Big Pit: National Coal Museum is the most popular attraction within the Blaenavon World Heritage Site. The museum is based around the former Big Pit Colliery, which was sunk in about 1860 and closed in 1980. The site reopened as a museum in 1983 and is now known around the world, especially after winning the Gulbenkian Prize for museum of the year in 2005.
A visit to Big Pit includes a 300ft (90m) descent into the old colliery, where a former coalminer will take you on a fascinating and personal tour with the sights, sounds and smells of the mine creating an impression of what working life was like at the coalface.
Above ground there is an exciting 20 minute audio-visual presentation describing the daily toil of miners and the changing methods of coalmining through time.
The museum also includes historic buildings linked to the coal industry including a blacksmith’s forge, stables, miners’ canteen, explosives magazine and winding house. Perhaps the most fascinating are the Pithead Baths, which were voted Wales’s best national treasure in a 2007 BBC television programme. You can see the intact showers and locker rooms, along with artefacts and exhibition displays that provide an understanding of the daily life of a coalminer.
Part of the National Museum of Wales, admission to Big Pit is free. Big Pit is the United Kingdom’s leading mining museum and offers an entertaining yet informative day out for everybody.
£3 parking fee (coach parking remains free)
Public Transport Directions
he number 30 bus runs from Cwmbran Bus Station to Lion Street, Blaenafon daily Monday to Saturday, including Good Friday but excluding other Bank Holidays.
Bus times from Cwmbran start at 7.40am and then hourly at 40 minutes past the hour.
The number 31 bus runs from Lion Street to Big Pit daily Monday to Saturday, including Good Friday but excluding other Bank Holidays.
Bus times from Lion Street start at 8.40am and then every 2 hours at .40 minutes past the hour.
Return bus from Big Pit to Lion Street from 10.15am and thereafter every 2 hours at .15 minutes past the hour and from Lion Street to Cwmbran hourly at .40 minutes past the hour until 4.40pm.
For Satellite Navigation directions, please enter Blaenafon (Blaenavon) town or NP4 9RL and follow brown tourism signs once arriving in the town.
M4 — follow the brown Tourism signs from J25a (westbound) or J26 (eastbound). Also signposted off the A465 at Brynmawr and Abergavenny.
£3 payable by Pay and Display.