Please note the Caves will be closed on Friday 21st August.
Founder of Clearwell Caves Ray Wright passed away peacefully on 7th August 2015 surrounded by his family. Ray began opening the Caves in 1968 and has been involved ever since. Ray had been secretary to the Royal Forest of Dean Freeminers' Assoiation, he was one of the four Forest of Dean Verderers. He had been chairman of the Wyedean Tourism Association during the 1980's.
Clearwell Caves are a tribute to his incredible knowledge of Forest of Dean History and culture, that he felt passionately should be maintained for future generations to enjoy.
Ray Wright: 9th January 1930 - 7th August 2015
These are atmospheric natural caverns extensively mined for iron ore and ochre to make some of Britain's most complex and oldest mine workings. The mines date back to well over 4,500 years, when the first miners dug for ochre pigments to make paints. Iron ore miners later created a warren of underground passageways connecting the huge caverns. Displays through the workings tell the story of the people that worked here.
Exciting Adventure Caving activities throughout the summer holidays: see events page
- Fun for all the family
- A great underground experience.
- Atmospheric mine workings with nine impressive caverns.
- Fascinating displays throughout
- Visitor centre with Phyllis Lewis 'Forest Story' ceramic figures collection.
- Ochre workshop.
- Blacksmith workshop, occasional working blacksmith - 'Missfire'
- Fantastic things happening here - keep looking at our events page
- Guided tours for pre-booked groups
- Wide range of caving activities - see events page and Deep Level Caving
- Activities during children's holidays.
- Hallowe'en events for children and adults.
- Spectacular family Christmas Fantasy event.
- Free surface facilities including:
- Free car and coach parking
- Gift Shop with excellent souvenirs, gifts, crystals and minerals
- Great cafe
- Free - children's play area
- Free - picnic areas
- Free - miner's smallholding
- Surface walks around Clearwell Meend (large common) and into historic and picturesque Clearwell village, with beautiful church and Victorian village well (Clearwell Castle - is a wedding venue, not open to visitors) 3 good pubs, 2 good hotels, excellent food served at 3 premises.
- Dogs on leads are welcome around the site and surface facilities (not underground - except assistance dogs).
- Pushchair accessible.
Reasons to visit:
Cool in sweltering summer! 10 degrees all year round - bring a pullover (can you believe it?!!).
When visitiing please wear stout footwear such as trainers or wellies with reasonable grip. Children must be closely supervised at all times. Access in the Caves is steep in many places. Disabled access, please ring in advance for more information. Disabled parking near Caves entrance, where the visitor centre and gift shop, cafe and picnic area are accessible. Please telephone for more information.
Other useful links: