North Wales Tourism Attraction of the Year, Llechwedd, opened its doors to the public for the first time in over three months on July 6th to show off their social distancing measures and explain the areas that will reopen as we head deeper into the easing of lockdown.
Members of the Blaenau community, from local and regional authorities were invited to Llechwedd to discuss the measures, which include specially modified military trucks for the Quarry Explorer tour, social distancing signage, hand sanitization points and personal protective equipment for customer facing staff.
Guests enjoyed free Quarry Explorer tours on the newly upgraded trucks, which now include Perspex dividers and a reduced capacity, while cakes and hot drinks were available in the café – which now operates behind screens and as a takeout only service. Members of the Management team at Llechwedd were on hand to answer questions about the new restrictions.
Managing Director, Michael Bewick said; “it was a real pleasure to represent members of our community. Since we closed in March, we have had support from our team – many of whom have been furloughed – and our community. We are determined to give our visitors a great welcome whilst protecting our staff and local residents.”
On Saturday (11th July) a brand-new Quarry Walking Tour opened up. Taking approximately three-hours, the route takes walkers through the historically rich site with a qualified Mountain Leader.
Llechwedd’s successful Slate Mountain Glamping accommodation will also reopen to guests on the 11th July. It is hoped that Welsh Government guidelines will permit the opening of the world-famous Deep Mine tour soon but indoor attractions including Mines are currently not permitted to operate.
Visitors are strongly urged to book their visit to Llechwedd in advance as reduced capacity means a space on any of the tours cannot be guaranteed on the day. Alongside this, the shop and café will be strictly card only.
Adam Lemalle, Marketing and Events manager told us:
The COVID-19 restrictions have and continue to be tough on the country as a whole and currently even more so on underground attractions, with an opening date yet to be confirmed.
Aside from the closure of the tours at Llechwedd, we have also had to close our glamp site and postpone the opening of our twenty-four bedroom, four star hotel. As a result, all staff from our tours, catering and hospitality were furloughed.
Luckily for us, we have now been able to open up our glampsite – which within the few weeks of operation filled for July and August, and out over ground Quarry Explorer truck tour, and Quarry Walking Tour – albeit with reduced capacity and social distancing measures firmly in place.
To that end, all customer facing points on site have been fitted with Perspex screens, as have all trucks, and social distancing signage and sanitisation stations have been put in place across the site.
The hotel was at a critical period when the lockdown was announced, and for that reason we took the decision to postpone the launch of the accommodation until April 2021 to give us time to make it the very best it can be.
Quarry Explorer Tours
Voted the number one tourist attraction on TripAdvisor, the Quarry Explorer is an off road adventure that will take you to the summit of some of Llechwedd’s man-made slate mountains.
Starting out at Llechwedd and quickly ascending to some of the more historic mines on the site, you’ll drive up high to the top of the quarry and look into some of the massive craters made by blasting the tops off our hundred-year-old caverns. On your travels, you’ll witness old quarry mills and cutting sheds of huge cultural and historical importance and view the industrial landscape in close up detail.
On your journey, you’ll learn more about how this amazing landscape was formed from your experienced local guide, and why it is now the subject of a UNESCO World Heritage Status bid as part of the slate landscape of North West Wales.
Quarry Walking Tour
A guided walking tour through Llechwedd and beyond!
Taking roughly three hours, your experienced guide will take you on a circular walk beginning and ending at Llechwedd, and taking in historically significant areas of the quarry such as Maenofferen hydro electric power station, Diffwys Casson and Maenofferen much of which is now subject to the wider UNESCO World Heritage Bid for the slate industry in North West Wales.
Please ensure you are fit enough for a fairly strenuous and mountainous walk. The route is quite hilly in places, and is entirely off road.
- A packed lunch. Please let us know of any dietary requirements in advance of visiting.
- A stunning walking route on private quarry land.
- A knowledgeable, mountain leader qualified guide.
- Dogs allowed (on a lead).
This fantastic tour costs just £15 and provides incredible value for money!