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.

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OPENING TIMES

We look forward to welcoming you. Online booking is required to maintain distancing. Please bring your own facemasks for use underground (from 11yrs+).

 

We are open 10am – 3.30pm (last entry) and then remain open until everyone has gone through.

Open:

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TICKETS & PRICING

We are open! Online booking required. Don’t forget to bring facemasks to wear underground (11yrs+)

If required, disposable masks will be available to purchase at the entrance (£1.00)

Adults: £8.00

Child (4-16) £6.50

Concessions: (student, OAP) £7.00

Family: (2+2) £26.00

Family: (2+3) £30.00

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.

 

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ABOVE GROUND

Our extensive natural cave system is one of the most ancient, exciting, complex and fascinating mine systems in Britain. Set in a beautiful valley, on the edge of the Royal Forest of Dean, we are easy to find and for you to explore deep underground.

Above ground there is ample free parking for visitors. Our Lamproom café is currently serving outdoors only, but with lovely cakes and snacks, great coffees and teas. Outside seating. Plenty of space for picnics.

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. For the moment the Cafe will serve a limited range of delicious cakes, teas and your favourite coffees. Before or after your visit the cafe is a delightful discovery, hidden amongst the trees of the Forest.

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Gift Shop

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

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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.

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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, the campsite can be pre-booked by families or groups (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?

Clearwell Caves are pleased to have achieved the Government Good to Go standard and are open to visitors. We currently have restricted times and days that we are open to visitors; please check dates on our booking page.

What is included, what can I see?

10 large caverns are open to the public, descending around 100ft underground. Exciting mining and geological displays are throughout. Visitor Centre, Shop and Cafe. Picnic area. The underground visit takes around 45 minutes. Allow at least 1.5-2hrs for a show cave visit.

Do you offer guided tours?

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

What clothing should I wear?

You can visit wearing your normal clothing and normal footwear. However it is best to wear something warmer even in summer as the temperature is always 10 degrees underground. Please wear well fitting footwear with a good grip.

How do I change my booking time/date?

Please contact us directly if you need to amend your booking. Call us on +44(0)1594 832535 or email: info@clearwellcaves.com. Please 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, 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 single buggy through, but it is difficult for wheelchairs, and the Caves are not suitable 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 local geological and historical information. Books can be purchased 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 common which are easily accessible from the Caves.

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

(SCHOOL & GROUPS)

From the very first days we opened the Caves to the public in 1968 we have taken groups underground. Educational groups are a speciality, we provide exciting guided trips and caving activities for many schools, primary and secondary, as well as for colleges, universities, as well as many other groups. 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.

Unfortunately for the moment we are unable to offer Adventure Caving activities, but we hope to offer them again later this year.

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, involving 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.

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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; make our caverns the incredible backdrop to your special event.

LOCATION HIRE FOR TV & FILM

A place this otherworldly, this unique, this historic, this mysterious and atmospheric, makes it ideal for anything filmed underground. Easy access and flat flooring through each cavern, there are 240V electrical sockets throughout, to help with setting up. Recently we have hosted crews from His Dark Materials, Britannia, Dr Who, Merlin, The Chronicles of Narnia, Da Vinci’s Demons, Time Team… and 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 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:

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

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