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.
TICKETS & PRICING
We are temporarily closed, online booking for this season is planned shortly.
Online booking required.
Child (4-16) £6.50
Concessions: (student, OAP) £7. 50
Family: (2+2) £27.00
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.
Our extensive natural caverns were mined for iron ore, to create one of the most ancient, exciting, complex systems in Britain. We are 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. When we can re-open, the Cafe will provide a Take-away only service, providing delicious cakes, snacks, teas and your favourite coffees.
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.
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, 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.
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
We are sorry to announce that we are temporarily required to close, but plan to re-open for the weekend on 22nd-23rd May 2021. For other dates please see Opening times for details.
Clearwell Caves are a natural cave system, mined for pigments and iron ore over thousands of years. You walk through 10 large caverns, descending around 100ft underground, with 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.
Yes we do. Guided Tours are available for pre-booked groups, or on advertised days; 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/cafe etc. Information can be focussed towards particular interests of the group, or be a fun overview of the mine's incredible history.
You can visit wearing your normal clothing and normal footwear. However it is best to wear something warm even in summer as the temperature is always 10 degrees underground. Please wear well fitting footwear with a good grip.
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/
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 children's single buggy through, but it is difficult for wheelchairs, and the Caves are not suitable for mobility scooters.
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.
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) which surrounds the Caves.
We can refund your ticket(s) up to 2 days 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 always by our ticketing company, to the original purchasing card. please see the full Terms and Conditions.
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 deep 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 adventure activities. 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 this time, 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.
Groups are taken through the show caverns by experienced mine guides.
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*
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 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 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.
After you’ve unearthed the hidden world of the caves and local mining history, 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: