The National Coal Mining Museum announces a ‘Smashing Summer’ at t’Pit

A ‘Smashing Summer’ is on offer for visitors to the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield.

The Museum is already well known for its unique Underground Tours of Caphouse Colliery – the only place in England where the public can visit a real coalmine. During 2017 the Museum has also been welcoming visitors to enjoy a varied programme of original events and special exhibition commemorating 70 years since the Nationalisation of the coal industry.

From 1st August the Museum is delighted to welcome visitors to its brand new Adventure Playground which has been several months in the making. The site next to the Museum has been extended and landscaped and now includes a range of exciting new activities with pride of place being given to a Zip Wire which has been constructed to look like a pithead wheel.

Shaun McLoughlin, Head of Engagement at the Museum comments “We’re so pleased to be on target to complete the new Adventure Playground in time for the school holidays. It’s a real addition to the underground tour experience and other attractions at the Museum and we are sure will be a big hit with visitors of all ages. The Adventure Playground is free to use so families are welcome to let the kids run off steam during their visit to the Museum. As we already offer free parking and free admission to the Museum we believe it makes us an even better value attraction for visitors, especially over the Summer when entertaining the kids on a budget can be challenge.”

The Museum has also announced a busy programme of original events and activities starting on Saturday 22nd July and running right through until Sunday 3rd September. With a nod towards the 1940s when Nationalisation of the coalmines was introduced, the Museum is commemorating seaside holidays of yesteryear with the ‘Seaside at t’Pit’ a FREE Giant Sandpit which can be found at Hope Pit. The ‘Seaside Special’ train will be carrying visitors up to Hope Pit where visitors can enjoy the following Seaside-themed activities

• 22nd/23rd July Funfair

• 29th/30th July Sand Sculpture Workshops

• 5th/6th Aug Punch & Judy Shows

• 19th/20th Aug Crazy Golf

• Bank Holiday 26th/27th/28th Aug Funfair

• 2nd/3rd Sept Circus Skills Workshops

Monday – Friday all Summer FREE seaside-themed family craft activities n.b. some activities will carry a charge

There will also be a themed Beach Hut for visitors to Hope Pit which will be selling summer food and ice creams.

Shaun comments “The team have been working really hard with our partners Huddersfield Food Festivals and Asparagus Green Catering to create a quirky seaside experience at the pit. There’s going to be plenty to see and do whatever weather the British Summertime brings us!”

Another unique partnership at the Museum involves Martin Harris and Jayne Nicholson, a Yorkshire based couple, bringing their Blacksmiths business to Hope Pit. Based in the Blacksmith’s Forge, Martin and Jayne will aim to showcase traditional crafts, as well as producing a range of hand forged items to be sold in the Museum shop. They will also be carrying out important conservation work on the Museum’s collection and running demonstrations for visitors. Visitors to the Museum over the Summer can visit the Forge at Hope Pit from Wednesday to Sunday.


For press information, photography and interview requests please contact Shaun McLoughlin at the National Coal Mining Museum for England on 01924 848806; email:

Editor’s notes

• The Museum is free admission
• Some individual events will incur a charge
• Free car and coach parking
• Opening hours: 10.00 am – 5.00 pm daily except for 24-26 December and 1 January
• Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times
• Please arrive early to book onto an underground tour, as at busy periods tours are often fully booked by midday
• Temperature underground is 12C; we strongly recommend warm practical clothing and sensible flat shoes. Unfortunately, children under five years old are not permitted on the underground tour
• Indoor play area for children under five
• NEW Adventure Playground opens 1st August
• Disabled facilities include level parking, ramp and disabled toilets with accessible underground tours which can be arranged by prior arrangement

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