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PREPARING FOR A VISIT

In order for you to prepare and have an enjoyable visit to the Alderley Edge Copper Mines we have provided some guidance based on feedback from previous visitors of what they wanted to know before the trip. This is split into three parts:

  1.  what to bring;
  2.  what to do when you arrive;
  3.  how to remain safe throughout the trip. 

These matters are covered in more detail below.  Please read through the summaries and then refer to the detail or contact us if you are still unsure.

1    WHAT TO BRING

General guidelines can be downloaded HERE.  In summary, these say that you need the following:

  • Good footwear with ankle support is essential and wellington boots are recommended. Trainers are not suitable for some trips.
  • Waterproof clothing is not required but old clothes, which will not suffer from contact with sand and mud, are strongly recommended. The temperature in the mines is cool, but constant at about 10-12 degrees C. Dress as if for an autumn day in the garden!
  • You can bring a camera or camera phone but please be aware of the risk to the camera from sand and water and also respect the privacy of other visitors.  Always ask before taking pictures with the leader or other visitors on them.
  • Make sure you have any essential medication.  It might take up to an hour to fetch something from your car, such as an inhaler.
  • Don't bring a torch, geological hammer or rucksack.  They will just get in your way and you must not remove any minerals.  We provide helmets and caplamps so your hands are free.

To be prepared for the trip, you need to remember that you will be entering an abandoned mine with uneven floors and low ceilings.  You are very likely to have to stoop at some places, and may need to crawl on hands and knees in others.  Some trips will include a flat-out crawl. 

2    WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARRIVE

We normally meet all our guests in the main National Trust car park.  If the main gate is closed (at night, especially in the winter), go down the track next to the Wizard and turn right opposite the tea rooms.  Do not park in the Wizard Pub car park.  Make sure that you introduce yourself to the trip leader and have your party checked off the list that he or she will probably have.

You will need to put your name on a trip sheet and sign to confirm that you understand the safety arrangements.  These are the same as are reproduced below.  If you have not paid anything in advance, now is the best time to make a donation towards the cost of upkeep of the mines - we recommend a donation of £8 per person.  Make sure you get what you need from your car and are ready to leave the car park by the time of the trip (usually 7 pm if it is an evening trip).

Details of a range of facilities available at Alderley Edge including parking and catering are available on another page of this website.

3    HOW TO REMAIN SAFE

You should receive a copy of this information when you book or on arriving at the Edge for your trip. If you do not, please ask your leader. Before you set off on your trip, we advise you to look carefully at the following:

Please read these guidelines

1. The mines involve going down uneven steps, ducking through low places and sometimes crawling on hands and knees. The crawls can usually be avoided but the low roofs in places cannot. Please take account of this. Check with your leader before the trip as the route can usually be altered to suit the group.
2. You will get sand and some mud on your shoes and clothes. It washes out but may leave stains in very light-coloured clothing. Footwear should be suitable for outdoor walking.
3. Let the leader know before you enter the mine if you have any health condition that might affect your visit or you have any particular fears of the dark or confined spaces. Take any urgent medication with you.
4. If you or anyone else in your party gets into any difficulty, call the leader immediately. This includes lights failing.
5. Wear a helmet at all times in the mine. Your light should be fixed on the helmet so that both hands are free.
6. Pay attention to the instructions given by your leader. Listen carefully when asked to be quiet.
7. Do not stray away from the group either singly or in a small group. If you want to stop to look at something or to take photographs, ask the leader to stop so that you are not left behind the group.
8. If you become separated from the group, stay where you are, you will be found quicker.
9. When climbing a ladder, use the safety line provided. Wait until the person before is off the ladder and your leader says you can start climbing. Do not look up because there is a risk of sand coming down from above.
10. Do not throw sand or stones at each other, down shafts or over bridges.
11. Do not touch or climb on walls made of stacked rocks as they might collapse and are also part of the history of the mine. Keep away from deep water and do not enter a water-filled passage unless told by your leader that it is safe.
12. Do not smoke in the mines or drop litter.
13. Children under five must be accompanied with a responsible adult for each child. Dogs must be kept on the lead.

These guidelines are designed to ensure your safety (take particular note of guideline 3 regarding medication) and so that you get the maximum enjoyment out of the trip.



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Last updated: 12/11/2019
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