Honister Slate Mine

Polly Checkland Harding
Courtesy of Honister Slate Mine

The last working slate mine in England is also home to a host of breathtaking adventure activities in the Lake District. Honister Slate Mine at the head of Honister Pass in Keswick has a history that dates back to what are estimated to be the first extractions during the Roman occupation, but is now home to much more modern preoccupations. Try your hand at canyoning along the course of a waterfall, attempt the Via Ferrata Xtreme along exposed mountain ledges and up vertical ladder climbs, or cross the longest high wire bridge in Europe, over 1,000 feet above the valley floor.

Honister’s Infinity Bridge is so called because it’s not possible to see the other side from the start, with the incredible climb across the gorge offering unique views of Honister Pass itself. Test your nerves even further by going cliff camping on one of the site’s Portaledges, 500ft up on the cliff face and reachable only by abseiling – or venture underground for some subterranean exploits and Climb the Mine. Following the route of the original underground workings, this includes vertical climbs, rope bridge crossings, a zip line and a Tarzan swing. After passing through narrow passageways and cathedral-sized caverns, participants emerge victorious with a spectacular view of the mountain pass.

Slightly more sedate are the guided Mine Tours: these are an opportunity to learn about the 450m year history of the Westmorland Green Slate, and of the lives of the people who used to work here. Brought to life with enhanced reality technology and explosive special effects, these underground tours are a fantastic introduction to a historic mine. There’s even the highest café in the Lake District, the Sky Hi Café, for homemade cakes, soups and snacks at altitude.

Honister Pass, BorrowdaleKeswickCA12 5XN View map
Telephone: 01768777230 Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • Monday9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Tuesday9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Wednesday9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Thursday9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Friday9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday9:00am - 5:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Honister Slate Mine

To The Lakes! at Wordsworth Grasmere
To The Lakes! at Wordsworth Grasmere

Find out how the first tourists to the Lake District (a time before mobile phones, specialist clothing and TripAdvisor reviews) experienced the area, in this fascinating new exhibition.

from £6.00
Penguin Café at Brewery Arts

Avant-pop Arthur Jeffes and his Penguin Café ensemble are visiting Brewery Arts to perform their much anticipated new album Rain Before Seven.

from £32.50
Onipa at Brewery Arts

Afro-futurist collective Onipa perfrom ‘Off The Grid’, an album which journeys through the origins and evolution of African inspired music.

from £16.50
Kendal Mountain Book Festival 2023

Exploring our natural world through words, music and poetry, Kendal Mountain Book Festival should be a top pick for lovers of nature writing and avid explorers everywhere.

from £6.50

Where to go near Honister Slate Mine


Origionally a restaurant, but now also a hotel, Fellpack specialises in warming British-fusion cuisine from their high quality bistro.

Northern Lights Gallery

Nestled in Keswick’s beautiful rolling landscapes, Northern Lights Gallery exhibits art captivating enough to match the local surroundings.

The Puzzling Place

Interactive optical illusion, for each visitor to immerse themselves in. This specialty museum in Keswick will baffle, surprise and amuse.


Wastwater is the deepest lake in England at 258 feet and one of the most dramatic spots in the country to swim.

Allan Bank, Grasmere, image courtesy of Visit Cumbria
Allan Bank

Once home to William Wordsworth, this historic villa now combines a small, informal art gallery with a giant indoor mural space.

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