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

Following information and advice from Public Health England regarding Coronavirus, we have decided to temporarily close Clearwell Caves to visitors. We have not taken this decision lightly, but the health and safety of our staff and visitors is paramount. We look forward to welcoming you back to Clearwell Caves as soon as possible.

Please check back or follow us on social media for updates about when we re-open.

Ticket Icon

TICKETS & PRICING

Following information and advice from Public Health England regarding Coronavirus, we have decided to temporarily close Clearwell Caves to visitors. We have not taken this decision lightly, but the health and safety of our staff and visitors is paramount. We look forward to welcoming you back to Clearwell Caves as soon as possible.

Please check back or follow us on social media for updates about when we re-open.

Location icon

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 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.

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. 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.

cafe icon

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 our very walls, bespoke ceramic creations coloured by those very ochres, hand made jewellery, collectables and other geological and cave related items to carry your new discovery on once your 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 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.

Picture Mask

OUR CAMPSITE

The adventure isn’t limited to what’s below ground, why not pitch your tent on our field and spend the night camping in the Royal Forest of Dean, right at the heart of it all. Camping is only available during the summer, the campsite can be pre-booked by groups (tents only). Please give us a call to find out more.

VISITING US FAQs

When are the caves open?

Following information and advice from Public Health England regarding Coronavirus, we have decided to temporarily close Clearwell Caves to visitors. We have not taken this decision lightly, but the health and safety of our staff and visitors is paramount. We look forward to welcoming you back to Clearwell Caves as soon as possible.

Please check back or follow us on social media for updates about when we re-open.

What is included, what can I see?

9 large caverns are open to the public, descending around 100ft underground. Exciting mining and geological displays 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 to make an amendment to your booking. Call us on +44 (0) 1594 832535

How much does it cost to visit?

Following information and advice from Public Health England regarding Coronavirus, we have decided to temporarily close Clearwell Caves to visitors. We have not taken this decision lightly, but the health and safety of our staff and visitors is paramount. We look forward to welcoming you back to Clearwell Caves as soon as possible.

Please check back or follow us on social media for updates about when we re-open.

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 prices or events at any time.

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. You can take a single buggy through, but it is difficult for wheelchairs, and it is 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 interesting local geological and historical information. They can be purchaed for £3.50 each.

Are dogs allowed in the Caves?

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 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.

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.

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 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

Down Arrow