Uncovered in 1987 during a scheme to landscape an area of the Great Orme, the copper mines discovered represent one of the most astounding archaeological discoveries of recent times. Dating back 4,000 years to the Bronze Age they change our views about the ancient people of Britain and their civilized and structured society 2,000 years before the Roman invasion.
Over the past 28 years mining engineers, cavers and archaeologists have been slowly uncovering more tunnels and large areas of the surface landscape to reveal what is now thought to be the largest prehistoric mine, so far discovered in the world.
A visit to Great Orme Mines is both a thought provoking and educational experience which can be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages. Embark on a self – guided tour of the mines and allow the kids imaginations to run wild. Tours last approximately 45 minutes. Walking through tunnels mined out over 3,500 years ago gives visitors a feel for the harsh conditions our prehistoric ancestors faced in their search for copper. Returning to the surface, follow the pathways around the surface excavations. View the opencast mine, see how our ancestors turned rock into metal at the smelting shelter and peer down the 145 metre deep Victorian mine shaft. You also will tour the opencast part of the mine which is the oldest part of the site, mined over 4,000 years ago.
Popular Q and A:
Q. What is it like underground at Great Orme Mines?
A. The 200m underground visitor route takes you down two levels of the mine which are accessed via a series of slopes and staircases (about 50 steps down and a similar amount back up again). The temperature in the mine varies between 5°C and 8°C so it is advised you bring warm clothing regardless of the weather above ground. Sensible footwear is also recommended as the floor is uneven and wet in places. The lighting underground is dim, and certain sections of the mine have low ceilings so you may need to duck to walk through. We issue each visitor with a hard hat to protect your head from any bumps or scrapes.
Q. Is it suitable for pushchairs/wheelchairs?
A. Unfortunately, wheelchairs and pushchairs aren’t suitable for the tour. If you wish to carry a young child underground we recommend a front carrier as this keeps them lower than your own head height.
Q. Is there food available for purchase?
A. There is currently no tea room but there is a picnic area located on site. There is also a gift shop selling jewellery, fossils, gemstones, books and more.
Any further questions? One of the original excavation team will be on site to answer them.
So for a fantastic, thought provoking day out with the kids in North Wales, look not further than Llandudno’s ancient copper and bronze mines.
*Our postcode is LL30 2XG. However, please note some satnavs may take you the wrong way when driving up the Great Orme. If using a satnav, follow its directions until you are driving up the Great Orme but don’t turn left until you see our sign.
* The route through the mine is approximately 200 metres. There are 35 steps going down into the mine and the same number coming back up. In addition, there are a number of sloping tunnels. Therefore access for wheelchair users is limited.
*Kids under five go free.
*Dogs welcome but there are some stairs and metal grates they may not like to walk over.