Meet a Miner
Get kitted out with your hard hat and battery lamp then step into the cage to descend 140m underground to discover the harsh realities of coal mining through the centuries.
Led by our lively former-miner guides, our 'Meet a Miner' tour will take you on a journey through time to discover the different ages of mining, from Victorian times where women and children worked underground alongside men, through to pit ponies and modern machinery. Hear all about your guide's working life and experiences in the mines. What’s more, the displays on this underground tour were recently updated as part of our Making Sense of Mining development project - see if you can guess which display is modeled on your guide!
Please note: We regret that under 5s are not able to go underground.
If you are a teacher and are planning on bringing your class, please click here to find out more about our underground tours for schools.
Go Mining! interactive tour
Families are invited to get ‘hands-on’ as they discover even more about the lives of coal miners on our new Go Mining! interactive tour. Experience genuine sights, sounds and smells of a working coal-mine, find out how horses were once kept underground; feed, muck-out and learn how to put their bridles on in the new underground stable area and much more!
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Led by ex-miners, these hugely popular tours will give you a vivid insight into the dangers and hardships faced by the men, women and children who toiled underground. Take a tour and, before you go underground, stride out over the Lamp Room’s new glass-topped Furnace Shaft and peer down 140m - right to the bottom of the mine! Visitors going below ground can also gaze from the bottom up as they start their underground tour experience.
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Not going underground? Our new furnace shaft is still available to view, please ask at reception on the day for details.
Both of our underground tours are subject to availability, please ask at reception on the day or call 01924 848 806 for tour dates and times.
Underground visit policy
In line with health and safety regulations, we are required to keep a register of visitors entering and leaving the underground areas of the Museum site. This is being done by using the traditional system of ‘mine checks’.
If you are going on an underground tour, you will be asked to purchase a ‘check’ for the refundable cost of £3. This enables us to track who is underground at any given time.
If you decide to keep your check as a souvenir of your visit, your £3 will be used to contribute to the running of the Museum and the upkeep of the underground tour.
As a charity, Gift Aid is an easy way to help us maximise the value of our donations. If you Gift Aid your £3 'check' for the underground visit, we can reclaim tax from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) currently at 20 per cent. This means that for every £1 donated, we can claim an extra 25 pence. We thank you in advance of any donation you wish to make which helps the Museum to ‘Keep Coal Mining Alive’.
If you have any questions, please do ask a member of staff on the day of your visit.
The tour lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. As this is a real coal mine, warm clothes and sensible, flat shoes are recommended. All children (under fourteen years old) must be accompanied by an adult. Children under 5 years of age are not permitted on the underground tour.
Contraband items, including cigarettes, lighters and battery or electronically operated equipment, must be left with an attendant in the lamp room during the underground tour. Please note that the battery pack required on the tour weighs 2kg and must be worn by all participants.
The last underground tour is at 3.15pm each day. You can book in for a tour at Reception on arrival but please note that during school holidays we advise you to arrive early to book your places, as the tours are often all fully booked up by midday. Alternatively, you can book in advance - see below.
To view the Museum's Access Statement, please click on the link to the right.
We take advanced bookings for two of our underground tours a day, 1.30pm and 3pm. These can be booked by telephone (01924 848 806) Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm, at least one day in advance of the date of the booking. There is a £5 booking fee for this service. Please note that for the rest of our underground tours which are free, visitors book on arrival at the Museum.
To secure a booking for a group during school holidays, we recommend that you take advantage of our group booking service. There is a £20 booking fee for this service, regardless of the size of the group and the booking should be made by telephone (01924 848806) as far in advance of the visit date as possible.