National Coal Mining Museum

National Coal Mining Museum for England

The National Coal Mining Museum for England sits just west of Wakefield and is easily accessed off both the M62 and M1 motorways. One of Yorkshire’s best family days out, the National Coal Mining Museum incorporates the two pits – Caphouse and Hope. Admission is Free to this fun packed and informative attraction which brings the history and heritage of coal mining alive for children and adults alike.

A highlight on the complex is the 140 metre deep underground tour (also free!). The NCM is a superb hands on interactive museum where kids can get involved, meet the pit ponies, take rides on the mini train and learn from interactive mining exhibits. The NCM is also home to one of the most extensive mining archives in the country, with on-site library and numerous mining artefacts on display including photography, badges, banners, posters and documents. A comprehensive tour of Yorkshire’s mining heritage starts right here at the National Coal Mining Museum in Overton near Wakefield.

Visiting the National Coal Mining Museum

The National Coal Mining Museum recommends allocating at least 3 hours for a visit but you could easily fill a whole day in this fun packed and informative family attraction. Hosted and explained by ex-miner guides you’re sure to learn something about the real experience of mining and the lives of miners. In the past the two pits on the complex – Caphouse and Hope Pit were connected underground. The underground tour is down Caphouse, whilst Hope Pit is home to numerous historic pit buildings with exhibits focusing on the science of mining and how this smaller pit worked.

The history of mining is explored in-depth and looks back at the hard days when men, women, children and pit ponies worked down the mine. The two pits here at the NCM are located on the western edge of the Yorkshire coalfield. Evidence suggests that this colliery was mined as far back as 1789. On-site exhibitions include the Mining Lives gallery with recreated 1940s Mining family kitchen, exhibits on surface workers including women and children and numerous artefacts relating to Mining unions, sport, galas and brass bands in the mining community. Find out just how hazardous mining has been over the years in the Coal Interface gallery. This gallery also explores mining practice worldwide and the environmental impact of the industry.

Tour the pithead baths and meet the friendly pit ponies. A cafe, picnic area, museum shop, adventure playground, under 5s play area and mini train are all on-site and events and exhibitions run throughout the year.

Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.