Clearwell Caves, Gloucestershire
Go down in the ancient caverns at Clearwell Caves near Coleford and you'll find a magical world to explore deep beneath the Forest of Dean. This natural cave system was mined extensively for hundreds of years and artists ochre pigments are still extracted from the caves to this day; it's incredible to think that children as young as 8 worked here, carrying heavy loads on their back, with only candlelight to see by.
There are nine caverns to see, with fascinating displays and even an ochre preparation area. It's very atmospheric to say the least, but especially so if you go during October half term when it’s all dressed for Halloween, or at Christmas when it’s decorated with lots of twinkly lights and Santa pays his annual visit. The tinies needn't miss out because the whole site including the caves is pushchair friendly, though not for double buggies. There's a children's play area too, a gift shop where you can pick up an internresting momento of your visit, and a very good cafe, or if you prefer to bring your own food, there's a picnic site. It can get a bit chilly underground so make sure you take a jumper or something, and for goodness' sake wear sensible shoes.
They also offer adventure caving at Clearwell Caves, but you have to pre-book.
Opening times vary throughout the year so remember to check the website before plannign your trip.
T: 01594 832535 All information correct at the time of writing
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