the mine closed in the early 20th century.
Big Pit, Blaenafon, Torfaen
The valleys of South Wales are famous for their mining communities and Big Pit, part of the National Museum of Wales, offers a complete guide to the work, lifestyle, hardships and achievements of Welsh miners. The underground tour is conducted by former miners who certainly know their stuff. As you’re lowered through the pit shaft, with a helmet lamp to guide you, you are immediately immersed in the world of an almost forgotten industry.
The National Showcaves Centre for Wales, Powys
Dan-yr-Ogof is located to the south of the Brecon Beacons. This splendid cave system is full of beautifully lit caverns, stalactites and stalagmites and is extremely accessible. Comprising three large caverns, the main cavern, known as The Cathedral, is quite breathtaking. Within easy access of the cities of Cardiff and Swansea, the National Showcaves are ideally placed to enjoy a day above and below ground in the Brecon Beacons.
King Arthur’s Labyrinth, Machynllech, Gwynedd
Mid Wales has long been associated with myths and legends. King Arthur’s Labyrinth takes you on a journey to discover the story behind one of Britain’s best known legends. Enjoy a magical boat trip through this marvellous cave system while surrounding yourself with tales of dragons, giants and astounding battles.
The Black Mountains, South Wales
For a more hands-on underground experience, the Black Mountains in South Wales provide several excellent opportunities. Led by experienced cavers, explore the myriad underground tunnels and caverns underneath one of the most famous national parks in Wales. Although it can get a little tight in places, it is an exhilarating experience and allows you to see the area from a unique angle.
Bounce Below, Snowdonia
This is the stuff of dreams. In a cavern, in an old slate mine in Snowdonia, you’ll find Bounce Below – an atmospherically lit trampolining heaven. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and certainly one to add too the bucket list. Safely bounce to your heart’s content while enjoying the unique surroundings.
Electric Mountain Visitor Centre, Llanberis, Gwynedd
For those interested in technology and science, a visit to the Electric Mountain Visitor Centre is a must. Located on the Llyn Padarn shores, Dinorwig Hydro Electric Power Station is within the largest man-made cave in Wales. The six generators produce 1,728 megawatts of electricity from deep within the mountain. Take a tour and learn exactly how this amazing ecopower station works.
Sygun Copper Mine, Beddgelert, Gwynedd
Historians and archaeology enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to the Sygun Copper Mine, just outside the picture-perfect village of Beddgelert in North Wales, The first miners came here with the Bronze Age and continued throughout the Roman period. The self-guided tours focus on the Victorian era, when the copper mine was at full production; it finally closed in 1903. The caverns, tunnels and water features all make this an exceptionally memorable experience.
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