Llechwedd Slate Caverns

Top choice in Snowdonia National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri)

Blaenau's main attraction takes you into the bowels of a Victorian slate mine. You descend the UK's steepest mining cable railway into the 1846 network of tunnels and caverns, while 'enhanced-reality technology' brings to life the harsh working conditions of the 19th-century miners – be prepared to duck and scramble around dark tunnels. There's also a tour of the quarry in a military truck (£20 per person). The first tour each day is half price; check the website for times and prebooking.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Snowdonia National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri) attractions

1. Cellb

0.77 MILES

Recently opened in the Edwardian-era police station (hence 'Cell B'), this multifunction centre hosts everything from yoga to live bands to screenings in…

2. Sygun Copper Mine

5.97 MILES

This mine dates from Roman times, although extraction was stepped up in the 19th century. Abandoned in 1903, it has since been converted into a museum,…

3. Gwydyr Forest

7.02 MILES

The 28-sq-mile Gwydyr Forest, planted since the 1920s with oak, beech and larch, encircles Betws-y-Coed and is scattered with the remnants of lead and…

4. Ugly House

7.43 MILES

The Ugly House isn't actually ugly at all. This unusual cottage is constructed from huge boulders and is home to a characterful tearoom and, upstairs, the…

5. Swallow Falls

7.82 MILES

Betws-y-Coed's main natural tourist draw is located 2 miles west of town, alongside the A5 on the River Llugwy. It's a beautiful spot, with the 42m…

6. St Mary's Church

8.27 MILES

Built in 1873, when the old Parish Church of St Michael could no longer cope with the devout Victorian tourists flocking to Betws.

7. Conwy Valley Railway Museum

8.42 MILES

If you're the sort who's fascinated by dioramas and model train sets, this tiny museum is for you. In which case the model shop you have to pass through…

8. St Michael's Church

8.42 MILES

The name Betws is thought to be derived from 'bead house', meaning a place of prayer (y coed – in the woods). It's likely that 14th-century St Michael's…