Pathways > The Pathways book > Miners' tracks
Britain's geology has been blessed - or cursed, depending on your viewpoint - with a wealth of metals and minerals. They have been exploited from prehistoric times right up to the present day. Some, such as the deep coal seams, have changed our history irrevocably, fuelling the industrial revolution and turning Britain into a global power.
Even in the remotest parts of the country mining was conducted on an industrial scale. Ores were extracted and smelted, with as much of the work taking place on site so there was the minimum to carry out. In farming communities mining offered a supplemental wage, although it was a risky job and earnings were irregular. Miners would often walk to work and stay in cramped conditions for several days in huts at the mine head, rather than travelling daily. You have to remember that they also walked many miles underground in the course of a day's work.
The Yorkshire Dales miners' walk, featured in the book, is free to download once you have joined as a member of Walkingworld.
Below you can read the full chapter from the book.
Mining shaped the development of transport and communication in Britain, perhaps more so than any other industry, including wool. Not only did the miners have to be able to get to the mines, but the valuable materials that they brought up needed to be carried away to the places where they were worked and consumed. Mines also needed tools, equipment and supplies; in many areas and for many decades these were brought in from further afield on the packhorse roads. During the 18th and 19th centuries, coal and iron fuelled and enabled the creation of new methods of transport, including the canals and the railway. Mining, technology and transport came together during the industrial revolution to create a ‘perfect storm’ in which parts of the British landscape and way of life changed utterly.
Trade in metals, fine stone implements and salt helped to create the first long-distance trading routes; many, no doubt, following the ridgeway paths encountered in Chapter 1. Stone axe heads gathered, hewn and polished at Great Langdale in the Lake District have been found, carefully interred as valued funerary objects, in prehistoric burials many hundreds of miles away. British tin, mined in Cornwall or on Dartmoor, found its way into the Mediterranean during the Bronze Age, probably travelling much of the way by sea.
Britain has a very varied geology and a wealth of valuable metals and ores beneath its surface. Copper ore is found in huge quantities in parts of Wales and Anglesey, and has been mined there for centuries. Mining for iron and lead goes back to the Romans and quite possibly before. We have seen how mining areas were connected into the Roman road network. The monks of various orders, between the Norman Conquest and the dissolution of the monasteries, ran mines and built smelting mills. The metals were traded far and wide.
Because of its bulk and weight, most quarried stone is used locally but where it is particularly fine it has been transported in large quantities for many miles. Some 70,000 tons of Purbeck stone, a shelly limestone from the Jurassic coast that can be polished like marble, was used in the building of Salisbury Cathedral. A great deal more Portland stone made its way to London, where it is found in many magnificent buildings in the city, including St Paul’s Cathedral.
But, without doubt, it was coal mining that transformed the country and changed its transport network for ever. Rich seams of coal, laid down in the Carboniferous Period some 300-400 million years ago, were found in South Wales, the Midlands, the north-east of England and in the central belt of Scotland. It was in precisely those places that the great new manufacturing towns and cities sprang up during a period of rapid industrialisation. Canals, railways and a properly maintained road system developed to satisfy their transport needs, supplanting the packhorse and drovers’ roads of a previous era.
In many parts of the country, mining relied on a local workforce, not just of men but of women and children too, making their way to remote places in order to earn a few pennies. In some cases the track would be walked just twice a week, to the mine on Sunday afternoon after chapel and back again on Saturday morning, with the miners sleeping and eating together during the week in barracks and bunkhouses. Each miner would take his own food and make it last the week. The ‘mine shop’, as it was sometimes called, must have been crowded, smelly, raucous and a test of anyone’s patience. Fights were common, though balanced by the common ability among mining communities to entertain themselves with music and song.
The lead mines of the Yorkshire Dales
David and Chris Stewart follow in the footsteps of the subsistence farmers who supplemented their family income in the Old Gang lead mine.
In the Yorkshire Dales mineral deposits are found in the alternating layers of limestone, shale and sandstone that make up the Yordale series. These layers were laid down as the landmass that is now Great Britain passed through the equatorial zone in its long lazy drift north from near the Antarctic, travelling at a few centimetres a year. Scotland had already joined England and Wales after starting off several thousand miles apart. The Pennines were being created layer by layer in a vast delta in which the sea level fluctuated, so that the deposits of animals, coral and sediment varied.
Crushed down under the weight of later deposits, the layers all became rock, to be finally topped off with millstone grit, created from eroded material from a huge mountain range that had risen up over the landmass that would become Scotland. In some areas the sea receded enough from time to time for a marshy landscape to develop in which lush forests sprang up. The decaying plant material from this forest was laid down to eventually form coal – there is a narrow band at Tan Hill that provided coal for the mining industry.
After the rocks had become hardened, a granite core below them, centred on Wensleydale, reheated, filling the crevices with hot brines that hardened into baryte, fluorite, witherite, calcite – and galena, which was the lead ore targeted by generations of miners. There was no telling how these seams of lead ore would turn out until you dug along them: they might be very thin, they might widen out or they might pinch out to nothing. Most ran through vertical crevices in the rock, which meant that the miners had to work downwards or upwards to keep following the seam. The preferred method was to work upwards, with waste material stored on platforms as it was cut or blasted out, rather than having to be lifted out of a deepening shaft. The ideal, though, was to find a ‘flat’, a wider, thicker horizontal band of ore that could be mined much more easily.
Mining in the Dales started way back in Roman times and possibly even earlier. The earliest miners worked on the surface, venturing into the rock only as far as natural ventilation and drainage would allow. If evidence of a workable vein were found, a dam with a sluice gate would be built on the hillside above. The sudden release of stored water stripped off a layer of topsoil and rock, exposing more of the seam to be worked. Men would pick at the vein with pickaxes and a second flush of water would take the ore down into a pit dug below. These ‘hush gullies’ can be seen across the Dales, artificial rockfalls that gash the sides of the hills. The real mining revolution began around 1700, with the advent of gunpowder. It was a major industry in the Dales for nearly 200 years.
Working deeper into the hillside, the two key requirements are to be able to provide air to breathe and to stop the mine from filling up with water. In many early mines water was taken out in buckets lifted up as if from a well, in an endless and laborious process, often using horses strapped to a winding wheel. The depth to which satisfactory drainage could be achieved was limited. What was desperately needed to open up the riches below was a mechanical method that enabled water to be brought up consistently from much greater depths.
Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729) made a massive leap forward with his invention of an atmospheric steam engine. His machine generated considerable force from a piston alternately raised up by steam and coming down under the weight of atmospheric pressure, as the steam was suddenly cooled with water to create a near vacuum. Successive inventors improved on his original design, but it was the Newcomen engine that set the ball rolling.
As with so many of the pioneers of our story, Newcomen was a practical man whose lack of formal status and education meant that his achievement was played down or ignored altogether by the men of science of his day. He was forced into a partnership with an English gent, Thomas Savery, who, without inventing anything that really worked, still registered a patent on any engine designed to pump water out of mines. Newcomen spent a lifetime installing his machines in mines across the country, but failed to receive the recognition or financial reward that his invention merited.
The Dales lead mines could generally be drained by cutting ‘levels’ into the hillside, without a need for engines. From these levels, shafts could be taken up or down, either in pursuit of ore or to create ventilation, or both. The Dales mines did not generally need pumping engines, in contrast to the vast majority of coal mines, although from time to time these were used if drainage became tricky. The larger levels would be laid with tracks so tubs of ore could be taken out, pushed or pulled along by men or ponies.
The extent of the levels, cross-cuts, shafts and adits cutting through the hills meant that they often joined up with the workings of other companies. By taking circuitous routes through the shafts and levels it was possible to go from the Swaledale mines right through to Arkengarthdale on the other side of the hill. There was no knowing when you would come across an old working – when they did miners referred to it as ‘t’Old Man’. There were, of course, few written records or maps of where mining had taken place in the distant past.
Mining was an unhealthy occupation, with life expectancy among the men during the mid-19th century being as low as 46. An accident or early death could leave a whole family destitute and help for those on the breadline was basic, to say the least. In an infamous ruling in 1831 in Muker, the administrators of the parish funds ruled that a pauper’s pension could only be paid once all the family’s ‘unnecessary’ possessions had been taken away and sold. Items deemed to be superfluous included bibles, clocks, frying pans, cupboards, even the kitchen table. The Poor Law Amendment Act of a few years later made matters even worse, with the destitute being forced out of their homes and into the workhouse.
Despite this, men looked to the mines to make extra provision for their families alongside small-scale farming, but the income was uncertain. Miners formed partnerships of four to eight men and made a bargain with the mine owners to work particular seams. The price paid for the lead ore varied according to how much they were able to extract from the seam. If it was hard going, the price would be many times that of an easy seam. The system was susceptible to creative accounting, of course. Managers were suspected of favouritism towards their relatives and friends. Miners who had struck lucky were known to eke out their output so that the price remained high, unless their agreement was running out, in which case they worked like fury.
One Swaledale miner, ‘Captain’ Jammy Harker, was famous for having hit a rich flat just four months before the end of his tenure. He worked day and night extracting every ounce of ore he could, having his meals taken up to him as he picked away. His good fortune and tenacious attitude earned him a comfortable retirement. On his death a friend asked to be left his Bible to remember him by: a touching and pious request, it seemed, until it was discovered that the insides of the pages had been cut away. It was one of the hiding places in which Captain Jammy stored his £1 notes.
Captain Jammy did well, but for most it was a hard way to earn a few shillings. Payouts for the partnerships came only once every six months. The value of ore would be calculated at the appropriate price and deductions taken for equipment, candles and gunpowder (dynamite was used instead in the late 19th century and considered to be much easier to work with), as well as any food loans made by the company shop. If the partnership had driven a particularly hard bargain, it might be made a special payment or excused the loan payments. If things had gone well enough the group would move swiftly from indebtedness to solvency. The reckoning was often made at a local inn and inevitably some of the income was converted into liquid form. The Temperance movement did quite well in the Dales, no doubt heavily supported by the miners’ wives.
We start our seven-and-half-mile walk from Lodge Green on the outskirts of the tiny village of Gunnerside in Swaledale. Gunnerside sits in a typical Dales landscape. The pretty walled-off fields, many with a fieldhouse to store winter feed, look quaint and timeless. However, the long lines of stone that divide the landscape reveal how the enclosure movement affected these remote valleys. Acts of parliament forced those grazing the land to erect these walls at their own expense. This provided some labour for the subsistence farmers of the Dales and added to a portfolio of work that included working in the mines. But it was a financial hardship for the larger tenant farmers, who under their agreements were liable for the upkeep of the property, and many decided to leave the valley rather than shoulder the expense. The consolidation of landholding that ensued will have been of considerable advantage to the owners and their subsequent tenants, but much of the population would have resented the drystone walling that we now consider so emblematic of the Dales landscape.
We climb away from the River Swale to walk along one of the characteristic limestone shelves, here several hundred yards wide, the result of differing erosion of the rock layers. This feels like an ancient track, joining farmsteads on a contour at a little over 300 metres above sea level. Heading along to work on such tracks, many miners made good use of their time by knitting, just like the drovers. In fact whole families were involved in knitting, including the young children. It all added pennies to a precarious existence. Today it is a dry although somewhat chilly June evening. The walk would have a completely different character on a wintry night after working the usual eight hours in a damp mine. On freezing nights miners would arrive back with their leggings frozen like boards.
At the hamlet of Blades we bear left onto a track climbing to the edge of the fell. John Wesley preached at Blades in 1761 and commented that it was a lively church community. Methodism took a strong hold in Swaledale during the mining years, playing a key role in binding the community together and helping the people to make some sense of their hard lives.
Crossing over Feetham Pasture (the same Feetham encountered in Chapter 9), we join the road and come down towards Surrender Bridge. On our right are the ruins of Surrender Smelt Mill. We turn left to follow the beck on the old miner’s track, kept in good repair with the help of crushed spoil from the mines. After a mile the imposing remains of Old Gang Smelt Mill come into view, with one chimney still intact. This isn’t the chimney for the main smelting furnaces: the flue for these ran up the hill to a prominent stone structure on the ridge, where it turned and continued on up the fell.
These massive flues made the fires in the furnaces hot enough to process tons of lead ore and, just as importantly, took away the poisonous sulphurous fumes. Every now and then youngsters would be sent up the flues to scrape out any lead and lead oxide that had condensed on the sides, which could be recovered for reprocessing. In the Dales the smelting mills are always found by rivers, as water wheels were used to power the bellows for the furnaces. Old Gang had four running side by side. Much of the main furnace building still stands, with the channel for the waterwheel separated by a wall at the northern end. A few bits of rusting equipment lie around: these are from attempts in the mid-20th century to process minerals from the mining spoil, not from the original smelting process.
Ore brought out of the mine was sorted and crushed on the dressing floor by gangs of women and children, using flat hammers called buckers. We watched women and children doing much the same in the Annapurna region of Nepal, breaking up fist-sized rocks by trapping them in a metal ring held in one hand and hitting them with the hammer with the other – though in this case it was to make gravel for a new road. The pieces of broken ore and rock were sieved in water, with the heavier lead ore falling to the bottom. The smelting process burned off the sulphur in the lead sulphide ore to make lead oxide, which was then reduced to produce molten lead. This was poured into ‘pigs’ to make solid blocks.
With no train, tramway or canal to transport the lead, it was carried by horse or pony to Richmond along the track we have just walked, the pigs being slotted into sleeves on a specially made leather pannier. From there it most likely made its way to Hull for delivery to London or abroad.
We climb a rough path up the slope above the mill and just beyond it find the stone columns of the peat store, stretched out in pairs around 20 feet apart and some 390 feet from end to end, looking for all the world like a ceremonial monument. The store had a thatched heather roof and was used to dry the peat used in the smelting furnace, mixed with a small amount of Tan Hill coal. May and June were peat cutting time, with all the families coming out to load a dozen carts with peat that would be deposited in the store. Once dried out, it would be fetched down as required to fuel the smelting mill. The collection and storing of the peat were all completed in little more than a week.
The exit of Hard Level into the gill can be found a few hundred yards beyond the remains of Old Gang Mill, just beyond a bridge over the stream. Even on a summer’s day after a long dry spell, the rust-coloured stream pouring out is over a foot deep. Clambering through its entrance and shining a powerful torch into the darkness a few wooden props can be picked out. The mine owner Lord Pomfret brought about the cutting-through of Hard Level some time around 1799. Originally called Force Level, it was renamed by popular consent thanks to the sheer effort that went into the construction of its 1,150-yard length.
The level is certainly lower here than the standard six feet from floor to ceiling; we have to stoop right down to enter it. This last section of the level is also at a kink from the planned line and has all the characteristics of being cut as quickly and cheaply as possible. The original design would surely have brought it out, at full height, somewhat nearer to the mill. Also the first air shaft is some 300 yards in from this point, considerably further than would normally be considered safe. It seems that Lord Pomfret was running out of money and needed it completed even if it was less than perfect. It was certainly a bold piece of work and contributed greatly to the mine’s future profits, although sadly for Lord Pomfret most of the benefits accrued after his death.
Life was exceptionally tough for the miners but being a mine owner was not without risk. There were endless disputes over drainage of the mines and who should contribute to it, and even over ownership of the ore seams themselves. George Fermor, the 2nd Lord Pomfret, who owned Old Gang Mine in Swaledale in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, had a stubborn turn of mind that did him no favours. In 1770, he joined in a bitter dispute with Thomas Smith, the new Lord of the Manor at Crackpot Hall, over mining rights on the land. Miners from both sides supported their masters with more enthusiasm than was seemly, getting involved in underground fights, theft of ore and deliberate disruption of the mine drainage systems. The court found in Smith’s favour, much to Lord Pomfret’s outrage, who considered it a scandalous misinterpretation of ancient law. The outcome was not good for the lord who, saddled with £400 compensation to Smith and lawyers’ fees amounting to many hundreds more, found himself committed to a debtors’ prison in London, where he had to remain until he had paid off his creditors.
Lord Pomfret also had little luck with one of his employees, John Davies, whom he hired at the turn of the century to oversee the Old Gang Mine. Pomfet had a thinly disguised distrust of local men as mine managers, believing they would unfairly favour their own mates and families, so Davies was brought in from the outside. Unfortunately, he was very likely a rogue and certainly incompetent. He messed up the surveying of one of the levels, which caused huge expense as the ore had to be dressed away from the smelt mill. He later delayed the start of another level, perhaps knowing that he wasn’t up to it. Pomfret stuck with Davies in spite of his failures, which were partly offset by the high price of lead at the time. The shareholders of the company that took over the mine after Pomfret, however, refused to accept the accumulating losses and Davies was finally sacked.
Lord Pomfret’s final error of judgement was to lease out two other mines, at Lownathwaite and Blakethwaite, far too generously. The two mines are a little over a mile to the west of Old Gang, in the valley cut by Gunnerside Gill. The leaseholders took out vast quantities of lead, to the value of tens of millions of pounds in today’s money. It was all too much for Lord Pomfret: the frustration and disappointment was said to have contributed to his death.
Walking further up the gill, we come to another bridge. Just a short way up the track to the right we find the remnants of Level House, the home of Adam Barker, Lord Wharton’s mine manager in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The Whartons were a well-established and wealthy family of the area but lost their grip on the dale when the last Lord Wharton made the grave error of supporting the Jacobite cause and then in joining the Spanish in an expedition against Gibraltar. He died in exile in a Spanish convent. The property sits in a hollow, sheltered from almost every angle by mounds of spoil. Adam Barker used the house as a chapel as well as his residence. The last known occupant was ‘Splitmate Meg’, who lived there alone with her big black dog and worked on the Old Gang dressing floor. There is very little of the house left and none of the large smithy that supposedly stood nearby. The corner stones of Level House that remain are substantial; it must have been tempting to rob abandoned houses for building material. A good deal of stone from the Old Gang Smelt Mill was transported to Muker to build the Methodist Chapel there in the 1930s.
Returning to the bridge, we take a well-surfaced track further up onto the moor. The spoil heaps from the mines provide perfect gravel for these tracks, kept in good shape for shooting parties. All along the tracks are lines of shooting butts. As we walk up, a gamekeeper drives by in his Land Rover, no doubt happy to see the dog dutifully trotting along on his lead.
The path takes us between the sheep folds and the large walled enclosure of Moor House. The walls are massive, a good foot or more higher than the average drystone wall and no doubt designed to provide some shelter from bitter winds. Like Level House, the property has been reduced to a couple of standing walls and looks rather forlorn standing in the middle of an enclosed field surrounded by munching sheep. At one time it was home to a farmer-cum-miner who lived here with his wife and 21 children. Even with these large families, cottage owners were known to take in lodgers, incomers to the Dales enticed by work in the mines during the boom years. It must have been a bit of a squash, but the extra income was sorely needed.
The track takes us on over the moors. Here the millstone grit that sits as the final layer on top of the Yoredale series has encouraged the growth of heather, ideal for grouse. Every now and then we startle a group of the birds hunkered down by the track side, and with much squawking and flapping they take to the air. In a few months this will be the prelude to their being blasted with a battery of modern non-lead shot; for the moment they simply fly to another patch of heather and settle down again. Their ancestors might well have been dodging lead shot from the neighbouring mines, though that wouldn’t have made the experience any better for them. The tiny balls of lead were made by dropping molten lead from a ‘shot tower’ into water, taking advantage of the natural propensity of liquids to form into perfect spheres when in freefall. Quite a lot of the Dales’ lead went into making other forms of ammunition, much of it for loosing off at humans rather than wildfowl.
Some of the heather has been burned back recently, making that typical patchwork of grouse moor, with the older heather for the birds to nest and rest in and the newer shoots better for eating. From time to time we are joined by other fowl. A golden plover darts across and a couple of curlews bat their way overhead. Later, on the edge between moor and farmland, we encounter dozens of lapwing, circling overhead and peewitting in a noble attempt to distract us from their nesting sites.
The track crests the ridge and, just as the final shafts of sunlight break through the gathering clouds, we get a superb view of Swaledale ahead and the deep valley cut by Gunnerside Gill reaching up into Melbecks Moor to the right. Turning a corner, we are confronted by great mounds of mining spoil, refuse on a truly industrial scale. Even after many years of exposure, not a single tuft of grass has grown upon them. It’s our cue to turn left and begin our descent back down to Gunnerside. A couple of hundred yards and we are back in a world of green grass and drystone wall.
Below is a list of walks relating to mining:
This walk takes you among three of the highest peaks south of the Scottish Border, but is on a well-maintained path with a steady, if constant gradient. It does not present any real problems of navigation and takes you right into the centre of the... More info
This route up Snowdon from Pen-y-Pass is by the Miners' Track and then by a short, steep climb to the Pyg Track and the summit of Snowdon.
The return is by retracing your steps to the Pyg Track and following it back to Pen-y-Pass.... More info
Grisedale Pike rises impressively on the skyline; its slopes cannot be long ignored on visits to the North Western fells. Parts of this ascent are steep and involve a degree of scrambling, however the views and ridge walk from Grisedale to Hopegill... More info
Although this is a short walk and Sheffield Pike is low on the list of Wainwrights, it should not be underestimated. An easy lakeside path is followed by the delightful track to the row of miners' houses named on the map as Seldom Seen. From here... More info
The Clouds is a rocky outcrop on the flank of Wild Boar Fell, with limestone crags and pavements. It is a fascinating geological environment, with a history of small-scale farming and mining for minerals and lead and the opportunity to spot birds,... More info
The walk is based on the popular Visitor Centre at Loggerheads with all its facilities. It takes you around Colomendy Outdoor Centre and up into the nature reserve, where there are wide-ranging views before descending to Maeshafn opposite the Miners'... More info
Bere Ferrers is the most westerly village on the Bere Peninsula and is in an area of outstanding natural beauty bounded by the River Tavy to the east and River Tamar to the west. This short and relatively easy walk takes you through Bere Ferrers to... More info
Visit Dartmoor's metamorphic aureole at Great Nodden, walk alongside the lovely River Lyd and explore the Lyd medieval tin-streaming area as well as visiting one of the best-maintained memorials on Dartmoor. All this in a five-mile walk, yes and more... More info
A classic route that initially explores the valleys of the River Wear and the Rookhope Burn before taking a delightful moorland walk along the old mineral railway tracks high up on Stanhope Common. The walk concludes with a pleasant panoramic stroll... More info
A walk featuring evidence of the lead-mining activities that played a huge part in forming the history of this interesting area of Weardale. The walk initially passes along the very picturesque valley of the Middlehope Burn with its multitude of... More info
A fairly short but challenging, mainly moorland, walk from the quiet Harwood Valley to cross Herdship Fell for a walk along an old miners' track, following the shores of Cow Green Reservoir. The last section covers rough moorland as the walk rises to... More info
An easy, mildly undulating walk through the fields, lanes, villages and along a former mineral railway line in this former coalmining area of mid-east Durham.... More info
The Mineral Loop. A walk through some of the more remote parts of the forest, mostly on cycle tracks built upon old railway lines.... More info
If you're interested in mountain summits, industrial archaeology and a walk in Snowdonia away from the crowds, then this walk from Tanygrisiau to the summit of Moelwyn Mawr should be just your thing.... More info
A linear, high-level walk from Ogwen Cottage to Capel Curig. The character of the route changes dramatically halfway through the walk, leaving the grandeur of Bwlch Tryfan and the Miners Track for the wide open spaces of Y Foel Goch, before... More info
Starting in the stunning valley of Snowdon on Llanberis Pass from Nant Peris (Old Llanberis), this walk climbs some of the peaks of the Glyder Mountain Range, ascending the steep slopes of Y Garn along the waterfalls of Afon Las and up to Llyn Y Cwn,... More info
This is Part 1 of a 30km walk. This route follows trails used by the old leadminers across the moors between Allenheads and Allendale. Please see Part 2, Walk 491.... More info
Starting from Kilgetty, this walk follows the Miners' Walk for the outward route but leaves this Lansker Walk to return through Kilgetty Woods.... More info
The walk starts outside Saundersfoot and uses part of the Miners' Walk to drop down to the sea. After exploring as much as you like of Saundersfoot, the return route is through mixed woodland. ... More info
A good opportunity to wander round the Access Land of Corndon Hill and its little brother, Lan Fawr. You can then have refreshment at the Miner's Arms in the pretty village of Priest Weston, ready for the climb back up to the ancient Mitchell's Fold... More info
Tyne and Wear
A ramble through the undulating agricultural terrain on the East Durham/South Tyne & Wear border, making use on the way of a couple of old mineral railway lines. This circular walk starting from the picturesque Hetton Lyons Country Park provides good... More info
An excellent walk over moorland, mainly on paths and tracks but with a little pathless terrain. There are fascinating old smelting mill workings reached by a miners' track and an interesting river crossing. Walk featured in the 'Pathways' book.... More info
This wonderfully contrasting hike in the north central Picos de Europa follows ways created by the mining industry. Apart from the industrial history, we shall enjoy truly breathtaking mountain scenery, alpine-like pastures and cool beech forests.... More info