Cwmorthin slate mine, Tanygrisiau
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If you’re a fan of capturing the derelict remains of industry in the landscape, this derelict slate mine close to Blaenau Ffestiniog is a must-visit location. The whole area is full of the quiet, slightly spooky remains of the once busy mines.
To reach Cwmorthin you follow the A496, south from Blaenau Ffestiniog, and then take the right towards Tanygrisiau. Drive past the reservoir, and once you reach Tanygrisau you turn left, down a dead-end road, until you reach a small parking area at the top of a small hill (it’s overlooked by a huge heap of waste slate). From here you need to walk up the large slate-covered track that leads up (don’t take the path down towards the river). It’s a bit of a slog up the hill, but after a few hundred yards it flattens out, and you’ll see the first of the many derelict mine buildings. Once you have passed the large waste heaps on your right you’ll find yourself at the head of a large lake.
From here there are many routes to explore. If you carry along the path east of the lake there are loads of views back across the lake, along with many remnants of the mine workings. Alternatively, you can cross the stream and follow the path around the west of the lake.
This route contains several buildings, all of which can make great subjects.
This path is pretty flat, but after around half a mile there’s a steep slope, which takes you up to a whole separate level of mine workings (if you’ve got the time or energy to explore further).