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.

Time Icon

OPENING TIMES

The Caves are open 10am – 4pm, from 24th July-31st October 2021.
Open: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Not open: on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Online booking.
From 10th until 26th September 2021, we open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only. The Caves re-open in October for the week of Half Term 23rd -31st October, except Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ticket Icon

TICKETS & PRICING

 

 

Adults: £8.50

Child (4-16) £6.50

Concessions: (student, OAP) £7. 50

Family: (2+2) £28.00

Family: (2+3) £32.00

Guide Book: £3.50 available at the entrance, shop or cafe.

Group rates and guided tours available for parties over 15 persons, please telephone to book.

 

3yrs and under are free of charge. There is no need to book a ticket for them.

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

 

Location icon

ABOVE GROUND

Our extensive natural cave system was mined for iron, to create one of the most ancient, exciting, complex systems in Britain. The Caves are set in a beautiful valley, on the edge of the Royal Forest of Dean; we are easy to find and fun to explore, deep underground.

Above ground there is ample free parking for visitors. Our Lamproom café offers lovely cakes, snacks, great coffees and teas. Outside seating.

 

Clearwell Caves – Ancient Iron Mines, Nr Coleford, Gloucestershire, GL16 8JR.

THE LAMPROOM CAFÉ

The Lamproom Café sits above ground and is the only marker for the adventure taking place below. To operate safely, the Cafe will just be providing a Take-away service; with delicious cakes, snacks, teas and your favourite coffees.

cafe icon

Gift Shop

As with everything we like to do, our gift shop is a little different; alongside things to excite the children you’ll find a range of sweets and treats, the finest range of artists' ochres mined from here, bespoke ceramic creations coloured by those very ochres, hand made jewellery, gifts, collectables and other geological and cave related items to continue your discovery once your cave journey is at its end.

Picture Mask

Quick Directions

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

Free Parking

Parking is available on-site free of charge to visitors to Clearwell Caves, the Lamproom Café and shop.

Disabled parking and 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.

Picture Mask

OUR CAMPSITE

The adventure isn’t limited to what’s below ground, why not pitch your tent on our lovely field and spend the night camping out in the Royal Forest of Dean, right at the heart of it all. The field has a tap for water and a discrete but clean, portable loo. Camping is only available for a short time during the summer, (tents only). £10 per adult, £6 per child. Please give us a call to find out dates.

VISITING US FAQs

When are the caves open?

We are open 24th July-5th September 2021. We are closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We are open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. 10am-5pm. Please book online.

What is included, what can I see?

Clearwell Caves are a natural cave system, that has been mined for ochre and iron ores, over thousands of years. You walk through 10 large caverns, descending around 100ft underground, with displays throughout, absorbing the unique atmosphere underground. Caves, Visitor Centre, Shop and Cafe. The underground visit takes around 45 minutes. Allow at least 1.5-2hrs for your visit.

Do you offer guided tours?

Yes we do. Guided Tours can be booked for groups, or are available on advertised days; no extra charge but require a minimum of 15 persons. Schools and educational visits are particularly welcome. Tours take between 1-1.5 hrs, plus time in loos, shop/cafe etc. Information can be focussed towards particular interests, or be a fun overview of the mine's incredible history.

What clothing should I wear?

Visit wearing your normal clothing and footwear. However we recommend you wear something warm even in summer as the temperature is always 10 degrees underground. Wear well fitting footwear with a good grip.

How do I change my booking time/date?

Please contact us directly if you need to change or amend your booking. Call us on +44(0)1594 832535 or email: [email protected] Please give at least 24hrs notice, see our Terms and Conditions.

How much does it cost to visit?

Please note that different prices or additional charges apply for evening trips and for some special events, including our Christmas Fantasy event; to check event prices please see our Events page for details. We reserve the right to alter our prices or events as circumstances may require. See: https://clearwellcaves.com/plan-your-visit/

Are the caves easily accessible?

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 in quite a few areas, they can be wet in places depending on the weather, there are handrails in parts where it is steeper. Please wear footwear with a good grip and walk carefully. You can take a children's single buggy through, but it is difficult for wheelchairs, and double buggies, the Caves are not accessible for mobility scooters.

Do you have a guide book?

Yes, our colour 20 page guide book gives a cavern by cavern tour of the Caves and includes fascinating geological and historical information. Books can be purchased at the Caves for £3.50 each.

Are dogs allowed in the Caves?

We welcome dogs above ground, but they are not allowed underground in the Caves. Dogs are welcome in the café and shop. There are nice walks over the Meend (common) surrounding the Caves.

Can I cancel my tickets?

We can refund your ticket(s) up to 24hrs before the booked time for your visit. After this time we will try to transfer the ticket to another day we are open, subject to availability. There is a £5.00 cancellation fee for any refund (fee per transaction, not per ticket), to cover the card and ticketing charges we have paid. Refunds are made by our ticketing company, to the original purchasing card. This can take a few days: please see the full Terms and Conditions.

CONQUER THE UNKNOWN WITH THE CLASS, CO-WORKER, OR CREW

(SCHOOL & GROUPS)

From our very first days, when we opened to the public in 1968, we have taken groups deep underground. Educational groups are very welcome; we can provide exciting guided trips and caving activities for many schools – primary and secondary, as well as for colleges, universities. 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 just a physical adventure.

 

Unfortunately we are unable to offer Adventure Caving activities at the moment, but hope to offer caving again later this year. we hope to post details in September.

There are four main types of visit available to groups:

SELF GUIDED VISIT

The group lead themselves through the show caverns.

Allow 40mins-1hr*

GUIDED TOUR

Groups are taken through the show caverns by experienced mine guides.

Allow 1.5hrs*

SEMI-DEEP LEVEL VISIT

A part guided tour of the show mine combined with a simple caving activity. The group wear helmets, lamps and overalls; they will be crawling in places and will get a little dirty.

Allow at least 2hrs*

DEEP LEVEL VISIT

The group are kitted out with helmets, lamps, overalls and wellies and go on a caving activity, that involves crawling and scrambling down to 200ft underground, through ancient cave and mine workings.

Allow at least 3hrs*

AALA licensed - for caving and mine exploration. License no: L14650/0009 Call 029 2075 5715 for AALA information or visit www.hse.gov.uk/aala

* Times shown are just for the underground part of the visit, extra time should be allowed for arrival, use of loos, shop, café etc. Times can be varied if you let the guide know when you arrive.

Picture Mask

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  occasion the grandeur and beauty it deserves; make our caverns an incredible backdrop to your special event.

LOCATION FOR TV & FILM

A place this otherworldly, this historic, this mysterious and atmospheric, makes a fantastic backdrop for anything filmed underground. Easy access through each cavern, there are 240V electrical sockets throughout, to help with setting up. Recently we have hosted His Dark Materials, Britannia, Cursed, Dr Who and Merlin, with many more through the years, each having a vastly different look. Ample vehicle parking.

ALSO NEARBY

After you’ve unearthed the hidden world of the caves and local mining history, make the most of what the Royal Forest of Dean has to offer. Discover more nature, new adventures, more history and discover how far your legs can take you on one of many stunning walking routes. Discover:

Wyedean Tourism
Forest of Dean History
Hopewell Colliery
Dean Heritage
Dean Forest Railway

Down Arrow