THIS IS WHERE THE JOURNEY BEGINS
When you’re looking for days out with the kids, or things to do in the Royal Forest of Dean, think deeper, think beneath your feet; because hidden beneath the trees of the forest is a magical world of caverns and the fascinating story of our ancient iron and ochre mining history for you to discover.
We are open for visitors to explore our caverns everyday of the week!
April to August: 10am – 5pm
September to October: 10am – 4pm
For dates and times of special events at the caves please check our events section. We can open the caves to visitors in the evenings if you wish to arrange a special trip. If this is something you would like to know more about, please get in touch and we will be more than happy to discuss this with you.
TICKETS & PRICING
Exploring our show caverns:
Children (ages 4 to 16): £5.50 Under 4’s free
Family tickets: (2+2) £24.00 (2+3) £27.50
To see prices for our special events, such as our Halloween party and Christmas Fantasy spectacular, or for our deep caving experiences please check the events or adventure deeper sections.
Our extensive natural cave system is one of the most ancient, complex and fascinating mine systems in Britain. Set in a beautiful valley, in the Royal Forest of Dean, we are easy to find and explore.
However, above ground there is also a free car park for visitors, an onsite café serving yummy treats, an outdoor play area for children and even a campsite for anyone who wishes to pitch a tent and extend their stay!
Clearwell Caves – Ancient Iron Mines, Nr Coleford, Gloucestershire, GL16 8JR
THE LAMPROOM CAFÉ
A destination in its own right, the Lamproom Café sits above ground as the only marker for the adventure taking place below. With homemade soups, sandwiches, cakes, leaf teas and all your favourite coffees; our café is yet another delightful discovery hidden amongst the trees of the Forest.
As with everything else we do our gift shop is a little different; alongside the ordinary things to excite the children you’ll find our own range of sweets and treats, the finest range of artists' ochres mined from our very walls, bespoke ceramic creations coloured by those very ochres and other geological and cave related items to carry your new discovery on once your journey is at its end.
Follow the brown tourist signs from Coleford town centre.
The caves are 1.5 miles south of Coleford town centre in Gloucestershire.
From Coleford town centre follow the B4228 to St Briavels and Chepstow. After approximately 1 mile, turn right for Clearwell village (immediately after the Lambsquay Hotel). The car and coach park is immediately visible on your left after a few hundred yards.
SATNAV: GL16 8JR
Parking is available on-site free of charge to visitors to Clearwell Caves and the Lamproom Café.
Disabled access is available near the entrance to the caves, café and giftshop, please call us on 01594 832535 for more details.
Nearest Railway Stations
LYDNEY – 5 miles, bus to Coleford, alight at Milkwall, three-quarter mile walk to Clearwell Caves.
GLOUCESTER – 21 miles, Stagecoach bus No.31, alight at Milkwall, three-quarter mile walk to Clearwell Caves.
The adventure isn’t limited to what’s below ground, why not pitch your tent on our site and spend the night camping in the Royal Forest of Dean, right at the heart of it all.
VISITING US FAQs
We are open 7 days a week - from February half term 10am-4pm then from 30th March - 10am-5pm, then from 3rd September to 28th October 2018 - 10am-4pm.
Please Note: One off closing of the caves will happen on the 12th, 13th, 14th September 2018 - on those three days the caves will not be open to the public.
You walk through 9 large caverns that are open to the public, with mining and geological displays throughout. Visitor Centre, Shop and Cafe. Picnic area. The underground visit takes around 45 minutes.
Yes we do. Guided Tours available for pre-booked groups, no extra charge but minimum of 15 persons. Schools and educational visits are a speciality. Tours take between 1-1.5 hrs, plus time in shop etc.
You can visit wearing your normal clothing and normal footwear, although it is advisable to wear something warm even in summer as the temperature is always 10 degrees underground. Please wear well fitting footwear with a reasonable grip.
For the show mine the prices are Adults £7.50 ; Children (ages 4 to 16): £5.50 ; Concessions: £6.50 ; Under 4's free. Family tickets: (2+2) £24.00 (2+3) £27.50.
Please note that different prices or additional charges may apply for evening trips and for some of our special events, including our Christmas Fantasy event; to check event prices please see our Events page for details. We reserve the right to alter prices or events at any time.
Please be aware that 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.
Yes, our colour 20 page guide book gives a cavern by cavern tour of the Caves and includes interesting local geological and historical information. They can be purchaed for £3.50 each.
We welcome dogs above ground, but they not allowed underground in the Caves. Dogs are welcome to go in the café and shop.There are some nice walks over the common which are easily accessible from here.
CONQUER THE UNKNOWN WITH THE CLASS, CO-WORKER, OR CREW
(SCHOOL & GROUPS)
From the very first days the Caves opened to the public in 1968 we have taken groups underground. Educational groups in particular are a speciality, we provide exciting guided trips and caving activities for many schools, primary and secondary, as well as for colleges and universities. The elements of education and fun are balanced to suit the group’s interests or projects. Subjects can range from: how the miners worked; cave formation; local geology; limestone; iron; Victorians; child labour in mines; to simple elements such as underground, light and dark, rocks etc, or a physical adventure activity.
There are four main types of visit available to groups:
SELF GUIDED VISIT
The group lead themselves through the show caverns.
Groups are led through the show caverns by experienced mine guides.
SEMI-DEEP LEVEL VISIT
A part guided tour of the show mine and simple caving activity. The group wear helmets and lamps, will be crawling in places and also get a little dirty.
DEEP LEVEL VISIT
The group are kitted out with helmets, lamps, overalls and wellies and go on a caving activity, involving crawling and scrambling down to 200ft underground, through cave and mine workings.
VENUE HIRE FOR YOUR EVENT
Try as hard as you might you’ll struggle to find a venue as memorable, as magical and as utterly unique as Clearwell Caves. Give your guests and your occasion the grandeur and beauty it deserves; whether it be wedding, birthday, or office party make our caverns your dancefloor.
LOCATION HIRE FOR TV & FILM
A place this otherworldly, this unique, this historic, this mysterious and even a little scary makes it ideal for the big and small screen. We have already hosted crews from Dr Who, Merlin, The Chronicles of Narnia, Da Vinci’s Demons, Time Team, Blake’s Seven… and so many more.
After you’ve unearthed the hidden world of the caves and discovered the delights of The Lamproom Café, it seems silly not to make the most of all that the Royal Forest of Dean and surrounding areas have to offer. Discover more nature, discover new adventures, discover more history and discover how far your legs can take you on one of many stunning walking routes. Discover it all: