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The Stone Centre is open all year apart from Christmas Day. From April to the end of September the opening hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. From October to the end of March the opening hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is the best place to find information about the rocks of the area and see how each one of us uses 350 tonnes of stone in our lifetime.
There is no charge to enter the site.
Inside the Discovery Centre, there is the Story of Stone Exhibition (2009 admission £3.60 family; £1.80 adults; 90p children; £1.20 concessions) which describes how the rock was formed and the variety of uses that stone is put to.
Three self guiding trail guides are available for a small charge from the Discovery Centre. The trail is an undulating natural route around the site discovering the geology, ecology and history.
Also outside, there is an area where it is possible to pan for minerals for a small fee. Minerals found have included iron pyrites (fool's gold) and Olivine. Adults often make the mistake of only paying for children to try panning. Experience shows that adults have an even stronger desire to relive the heady days of the prospector and they soon take over after a few minutes. And the child, they get sent to get another pan.
Back inside the Discovery centre, there is a well-stocked shop where the failed prospector can buy the minerals unsuccessfully panned for (or the 'some of us are just born prospectors', can increase their mineral collection). The shop also sells books, fossils and tea.
Telephone: 01629 824833 (National Stone Centre offices)
Telephone: 01629 825403 (Discovery centre and shop)
National Stone Centre
See a map showing the location of the National Stone Centre.
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Well that's the legal stuff sorted.
Should you decline to comply with this warning, a leather winged demon of the night will soar from the deep malevolent caverns of the white peak into the shadowy moonlit sky and, with a thirst for blood on its salivating fangs, search the very threads of time for the throbbing of your heartbeat. Just thought you'd want to know that.