The Story of Welsh Slate

Cultural, Historic and Scenic Photo Friendly Tour Up to 8 Hours Featuring a variety of interesting tour content and attractions

The once mighty slate quarries and mines of Gwynedd in North Wales now share the same internationally recognised status as the Taj Mahal in India, the Great Wall of China, the Egyptian Pyramids and the Grand Canyon in the USA! The Story of Welsh Slate Tours covers the collective UNESCO World Heritage sites at Bethesda, Llanberis and Ffestiniog and during your private tour you'll get to discover the amazing slate landscapes that tower over the Snowdonia communities. Our tour can take you deep underground into a former working slate mine or walk out and across the working slate terraces that tower above the valleys below. You'll get into former homes, a school house and chapel and witness firs hand slate rock being split before your very eyes. (Subject to the quarryman’s availability on your chosen touring day). You'll even get to follow in the footsteps of the slate as it was exported from the mountains, riding aboard a steam train, operated by the oldest railway company in the world! Another great option is taking in a traditional Quarryman's dinner, along with one or two our Welsh specialities. The Slate landscapes of North Wales have roofed the 19th century world. At its height, the industry employed over 17,000 men and during your tour you'll get to discover some of the hardship stories of dedication and skill, compared to the riches that it brought the major quarry owners, along with its subsequent demise and fall as an industry.


Blaenau Ffestiniog
Discovering the slate capital of the world, surrounded by towering slate waste heaps.
Enjoy an optional deep mine tour or head out to a spectacular hidden gem of a slate landscape!
You are spoilt for choces here! Both options demand time well spent geting to terms with the real life and culture of working in the slate mines and quarries. *Entrance Fee to the Slate Underground Mine Payable
Ffestiniog Railway
Enjoy a ride on a Victorian steam train following the footsteps of the slate as it made its way from the mountains to the coast *Train ticket Payable
The Slate Cathedral
Visit an abandoned slate mill in an isolated community. The picturesque setting has its legacy of failure and hardship.
Slate Splitting Demonstration
Experience slate being split before your very eyes. A highly skilled job crafted by hand and a labour of love from highly skilled workmen. (The activity is subject to the quarrymans availability on the day of the tour).
Tour through the Quarryman's Villages
Picturesque villages dotting the landscapes.
Visits to Quarryman's homes and a Slate splitting demonstration
A fascinating insight to real life at home for the quarryman and his family. We visit houses from different eras.
Short elevated walk onto the upper Slate Quarry slopes
We stop on an elevated platform
Penrhyn Slate Quarry
An amazing hole in the ground that today sees activities of Zip wiring across the biggest slate quarry in Europe.
Penrhyn Castle
From one end of the spectrum of the slate industry to the home of the landed gentry quarry owner. Incomparable lifestyle to the workers and a fascinating finale that completes your ‘Story of the Welsh Slate Industry’ Tour. *Entrance Fee Payable


“The best experience!”

Attention to detail, in our opinion, makes the tour most memorable. You will definitely get that if you tour with John at Boutique Tours of Wales. He is professional, pleasant, and extremely knowledgeable. His driving is superb. We always felt very safe in his hands. His vehicle is top line, well maintained and so very comfortable.

John plans the excursions with your wishes in mind, adjusting for weather, your interests and comfort level. We could never have found the delightful, out of the way, locations that we enjoyed on our tours with him. He goes out of his way to make your day the best experience! Definitely top notch!!
Sylvia Bastable from Winnipeg, Canada
Interested in Booking this Tour?
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Our Best Rate Guarantee

Thank you for considering Boutique Tours of Wales as your private tour provider for your visit to Wales.  We are a small, family run business and every booking is extremely important to us.

In choosing to book directly with us, you are guaranteed the best rate, with the best service, along with the best touring experience available.



We accept payment by American Express, Mastercard and Visa Credit Cards, Debit Card or Electronic Bank Transfer.

Our private tour rates sit very competitively against the rates quoted by The Guild of Professional Tour Guides, along with the Association of Professional Tourist Guides and the Driver-Guides Association.

Not found what you are looking for?

It’s your very own private tour and we can custom design the tour itinerary and arrangements to suit what you want to do and see. Our flexibility allows you to make changes to our itineraries. So take something out and add something more appealing to your desires. Alternatively combine an element of this tour with that of another tour. All you have to do is ask and if it is possible then it will be our pleasure to accommodate your wishes.

Other Great Tour Options

We have a selection of other tours featuring historic castles, combined with other aspects of Welsh culture and scenery.  Take a look at these exciting and interesting alternative tour options:

Discover Snowdonia

Discover Snowdonia Tour

The best of the Snowdonia National Park capturing lakes and mountains, visiting Welsh riverside villages.


Castle and Snowdonia Tour

Castle and Snowdonia Tour

A beautiful day combing medieval history and the spectacular scenery of the Snowdonia National Park.


Anglesey and Snowdonia

Anglesey and Snowdonia Tour

A beautiful touring day of contrasting scenic locations capturing highlights of Snowdonia and Anglesey.
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