The route up to Honister Slate Mine, which is situated in the centre of the Lake District, is one of the most demanding and picturesque rides you could possibly take. The road is obviously well known by bikers going from the number of motorcycles we encountered coming in the opposite direction.
By the time you leave the A591 and think the roads and views can’t get any better you leave Keswick and turn onto the B5289 Honister Pass road. This is when things really get impressive, the route takes you through what can only be compared to as the best of Scotland rolled into one small valley and mountain top. This ride is not for the feint hearted and taking a GoldWing or similar sized machine is for the experienced rider, but the rewards are tremendous. The road takes the least line of resistance up the mountain as it snakes its way up to the Slate Mine, the landscape is huge and startling in its brutality, the slate and natural jagged rock only being worn smooth by the fast flowing streams rushing from the sides of the mountain and disappearing dramatically down the valley.
The Slate Mine is a day out on its own and there are some amazing activities that take place along the mountain trails and inside the mountain itself. For the braver sole’s there is the mine trip underground or the Via Ferratta experience, which involves traversing the mountain on a safety wire hundreds of feet off the ground.
The site is still a working slate mine which supplies the world’s finest green slate, with the onsite shop selling ever type of slate accessory including flooring and roof slates.The Café had the usual refreshments but pricing was high due to the extremity of the facilities I suppose. This is one amazing place and definitely worth the effort of getting there. I would certainly plan any visit for good weather but still have plenty of warm clothing with you.