Big Pit, National Coal Museum, Blaenavon

During half term we try to take the tribe out once or twice and if it’s a free day even better!  This time we took them to Big Pit, the National Coal Museum in Blaenavon, South Wales and we had an amazing time. As part of the day out involved going underground we didn’t take little Pea with us, he stayed with the Grandparents for lots of cwtches.

Now I love history and luckily so do the kids,when we have family days out they like nothing more than going to a castle or a museum (other than running about the park).  I also think that learning about local history is a must and living in Wales in an area that was dominated by coal mining, what better than a day out visiting a coal mine.  I highly recommend visiting Blaenavon if you are in this part of this world, there are lots of interesting sites to visit as well as Big Pit.  
We started with the underground tour, firstly you are kitted out with helmet, headlight & battery, self rescuer and belt (what the miners themselves wore) then you go in the lift down 300ft to the mine.  The tour is given by a former coal miner and lasts about 50 minutes, I came away in awe of  all the men, women, children and horses that ever worked a mine even in the modern age of mining.
self-rescuer, breathing apparatus
After the tour we had a very cold picnic near the pithead baths and took some photos of the landscape and old equipment before looking at the exhibitions and experiencing the audio-visual tour in the galleries.

Inside a miner’s locker

Me in the locker rooms, Pithead baths

We didn’t manage to see everything at Big Pit in the time we had and we were there for about 3 and a half hours and I am sure if it had been warmer and busier we would have needed even more time.  The kids definitely agreed that we will go back again and see everything

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