The National Coal Mining Museum
There are loads of attractions at the National Coal Mining Museum..
To discover the depths descend 140 metres underground down one of Britain's oldest working mines. Your guide will take you around the workings, sharing his mining experiences with you. The tour lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Each visitor is provided with a hat, belt and battery, so that the true atmosphere of working life underground is captured.
The last underground tour daily is at 3.15pm; simply book in at Reception on arrival.
Children under 5 years of age are not permitted on the underground tour. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult. There should be at least one supervisory adult for every group of 10 children.
Please note, during school holiday periods it is advisable to arrive early, as the underground tour can be fully booked by midday.
For some mind-boggling science, visit Hope Pit, a fully restored colliery complex on the 17 hectare Museum site, totally dedicated to science. Discover hands-on interactive models, touch screen displays and some very special virtual guides.
Hope Pit is open every day until 4.00pm and Hope Store, where a lot of the large machinery is kept, can be accessed during school holidays 12.30 until 4.00pm (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays).
From Hope Pit wander down to our settling ponds to see how water pumped out of the mine is filtered to remove impurities, then take a walk around the Nature Trail and see what wildlife you can spot along the way.
The Museum is home to original colliery buildings, some of which are over 130 years old. Marvel at the original pithead and see our 1876 steam winder. Visit the pithead baths to see where the miners cleaned up at the end of a shift and the newly restored medical centre, to see how injuries were treated.
The Coal Interface Gallery allows you to see how machinery was used to hew the coal. Visit Mining Lives to find out more about a miner's home and leisure life.
Events & Special Exhibitions
The Museum holds three Special Exhibitions a year, each focusing on a different aspect of mining heritage.
In addition to the Special Exhibitions, there are other events each year, which vary from the annual Miners' Gala to Santa Underground. During school holiday periods it is advisable to arrive early, as the underground tour can be fully booked by midday.
Our very own resident celebrities, the pit ponies are stabled during the day so you can meet them and find out about their role in coal mining. The rest of the time, the ponies and Finn, our Clydesdale horse, can be found in the fields of the Museum site, enjoying their retirement.
The Nature Trail
Discover the tranquility of nature among the birch, oak and ash woodland that now grows on the former colliery spoil tips. Our Nature Trail begins near the picnic area. Take the gravel path to the valley bottom and follow the stream until the path divides. Carry straight on up the hill and you are back at Caphouse or fork right up to the reed beds that are part of the water-treatment plant and Hope Pit displays.
Every school holiday the education team at the National Coal Mining Museum for England runs fun, FREE activities for families. From art and craft activities, such as making pit-pony sock puppets to building balloon powered coal carts, our workshops can be enjoyed by the whole family!