Westmorland Green Slate has been exploited from around Honister since the 1720s. Originally surface quarries were used but the workings went underground in the 19th century. Honister Mine still produces slate on a small scale - both for sale to visitors and for heritage restoration work.
The mine has also been developed as a major tourist attraction, whose attractions include Via Ferrata routes, zip wires and other adrenalin-rich offerings. Underground mine tours are also on offer, which take visitors around part of the mine in a 90 minute guided tour.