Like this failed nuclear reactor transformed into an amusement park, or this oil silo turned civic center, it's encouraging to see eyesores and environmental burdens pressed into services of a wholly different kind. This conversion of an old slate quarry, however, is certainly in a league of its own: touted to be the world's first and largest underground trampoline installation, Bounce Below is a series of three giant trampolines, linking stairways and slides that allow will visitors to enjoy this old mining cavern in a totally unexpected way.
Located in the Llechwedd caverns in Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales, Bounce Below is operated by adventure tourism company Zip World and offers visitors a chance to explore this huge underground hole in an exciting fashion -- with supplied safety helmets and overalls, of course.
According to their website, the entire one-hour bounce-tour begins with a train that will leave visitors inside the mountain. Upon entering, people will see the man-made impact that mining has made on this area, and the impressive set-up of ropes stretching the trampolines taut, thanks to a series of lighting installations. But it's no ordinary tour; in addition to the enormous, record-setting trampolines (the most death-defying of which hang 180 feet high) there's also a 60-foot slide that adds to the exhilaration of careening around underground.
There's a darker side to these caverns that have been emptied of their rock, of course; according to a local tourist site, the Llechwedd quarry was active during Victorian times, when dangerous conditions and child labour were rife.
This is another surprising and fun example of adaptive reuse that makes the best out of an abandoned mine. Bounce Below was recently completed during spring this year, and will be open to the public on July 4, 2014. Zip World also plans to open underground zip wires in late 2014. Check out more over at Bounce Below and Zip World.