Fantastic free day out in South Wales! Exciting underground tour and imaginative displays bringing the story of Welsh coal mining to life.
Blaenavon, Torfaen, NP4 9XP
Tel: 0300 111 2333
Gardens and Open Spaces, Historical Sites, Indoor Activities, Museums and Art Centres, Outdoor Activities, Science and Technology
Ages 5 - 12, All ages, Schools and Groups, Teenagers, Under 5s
(based on family of 4)
A real coal mine and a leading mining museum, Big Pit National Coal Museum near Blaenavon in Torfaen offers one of the best free family days out in South Wales. Exciting, educational and fun, it is located in a fascinating industrial landscape that was designated a World Heritage Site in 2000.
The highlight for kids is likely to be the chance to descend 300 feet down the Big Pit mineshaft for a thrilling underground tour around original workings. An important part of the experience will be putting on a helmet, cap lamp and other equipment used by miners. Join your guide, a former miner, for a 50-minute walk to see the coal faces, engine houses and stables. Learn the various ways coal was mined and transported, and listen to the guide recount some of his own experiences.
After the tour, head for the Pithead Baths building to discover the story of Welsh coal mining and glimpse what life was like for miners and their families. Displays also cover geology, mining disasters and rescue.
In Big Pit’s Medical Centre visitors can hear the voice of Mrs Phyllis Jones, who was a nurse in Cynheidre Colliery. Move on to explore historic colliery buildings housing vital machinery such as the winding engine, which would raise and lower cages transporting men, coal and materials up and down the shaft. Look out for the Explosives Magazine, built well away from other buildings, and the all-important Fan House.
Allow plenty of time for the Mining Galleries. Set into the hillside above the colliery, the galleries offer a fascinating audio-visual experience including displays of modern mining equipment. Families can explore simulated underground workings and gain an understanding of how the mining industry in Wales developed. There are discovery trails and activity packs available from Reception.
Children must be at least one metre in height to go underground.
Three imaginative virtual reality films bring Blaenavon's rich heritage to life for free. View on site using smart devices or at home until 2nd April 2020.