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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 07 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: David Atkinson

Located on site of the former Dinorwig slate Quarry, the Museum celebrates the slate heritage of North Wales, which transformed the area from a patchwork of rural farmsteads to a hotbed of the Industrial Revolution.

The slate was used widely to roof industrial-heartland Wales and exported around the world for civic buildings from Copenhagen to Melbourne. The workshops and outbuildings today look as if the quarrymen have just downed tools for the end of their shift.

The Museum is also mooted as a gateway hub to a new slate-heritage project in response the region being named as the UK’s 33rd UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021.

Don’t miss

The crowd-pleasing, daily slate-dressing demonstrations showcase how the skilled craftsmen would have split the slates with a hammer and chisel.

While you're there

Close by are the mystic ruins of 13th-century Dolbadarn Castle, built by Llywelyn the Great, one of the Princes of Gwynedd. It’s myth-shrouded site captured by the artists Richard Wilson and Turner.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 10+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Most visits are independent and form part of a wider, self-drive circuit around the attractions of Snowdonia. You could combine a visit, however, with a trip on the Llanberis Lake Railway around Lake Padarn.

Guided tours and behind-the-scenes tours are available on request for group bookings.

Wear strong walking shoes as many of the exhibits are outdoors. Also take layered clothing to allow for the changeable local weather.

There’s a café on site for simple snacks and drinks but a better option is nearby Lodge Dinorwig (open Friday to Monday) with a meu of local flavours and fab views.

When to do it

The museum is open all year round, Sunday to Friday. Closed Saturday.

Expect queues at times with coach parties and school groups, especially during summer months. Arrive early or later in the day for quieter visits.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Plas Dinas Country House

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[10.8 miles]

An elegant country house hotel, located between the mountains and the sea, Plas Dinas is underpinned by a timeless love story of a Royal princess. Expect genteel surrounds and elegant nostalgia from the new Judge’s Room to the Gunroom Restaurant.

Official star rating:

Plas Weunydd

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[17.2 miles]

A boutique property with a real sense of history, it offers a stylish, central base to explore both the industrial heritage and the ever-expanding adrenaline activities of the region. It sits amid Wales’ latest UNESCO site.

Official star rating:

Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[19.9 miles]

Stylish stays and sea salt treatments are de rigueur at this contemporary hotel, located within the grounds of Adventure Parc Snowdonia. Families and surf dues will feel equally at home with activities aplenty on the doorstep.

Official star rating:

Olif Guesthouse

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[21 miles]

Homely, cosy and fuelled by local produce, Olif is a rare find in an area besieged by coach trippers come high summer. Adults only.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Snowdonia National Park

Wales, United Kingdom (UK)

Snowdonia’s national park is the rural heartland of North Wales — think mountains, glacial valleys, and sparkling waterfalls. But there’s also plenty here for families, history buffs and Sunday strollers.

Website >
Overview >

Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Zip World Penrhyn Quarry [Zip-lining]

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[6.3 miles]

Hard-core adrenaline lovers will make a beeline for this adventure-packed quarry site near Bangor. It’s home to the world’s fastest and longest zipline, with speeds of up to 100mph.

Best for ages: 13+ | £12 | 2+ hours

Welsh Highland Railway

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[14 miles]

Rail buffs, wannabe train drivers and anyone who appreciates spectacular scenery will love this gloriously scenic route through the landscape of the Snowdonia National Park.

Best for ages: 4+ | £25 | 2+ hours

Ffestiniog Railway

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[18.6 miles]

The world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway offers the chance to travel deep into Wales’ most spectacular mountainscapes.

Best for ages: 4+ | £25 | 1-3 hours

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

GreenWood Forest Park

GreenWood Forest Park

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[8.5 miles]

GreenWood is one of North Wales’ favourite family attractions – and one of the greenest. The 17-acre site has the UK’s first solar-powered ride, the Solar Splash. Otters and native birdlife can be spotted on a walk through the woodland grounds.

Best for ages: 4+ | £17

Website >
Overview >
Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[10.9 miles]

This imposing medieval fortress was originally built in the 11th century, then enhanced by King Edward I at the end of the 13th century. The scene of many a siege and sacking, and then increasingly unnecessary, it fell into disrepair so that only the shell walls remain today.

Best for ages: 4+ | £11

Website >
Overview >
Beaumaris Castle

Beaumaris Castle

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[16 miles]

The last and most elaborate of the four, Beaumaris is a castle designer’s dream with its concentric design of a castle within a castle. Although unfinished, it represents a dramatic landmark and the gateway to the visitor-hub town of Anglesey.

Best for ages: 4+ | £8

Website >
Overview >

Zip World Llechwedd

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[17.5 miles]

History and high jinks combine for a family day out at this quarry site near Blaenau Ffestiniog. It’s home to adrenaline adventures like Titan 2 but also offers an insight into the mining heritage of the region.

Best for ages: 7+ | £25