The Big Pit

Price guide: Free

Blaenavon, Pontypool, NP4 9XP

Price guide: Free

Big Pit
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By Dave Jenkins, your Cardiff expert

#4 of 20
expert-rated things to do in Cardiff
Expert overall rating:4.8 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Backpackers / Students, Culture vultures, Families with teenagers, Families with younger children, First-time travellers, Art, Design and architecture, Great views / scenery, History

Expert review of The Big Pit

A UNESCO recognised celebration of Wales’s most significant industry.

A genuine original working coal mine, and exhibition of mining artefacts and machinery through the ages, Big Pit is actually a 50 minute drive out of Cardiff. But it’s more than within reach of the city for a superb day out for families and beyond. Plus Cardiff wouldn’t be half the city it was without the coal industry.

An underground tour is blatantly the highlight of any Big Pit visit. A tentative mineshaft ride takes you 90 meters underground into an authentic coal face that miners over a sweated at over 100 years ago. I’ll never forget my first visit as a child; they advise everyone to turn their headlamps off for the truest sense of pitch black you’ll ever experience.

The Pithead Baths exhibition of miners’ life and the historic buildings are a very well displayed window into a gruelling lifestyle that’s long since passed. From blacksmiths yards of the 1870s to the computerised engineering systems of the 1970s, it’s an incredible insight into an industry that Wales has lost but never forgotten. You’re guaranteed to leave hear in awe of history’s hardest working class.

Price advice: 

Big Pit is free to enter.

Expert tips: 
There’s a lot to take in, and guides last 50 minutes so don’t arrive any later than 2pm to really appreciate the museum.

More information on The Big Pit:

Price guide:
Historic site, Museum, Tour
Blaenavon, Pontypool, NP4 9XP
+44 1495 790311
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Open every day from 9.30-5pm. Underground tours are open from 10am-3pm.

Have you been to The Big Pit? Would you recommended it?