Adventure Saturday we set off to Electric Mountain, a power station that offers a tour around what is the largest man made cavern in Europe. We booked in advance through the website at a cost £25.70 for the four of us. It wasn’t a full day out by any means but it was very educational and worth the price for an insightful visit.
We had to pay for parking on arrival, which was an additional £2 for four hours (so do bring some change with you). You also needed a £1 coin for the locker (this is refundable), as you are not allowed to take bags and phones on the tour hence the need for a locker to keep your possessions safe and secure. It is a shame as photography is prohibited, so it means you will just have to go on the tour yourself to see inside the mountain. When you go through the door there are no toilet facilities so do make yourself comfortable in time for your tour.
The tour was very informative, I hadn’t really thought about how the National Grid coped with the demand for electricity, you just kind of expect to turn on the kettle or the light switch and have instant electricity when you need it! Thankfully the existence of the Electric Mountain means if there is a sudden demand for electricity (like everyone putting on their kettle at the end of a popular show) there won’t be a blackout as there will be sufficient energy to still meet everyone’s needs. They do this by having one of the world’s fastest response turbine generators.
The tour guide was a lovely lady, so very knowledgeable and great with the children in the tour. She had them stand in a circle holding hands to show how we all have electricity in our bodies and could light a bulb. After she had them hold a wooden spoon as part of the circuit so they could see that didn’t conduct electricity, the same happened with a bit of plastic both times the bulb didn’t light up. When they had a piece of metal the bulb lit up again, it was a great little experiment about the materials that conduct electricity.
Hardhats are provided for the tour and please make sure you wear sensible shoes. The introductory film before you go on the tour makes you realise just how important this power station is for the area, 5 years after slate mining stopped fortunately the Electric Mountain was built brining work back to the area for the redundant quarrymen. The power station was built inside the mountain because the area is part of the Snowdonia National Park so they had lots of environmental considerations to respect.
Afterwards the boys had a little go on the climbing wall, it costs an extra £1.50 per child. It wasn’t a very high one but they seemed happy enough to have a go.