Going underground with Pinpoint Adventure

Visitors with helmets and head torches on a guided tour of Smallcleugh Mine, Nenthead

We’ve teamed up with Tom and Ian at Pinpoint Adventure to offer an 'Underground lead mine adventure' at Smallcleugh Mine, Nenthead in Cumbria. A unique experience featuring a guided tour of parts of 200 miles of tunnels which extend beneath the moors of the North Pennines.

Smallcleugh (pronounced Smallcluff) Mine was a working lead mine from about 1770 until the early 1900s. It is now cared for by Nenthead Mines Conservation Society and forms  a part of a wider network of mines whose tunnels criss-cross the local landscape, interlinking in places. 

Expert guides Tom and Ian bring the mine to life, with stories of the miners’ skills, working conditions and astonishing endurance. You’ll leave with a few new mining terms to your vocabulary including ‘flats’, ‘deads’ and ‘galena’.

You’ll even be served bacon sandwiches* (or mulled wine and mince pies at the December event) in the ‘Ballroom’ – a large chamber where it is said 28 members of the local Masonic Lodge held a formal dinner in 1901.

Never mind the weather! Whatever is going on above ground, the mine stays a cool and constant 11 degrees Celsius. Just about perfect for a subterranean hike.

The mine tour includes approximately four hours underground, with a lot of walking, plus some stooping, hunkering or crawling through some sections. Therefore, a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required. 

Underground lead mine adventures take place on Saturday 20 April and Sundays 21 July, 20 October and 1 December. For full details and to book online, please visit our what’s on page.

*vegetarian option available, please request ahead of the event.