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  1. United Kingdom
  2. Sheffield

Sheffield: Treak Cliff Cavern Tour and Stone Polishing

Product ID: 212292
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See the largest deposits of Blue John Stone in situ and the finest stalactites in the Peak District. Enjoy the hands-on experience of polishing your own piece of Blue John Stone in the workshop. Soak up the history of the mine and cavern in the museum.
About this activity
Valid 1 day
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
English
Booklets
Spanish, French, German
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

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Experience

Highlights
  • Learn about Blue John Stone and marvel at the hundreds of stalactites in the cavern
  • Select a piece of Blue John Stone and craft it into a polished slice in the workshop
  • Explore the human history of the mine, cavern, and Blue John Stone in the museum and visitor centre
  • Marvel at rocks and minerals from all over the world in the shop
  • Enjoy a tea or coffee brewed from the water collected in the cavern
Full description
Begin your day at the visitor center where you can admire the magnificent countryside views and explore the exhibits inside. Discover Blue John Stone and marvel at the different patterns and colors of the pieces on display. Learn about the 300 years of mining and manufacturing history of this site and the millions of years of geology with rocks, minerals, and fossils to see and touch.

Begin your 45-minute guided tour of the underground through a low narrow tunnel that soon opens up to reveal the Lower Treak Cliff Blue Vein across the ceiling of the first chamber. Climb up the steps and pass close to the Ridley Vein, which was recently discovered in 2015. Further up, enter Fossil Cave to see the remains of 330 million-year-old sea creatures and learn about the Millers Vein, located out of sight down a tunnel in the cave floor. Head up another flight of steps and discover why the next chamber is called the Witch's Cave. Be prepared to see tons of Blue John Stone all around you. Admire the pillar, the 'pocket' of crystals of the Upper Treak Cliff Blue Vein in the walls and ceiling. See the current mining locations where, in winter, the miners may be at work. 

Next, descend some steps deeper into the hill to see Aladdin's Cave, the Seven Dwarves, Fairyland, the Dream Cave, and the Dome of St. Paul's, where you can wonder at the multi-color flowstone, stalactites, and stalagmites everywhere. At the very end of the caverns, see where drip water is collected and piped back to the cafe to make tea and coffee. Retrace your steps to the Witch's Cave to find the exit tunnel back to the visitor center.

In the shop, the staff will help you select a prepared piece of Blue John Stone for your polishing activity. Take this into the visitor workshop where your expert guide will help you use wet and dry paper and other equipment to make your polished slice of Blue John Stone, which should take approximately 15 minutes. Afterward, you can browse the shop for more rocks, minerals, and Blue John Stone items. Perhaps enjoy a cup of tea or coffee brewed from the water that you saw collected in the cavern. You can spend as much time in the museum and visitor center as you like. Admire the ornaments and artifacts and chat to the knowledgable staff. 
Includes
  • Guided tour
  • Slice of Blue John Stone and equipment for polishing
  • Entrance fee to the visitor center, museum, workshop, shop, and picnic area
What’s Not Included
  • Transportation
  • Food or drink
  • Gratuities
Not suitable for
  • People with back problems
  • Wheelchair users

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Treak Cliff Cavern, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WA. Walk from the roadside car park to the visitor center on the hillside.

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Important information
Not allowed
  • High-heeled shoes
Know before you go
• Access to both the entrance and through the cavern is via steps and steep slopes both up and down but if you are able to climb the hillside to the cavern entrance you should be able to visit inside the cavern
• Your guide will go at the pace of the slowest visitor and you can take your time
• You can bring a baby carrier underground but buggies, pushchairs, and strollers will not fit through the narrow entrance tunnel
• There is free roadside parking
• You can bring your own food and drink to the picnic area