National Coal Mining Museum

August 20th, 2021 / / 4 Comments »

Underground Tours at the National Coal Mining Museum

Don a hard hat & miners lamp to ride the cage 140 metres underground to explore this old coal mine in Yorkshire.  In the company of a former miner, you’ll be able to re-live the life of a miner deep underground in this powerful 75 minute tour.  Take in the sights & smells of a world below as you start with a journey down to the floor of the mine using the original mine cage. Once at the bottom, you’ll navigate through a succession of twists & turns as you discover conditions for coal miners through the years in this Coal Mining Museum Tour.

TOP TIP; if you’re planning a trip to Yorkshire, remember our Lightwater Valley Cheap Ticket Guide to help you save time & money!


Free Entry to National Coal Mining Museum

Free Entry to National Coal Mining Museum


National Coal Mining Museum

This journey is brought alive by the lively tour guides & former miners; each guide brings his own unique perspective to the tour and makes for a compelling experience.  We’ve taken a few of these tours over the past few years and I honestly think these guides are second to none.  The guide adapts the tour to engage with the make-up of each group; children might be finding themselves shoveling coal, others maybe lifting machinery or crawling through confined spaces all coupled with tales from your guide of their experiences of working down the pit. In a sense we are the fortunate ones that can experience a contemporary look at the coal mines & take on board the harsh realities for the miners through the generations.

National Coal Mining Museum; More To See

1. Furnace Shaft; stand on the strengthened glass topped furnace shaft with a view 140 metres down to the bottom of the mine if you dare!

2. Little Diggers; a lovely under 5’s indoor area fully stocked with pre-school toys & activities complete with garden shed, slide & ball pool.

3. The Pit Ponies; visit the resident ponies, Eric, Ernie & Finn and discover the important role they played within the coal mining industry.

4. Exhibitions; for those interesting in learning more about the coal mining industry, check out the extensive collection of photographs, historic artifacts & exhibits.

5. Playground; small outdoor adventure playground  suitable for children 10 years & under.

Why not explore our English Heritage Cheap Membership Guide packed with promo codes, vouchers & promotions!


pit ponies at national coal mining museum

National Coal Mining Museum Pit Ponies


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. – See more at:

Underground Tours; Practical Information

1. For health & safety reasons, bags, battery operated equipment, (mobiles, cameras, key fobs, watches) nor smoking materials, (lighters, cigarettes) cannot be taken underground.  Small items can be left on site, securely locked away, until your return to the surface.

2. Each person undertaking the tour, will need to carry a 2 kg battery pack & lamp, throughout the tour.

3. Yes, it’s dark and space is confined underground so this won’t work for everyone but it’s worth it to get a sense of working conditions for miners through the generations.

4. There is a small charge in place for underground tours  and check whether tours now need to be pre-booked on the date of your visit.

our £2.50 will be used to contribute to the running of the Museum and the upkeep of the underground tour.  – See more at:

5. You can pre-book an underground tours.  Particular on busy days, underground tours can be fully booked by mid morning so to guarantee entry, it can be worth booking in advance.

6. Children must be 5 years & older for the underground tours.

LOOK OUT FOR; our National Trust Deals & Discounts Guide helps you to enjoy days out on a budget all year long.


 glass topped furnace shaft at National Coal Mining Museum

Are you brave enough to stand on the glass topped furnace shaft?


Please note that the battery pack required on the tour weighs 2kg and must be worn by all participants. – See more at:

National Coal Mining Museums; Picnics

There is ample space outdoors if you opt to bring a picnic.  There is an indoor picnic area, normally used for group bookings, but always worth an ask at the front desk to see if this area is free on the day of your visit.  There is also a large cafeteria on site that provides a selection of hot & cold food & drinks.

National Coal Mining Museum; Parking

Great to see that parking is FREE of charge at the National Coal Mining Museum.

Santa Down The Pit

For something a little bit different, look out for Santa’s grotto 140 metres underground!  A great chance to meet Santa, complete with grotto, underground and pick up a gift too.  This is a popular event, so book in advance to avoid disappointment.  Charges apply for this special event.


What do you think? Leave us a comment below!

Share your thoughts


  1. Colin Davies says:

    What a fabulous tour of the mine the people were exceedingly enthusiastic
    and friendly. The members of my party were impressed with the authentic
    recreation of a coal mine and came away with a greater appreciation of what
    750,000 miners did for the country after the war.
    I spent 12 years underground operating an AB doubled ended ranging sheerer, the visit bought back to the joy of working
    within a closed circle of men, the camaraderie had to be experienced
    to realise how glorious it became

    Bob was a our tour guide a real Yorkshire character,
    Tell Bob the measurements of ingress and egress didn’t
    stack up mathematically the conclusion .
    The ride down 140metres was perhaps exaggerated I
    think it more link 10 metres ??
    Great day out, thank all the staff for making our visit
    most enjoyable

    Colin Davies ex coal face machine operator.

    • Hi Colin, thank you for your positive feedback on your recent trip to the National Coal Mining Museum – always good to hear particularly from someone who has first hand experience of the mines. Many thanks, Liz

  2. Steve Drake says:

    One of the best attractions I have ever been to. I can’t believe you get to go down a real mine, in a real mine lift with real miners lamps. The retired miner guide was excellent. And it was free.

    • Hi Steve, I wholeheartedly agree with you – the National Coal Mining Museum is a little gem of an attraction! The guides really bring this setting alive don’t you think and I can’t believe it is FREE too!