Quality Cottages

Industrial Tourism Takes a Giant Leap in Pembrokeshire

From industrial toil to diversity in tourism, Red Bull Divers jump into an old slate mine in Pembrokeshire.


Solva, Pembrokeshire -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/17/2013 -- It struck me as I watched world class divers plunge 27 metres into the 25 metre deep blue lagoon yesterday how much times have changed.

The Blue Lagoon has always been famous locally. Local boys and girls head here during school holidays to jump 'the wall' and adventure companies use the lagoon jump for the final adrenalin rush in their coasteering programmes.

And now, world class divers come here, see our jumps and raise us - 27 metres into the air!

Wales has some great examples of regeneration. It struck me yesterday that The Blue Lagoon is one - by default. Would the people who set the chargers many years ago to let the sea flood the mine, ever have foreseen it becoming a recreational hot spot for the area?

Collective folk memory surrounds the old slate mine. The Sloop pub in Porthgain, a fishing village that used to receive the slate from the Blue Lagoon has framed photos across its walls of this era. We have on our wall at home a framed copy of a bill of sale for slate direct from the mine. My Dad found this in ancestry papers - are the tiles on our farmhouse from the sunken mine?

Working in welsh tourism, It is heartening to see industrial tourism at work. There are lots of examples of it across Wales but this is the first time I have seen it used in a way that made my heart stop for a little while!

Other examples:
1) Penrhyn old quarry, Bethesda. Home to the longest, fastest zipwire in Europe.
2) Keepers Pond , Brecon Beacons. An old water source for nearby forges, now used by picnickers and hand gliders.

And don’t forget our continuing industries, such as artesian woolen mills (Our favourite is in the same postcode as us, Solva Woolen Mill ) and the delicious whisky at Penderyn .

Tim Rees
General Manager
Quality Cottages