National Coal Mining Museum for England

1128 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

October, 2018

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with

Family including children under 16

Reasons for trip

This is somewhere I’ve been wanting to visit for years, and from experience I know the actuality doesn’t always meet expectation. Not here though!

We had a great day out and there was so much we didn’t manage to see everything.

The highlight was definitely the trip down the mine. This was led by an ex miner who not only knew his stuff but was able to put it over in an entertaining way and kept adults and children fully engrossed for nearly 90 minutes – no mean feat. He was very good in engaging everyone during the trip from smearing coal dust on the faces of the children to pretending to set off an explosion.

The tour covered 150 years of coal mining and started in the very early mines where the miners had to crawl to the work face on hands and knees and use a pick axe to get the coal. Originally women had to haul the coal out of the mine (the heaviest and most difficult job), although later pit ponies were used. Children as young as five were responsible for keeping the door in the mine shut. A lonely task especially when the draught blew out your candle.

We then moved onto the use of drills and finally the huge great machines which were used in the 1980s and 90s. Coal was taken out on conveyor belts. I hadn’t realised just how big modern ‘tunnels’ were.

We went to find the three pit ponies, now enjoying retirement at the museum and the pit head baths with their communal showers so you could get your back scrubbed. This also had a small medical centre and dentist.

There is the engine and winding house as well as another smaller colliery a few minutes walk away, where you can go into the old buildings. Don’t miss the water treatment lagoons with their bright orange water which has been pumped out of the depths of the mines.

There are several large exhibition buildings around the site looking at different aspects of mining and the life of the mining families. There is also an excellent adventure playground for the children and an equally good cafe.

Entry to the museum is FREE. You are asked for donations for the car park. When you book the tour you are given a small white metal ‘check’ similar to those used by miners working underground, which you hand in at the start of the tour. You are also given a brass check and are asked to pay £5 deposit for this. At the end of the tour you can return the brass check and get your money back or forfeit your deposit and keep the check. (It is one way the museum can help raise money to continue to run.) It was noticeable that everyone kept their check.

This really does make a good day out for people of all ages. I won’t leave it so long to make a return visit!


Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.