Located just outside of Liskeard in Cornwall, Carnglaze Caverns is an old slate mine open to the public for a small price: £6 per adult, £4 per child (up to 15 years old).
The caves themselves are brilliant – it doesn’t take long to walk through, perhaps 30-45 minutes depending on how long you can get the kids to stand still for whilst you read various information sheets, but it is a fantastic experience.
The price of a ticket also includes entry to the surrounding gardens and woodlands, so you can make an afternoon of your trip easily. We were there for about 3 ½ hours in total. The gardens are beautiful, and are filled with little fairy and dragon statues to occupy little boys and girls.
There is also a hobbit house where children are invited to write down their wishes on a piece of paper (so make sure you take pens and paper!) and leave it on the table inside for the fairies to collect at night.
There are two or three souvenir shops in the grounds also, selling all sorts of things from sparkly rocks to fairies for your own gardens.
Getting there was a bit of a nightmare. We got a bus from Liskeard town centre which took about 30 minutes but the buses don’t run past 2pm and the nearest bus stop to the caves is a 1-mile walk. However, once we got there, the lady who was running the whole show informed us that it was only a 10 minute drive back to the train station so returning was a whole lot easier. Easier still if you drive, though.
Obviously the caves are not a good idea if you have prams or wheelchairs; lots of very uneven stairs down into the caves and even in the gardens mean you’re really going to struggle. Don’t worry if you have lots of bags with you though – we’d been camping the night before and the lady was more than happy to store our bags in the ticket office for us so that we could enjoy ourselves without being weighed down by sleeping bags, changes of clothes etc.
The only downfall is that it is right out in the sticks and they do not have a café or restaurant, so take a picnic with you!! They do have a couple of vending machines that sell things like soup, crisps and chocolate though if you forget.
For more information on Carnglaze Caverns, you can visit their website.