Big Pit National Coal Museum
The Real Underground Experience, Big Pit is the UK's leading mining museum. It is a real colliery and was the place of work for hundreds of men, women and children for over 200 years. Part of a daily struggle to extract the precious mineral that stoked furnaces and lit household fires across the world.
Facilities – at a glance
- Parking onsite
- Accessible toilets
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Open all year 9.30-5 (times vary winter) Please call for underground guided tour availability during the winter. Closed 24-26 Dec & 1 Jan
Also in the area
About the area
Like much of this part of south Wales, the county borough of Torfaen has a heavily industrialised past. Its administrative centre, Pontypool, has links to the iron industry dating back to the 15th century. In this region of abandoned mines and long-closed iron and steel works, however, Torfaen boasts the standout example – the Blaenavon UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The town of Blaenavon grew up around an ironworks, opened in 1788, part of which is now a museum. The steel-making and coal-mining industries followed. The ironworks closed in 1900 and the coalmine in 1980, since then it has become a significant tourist attraction. The ironworks is the best preserved blast furnace complex of its period and one of the most important monuments to have survived from the early part of the Industrial Revolution. During its heyday in the early 19th century, it was one of the biggest producers of iron in the world. Today you can view the extensive remains of the blast furnaces, the cast houses and the impressively restored water balance tower.
The town also has a heritage steam railway, formerly used to run coal up and down the valley, which is now run by volunteers.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
Why choose Rated Trips?
Your trusted guide to rated places across the UK
The best coverage
Discover more than 15,000 professionally rated places to stay, eat and visit from across the UK and Ireland.
Choose a place to stay safe in the knowledge that it has been expertly assessed by trained assessors.
Plan your next trip
Search by location or the type of place you're visiting to find your next ideal holiday experience.
Read our articles, city guides and recommended things to do for inspiration. We're here to help you explore the UK.