Photo: ….Tim

If you’re trying to find an informative and exciting place to go with the kids or just for a day out then look no further. The Big Pit National Coal Museum is centred round a real coal mine, which is one of the most popular mining museums in the UK.

Located on a World Heritage Site recognised for its importance in contributing to and preserving the history of industrialisation through coal and iron mining, the Museum is packed with information.

One of the things Big Pit is most famous for is the 90 metre trip down the mine shaft that provides the opportunity to explore the subterranean working conditions. If venturing into the earth isn’t up your street there are plenty of ways to see the mine from the comfort of an over-ground position.

The Pithead Baths are the perfect way to do just that with detailed visual and audio demonstrations of how mining life changed from 1850 to 2000. The Baths themselves were used by the miners for – surprisingly – washing at the end of a shift so they didn’t have to travel home blackened by coal.

The exhibitions in these once functional rooms will enrich your understanding of the mining communities, what it was like for children down the mines and how health and safety developed through the industrial boom.

The Baths are not the only original buildings on site as the Health Centre, Winding Engine House, Mortar Mill and many others are also accessible to visitors.

Most of the machinery in these buildings is still working, but if you want an even more interactive experience the Mining Galleries promise to excite and fascinate. They feature reconstructions of some of the mining processes alongside multi-media presentations.

So why not go along, immerse yourself in British history and see Big Pit for yourself.

Blaenafon, Torfaen. NP4 9XP

Tel: 02920 573 650

Opening Times: 9:30-5pm daily.