Honister Slate mine is at the top of the Honister Pass in Borrowdale in the Lake District. You can watch slate being riven (or split) using processes that have changed little over the past 300 years.
Fully guided tours into the mine are available several times a day, detailing the history and spectacular features of the mine. The tour shows the current workings of the mine, and how a mixture of modern and traditional methods, is still extracting the slate which was formed some 400 million years before Tyrannosaurus Rex strode the land.
Honister Slate Mine is also home to Britain’s first and biggest Via Ferrata. We have two different Via Ferrata’s to choose from : Via Ferrata Classic or the more challenging Via Ferrata Extreme. Honister’s Via Ferrata uses a fixed cable for safety and protection and you are attached by a harness provided by us. Full safety instructions are provided and all tours are guided. While different from traditional rock climbing, the sport of Via Ferrata gives participants the sensation of being exposed on a rock face and the sense of ascending into spaces where only Eagles fly. Unlike traditional rock climbing, a Via Ferrata participant is not attached to a belay but climbs independently using the installed system of iron rungs and supports.
Ideal for winter weather Honister also has the exciting adventure deep inside the heart of a Lake District mountain, ‘Climb the Mine’ is the only one of its type in England.
Climb the Mine follows the route of the original underground mine workings. Complete with vertical climbs and rope-bridge crossings, this weather-proof experience sees participants led deep underground to explore a secret world of hidden passages and magnificent caverns.
Then, climb up into the roof of the mine itself for an experience previously confined to an elite group of miners. The finale sees participants emerge triumphant to a spectacular view of one of England’s highest mountain passes.
If all that sounds to exciting, then come and relax at our wonderful Sky High Café and take some time to look at our range of Honister Green Slate products, just a stone’s throw from our workshop. It is renowned for its olive green hue, quality, longevity and density. We make house signs and numbers, dining sets, wine racks, fire hearths, flooring, Worktops and much more.