Carnglaze Caverns

In Brief

Type: Subterranean attraction
Suitable for: Cave dwellers of any age
Address: St Neot, Liskeard
Price: Adults £10, three to 15-year-olds £6, under-threes go for free
Dog friendly?: No to the caverns, yes to outside

You get to see and experience all sorts in Cornwall. But how many times do you get the chance to head underground and spend time in the chilly serenity of the county’s caves? Not often. And you only get one chance to spend a few hours in spacious underground caverns that have been carved out by slate miners over many, many years.

Carnglaze Caverns, which is just up the road from Liskeard in the village of St Neot, on the edge of Bodmin Moor, is unique. In fact, you could say that history runs deep here. Carnglaze was once an open cast quarry but around 300 years ago, the slate miners went underground. Their work created this attraction’s three huge caverns over time, so you really get the feeling that Carnglaze is a deliberate and artistic work by man. In fact, this is Cornwall’s only slate mine and the dark blue slate from these caves has been used throughout the area for roofing over the years.

There are options to take guided tours at Carnglaze but you can just guide yourselves around the caverns, which are made up of three large chambers and an incredible underground lake that boasts crystal clear waters of blue and green, enhanced by all the lighting around its edges. Each chamber is like a subterranean cathedral that’s been carefully created by the local slate miners. Expect to travel about 150m into the hillside and climb down to about 60m below the surface. Of course, you’re given a safety helmet and torch for your journey to the depths and you will be climbing down about 60 steps. There are minerals to check out and you may spot a bat or two as there are five recorded species down there.

Outside at Carnglaze isn’t too bad either. The site is set in a quarry woodland with 6.5 acres of ancient trees to explore on the attraction’s many walks. Roe deer, foxes and all manner of birds of prey roam these lands and are frequently spotted by visitors, as are a giant spider and some wood carvings on a children’s walk. And then there’s the Terrace Garden with its meandering pathways and the Enchanted Dell, which contains bronze faeries, dragons and mushrooms alongside a waterfall and some small houses that were designed by schoolchildren in St Neot. Finally, the Rum Store is begging to be visited. Subterranean concerts and events are regularly held here. So, if you love going underground and wandering magical woods, head down to Carnglaze. Deep down.