THE BLUE JOHN STONE EXPERIENCE
Only available at Treak Cliff Cavern
See areas of the caves and mines not normally open to the public.
Prospect for your own piece of Blue John.
Work with our craftspeople to polish your stone…
Select pieces from our workshop to create your own jewellery set in silver.
The Blue John Stone Experience at Treak Cliff Cavern
Blue John Stone is a rare, semiprecious mineral found at only one location in the world – in the caves of Castleton, Derbyshire in the Peak District National Park.
This is a truly unique, “hands-on” experience enables you to work with Treak Cliff Cavern family and staff to get really hands-on with this unique stone.
Learn about the geological formation of caves within the Peak District National Park and meet the family who own and care for the mine.
Go prospecting on the spoil heap for your own piece of Blue John stone in the mines here at Treak Cliff Cavern. Our expert craftspeople will guide you through polishing your selection and you’ll also be able to choose additional pieces from the workshop to make into a window hanger and a piece of silver-mounted jewellery.
Places are strictly limited – for booking information please see below.
See areas in the mines and caves normally accessible to the public.
What will you do at the Blue John Stone Experience?
You’ll meet us at the visitor centre at 10.00am and be greeted by your host for the day and are shown around the museum and visitor centre.
Duration: 20 minutes
After refreshments you’ll be taken on a tour of the cavern to see the stalactite formations and learn about the history of the caverns. You’ll also learn about the mining of Blue John Stone and be able to go into the mining area to prospect for your own piece of Blue John Stone.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
After lunch, you’ll clean and prepare the stone you found earlier and be shown by our expert craftspeople how to grind and polish your piece of Blue John.
You’ll then select a pre-prepared piece to make a window hanger/Christmas decoration.
Finally you can choose your own sterling silver jewellery blank to set with another stone selected from our workshop. Since each piece of Blue John Stone has distinctive pattern and colour combinations, you’ll creating very own piece of unique jewellery and hanger.
Duration: 4 hours
Total duration: approx 5-6 Hours
- Coffee and/or tea after your 20-minute introduction.
- Light Lunch from the menu up to a value of £10.00 (but you can bring your own packed lunch if you prefer).
- Workshop equipment and PPE Helmets, gloves etc.
- Tour of Treak Cliff Cavern.
- Craftspeople on hand to guide you through all relevant processes.
- Piece of Blue John stone chosen by yourself in our mines.
- Additional pieces of pre-prepared Blue John stone with which you can create your own single piece of jewellery and window hanger. If you chose to make paired jewellery (e.g earrings) there is an extra charge for the additional item.
- Silver mount for the jewellery (additional charge for the second of paired items).
What do I need to bring?
- The underground temperature is a constant 10°C (50°F) so we advise that you wear suitable clothing.
- The cavern floor is constantly wet due to the natural underground environment; therefore suitable footwear must be worn within the underground area. Please be aware that the most ‘sensible’ footwear can cause an individual to slip.
- A selection of hot and cold food and drinks are now available from our new ‘Café on the Cliff‘, or you are welcome to bring your own packed lunch.
Other info and Accessibility
Health and safety
You must be of a reasonably active and fit to take part. You’ll be walking on uneven surfaces and encountering steps and occasionally steep stairways.
Not recommended for travellers with back problems.
Not recommended for pregnant travellers.
No heart problems or other serious medical condition.
Due to the natural contours of the hillside above and below ground, the cavern is not suitable for wheelchairs. Walking disabled can be accommodated and extra helpers where necessary are allowed into the cavern at no charge. Please phone 01433 424144 or email us for further information to see how we can help. Our Risk Assessment also provides more detailed information.
This experience requires good weather in order to access the cavern but this will likely only apply if snow causes problems. If it’s cancelled due as a result, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
The new Treak Cliff Cavern Interpretation Centre is part-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development - to upgrade the visitor offer, by providing new toilets, heritage and interpretation centre. Project reference number: 101006.