Blaenau Ffestiniog earned the name the “Victorian slate capital of the world” when it was the beating heart of the slate industry in Wales. Even though demand for slate has declined over the years, what remains is a compelling landscape that fits together in a strange jigsaw of broken slate tumbling down steep-sided mountains juxtaposed with the lush natural beauty Of the Snowdonia region. Visitors from holiday parks in Snowdonia are spoilt for choice as there are many attractions located in the area which give visitors the unique opportunity to gain a new perspective on Welsh industrial heritage. There is something for everyone in Blaenau Ffestiniog!
Famous local artists such as landscape painter Sir Kyffin Williams and British sculptor David Nash often visited Blaenau Ffestinog for the unique harsh landscape of slate jutting out of the natural landscape of Snowdonia. During the Second World War a mine in the town was chosen a place to conceal works of art from the National Gallery to prevent damage and destruction during the blitz. You can still see the steel structures that were erected along with the system that preserved the art in the mine today!
Blaenau Ffestinog does not just attract artists, it also has a strong musical tradition. Workers in the quarries used to form male voice choirs and brass bands and even though there are no quarrymen today the tradition is still going strong. Welsh alternative music is popular in this part of Wales and there is even a studio based in Blaenau Ffestiniog which is flying the flag for Welsh music.
Llechwedd Slate Caverns
The ghostly tour guide of twelve year old Sion will take you on a journey that you are never going to forget! Llechwedd Slate Caverns gives visitors a great opportunity to see what it would have been like to work in a mine. Find out how explosives were let off at fifty feet and there was a real risk of getting lost in twenty five miles worth of mine tunnels. The slate caverns also have a living museum where visitors can travel back in time and visit an old fashioned sweet shop and adults can go to an old fashioned pub and sample Purple Moose Beer, which is brewed in the local area.
A Walk in the Past
The towns around Blaenau Ffestiniog have connections to Welsh folk tales such as Y Mabinogi where some of the tales are located. If you are a keen walker you can follow local footpaths to local valleys including Cwmorthin, Cwm Bowydd, Cwm Cynfal, Cwm Teigl and admire the spectacular views of Snowdonia. There is also a Roman Road in the surrounding area which leads to the spectacular Roman Camp at Tomen-y-mur.