Booking Information

Making a booking

You can book a visit or can take part in a Virtual Workshop.
Virtual Workshops

All bookings must be made two weeks in advance. Phone (029) 2057 3650 to book. (Mon-Fri 9.00am — 4.00pm). We recommend that you allow at least 3 hours for your visit.

Once a booking has been made, you will be sent a confirmation and visit itinerary via email. Please check this carefully.

There is a maximum number of 90 per group per day.

You will be able to:

Visit the Pit Head Baths which houses four exhibition spaces and uses objects and images to tell the story of coal mining in Wales. Themes include children in the mines, health, home life and the mining communities.

Walk around the site, viewing the historic buildings (from the outside) and enjoying Blaenavon’s Industrial Landscape.

Walk through King Coal: The Mining Experience and look at modern mining equipment in the Big Pit Mining Galleries.

Charges for facilitated sessions

There is a charge for curriculum focused sessions led by Museum staff. There are four different prices (excluding VAT):

  • for sessions of up to 1 hour for up to 15 pupils - £40
  • for sessions of up to 1 hour for up to 35 pupils - £60

Special Educational Needs groups in Wales are eligible for free sessions.

We will send an invoice to your school after your visit. Advertised prices exclude VAT but most schools can claim this back from their Local Authority.

Cancellation

Cancellations received later than 10am on the day before a booking and groups that are late on the day and miss their session must still pay the full session price. If you cancel or amend your booking you may be charged a £25 admin fee. Please contact the booking office as early as possible if your circumstances change so that your place can be allocated to another group. Phone (029) 2057 3650 and leave a message on the answer phone - if the line is busy.

Please have the following information available when booking.

  • Name of your school / organisation
  • Address
  • Postcode
  • Phone number
  • Contact email address
  • Name of the teacher / group leader
  • Number of students
  • Age Range
  • Do any of your pupils have additional needs that we need to be aware of?
  • Number of Staff
  • Number of Pupils with Special Educational Needs

Opening Times

9.30am - 5.00pm. Last entry:4.00pm

Underground tours: 10.00am and 3.30pm. Last bookable tour is 3pm.

The underground tour is not available during some dates in January due to maintenance work. Please phone or check the website for further details.

Health and safety information

Although Big Pit no longer produces coal, it is still subject to the Coal Mines Act safety legislation. It is against the law to take smoking materials or incendiary substances underground. These include cigarettes, e-cigarettes, matches and lighters, mobile phones, watches and key fobs, calculators, radios, electronic devices and all photographic equipment. This 'contraband' will be collected by our guides before the underground tour and will be kept securely locked away on the surface until the tour ends.

You will find health and safety information to help you complete a risk assessment, as well as other information towards planning your visit,

here.

All groups of sixteen years or under must be supervised at all times.

Adult/child ratios:

  • Ages up to 8yrs: 1 adult / 6 children
  • Ages 8-11yrs: 1 adult / 10 children
  • Ages 11-16yrs: 1 adult/ 14 children

The above are based upon the ratios suggested by the DfES and necessary requirements for the underground tour. Group leaders should assess the risks and consider an appropriate safe supervision level for their group.

There is a group limit of 90 persons allowed on site at any time. Large groups like this will be asked to split up and visit different areas of the museum at different times. There is a limit of 15 persons per Guide for the underground tour. Don't worry about splitting your groups before your tour, this will be organised by a member of museum staff during your visit.

Visiting

A Visitor Coach Park is available for use. It is located adjacent to the drop-off point at the main visitor entrance.

Please note that in the interest of security, large bags and rucksacks cannot be taken underground. There are a small number of lockers in the pit top area, but bags should be left on the coach if possible.

Facilities for visitors with Special Needs

Big Pit National Coal Museum makes every effort to accommodate the requirements of visitors with special needs. Please contact us in advance to clarify what provision can be made.

Schools and group leaders must ensure that suitable arrangements are in place in order that appropriate supervision and assistance is available to pupils with special needs.

Physical mobility

Most areas of the site are accessible to all visitors, but due to the steep nature of some areas we recommend that wheelchair users and those with mobility problems are accompanied by an adult helper. There are uneven and gravelled surfaces in places. It is only possible for 4 visitors in wheelchairs to be underground at any one time.

Visual Impairment

The Mining Galleries includes an AV presentation with various light levels and colours. Museum staff are happy to allow visitors the opportunity to handle and touch a range of exhibits.

Hearing Impairment

AV presentations can be seen throughout the museum. Induction loops are installed in the exhibition areas.

Our Access Guide is available hereor by phoning 029 2057 3650.

Clothing and footwear

No specialist clothing is required for the underground tours< but we advise wearing suitable warm clothing and appropriate footwear.

On arrival

Coaches may drop and collect groups directly outside the visitor entrance. There is a coach park adjacent to the drop-off point. Please report to the reception desk on arrival and give the total group number to reception staff.

For the underground tour, parties are divided into groups of about 17. This will be organised by the guide who collects each group from the waiting room. Please do not split up your party in advance. The guide will also collect ticket stubs before leading the group to the Pit Top area for 'kitting up'.

Food and drink

An eating area is available on a first come, first served basis. This will accommodate up to 70 people for packed lunches. Picnic areas are available outside the Pithead Baths building.

The original miner's canteen at the Pithead Baths has a special menu which offers group discount price for groups, but must be booked in advance of your visit. The cafeteria takes last orders for meals at 3.30pm.

Toilets

There are toilets on all three levels of the site. These facilities are marked on the map. Please note that there are no toilets underground, so we recommend using the facilities in the waiting room area before proceeding to Pit Top with the guide.

Baby changing facilities are available on two levels of the site. These are situated in the coffee shop on the middle level and adjacent to the canteen in the Pithead Baths building.

Map

A map will be given on arrival at the front reception desk.

Photography

Photography for personal use is allowed in most areas on the surface of the Big Pit site, but there are some restricted areas. Look out for signs indicating where restrictions apply. Underground photography is not allowed by law.

Museum Shop

The shop sells a wide range of products such as small toys, books and postcards. Please help with supervision by ensuring that only small numbers visit at any one time. To save time during your visit, you can pre order a set-price goodie bag when booking:  £4.00 - Big Pit branded pen, pencil and eraser (or) wristband £5:50 – Big Pit branded notepad, pen, pencil and eraser (or) wristband  Please note that pre ordered goodie bags will need to be paid for by cash or card during your visit as we are unable to invoice for this payment.  

Museum guidelines

Big Pit retains many elements of a working industrial site and also displays historically important buildings and artefacts. We insist that all children and young people under the age of 16 are supervised at all times, including lunchtime.

The Museum reserves the right to ask groups or individuals behaving in an offensive or unreasonable manner anywhere on site to leave. Any group behaving in this manner on an underground tour will be brought to the surface and the tour ended to ensure the safety of all of our visitors underground. 

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the site.

Preview Visits

We encourage preview visits for teachers or group leaders wishing to familiarise themselves with Big Pit. Please telephone in advance if you wish to speak to the Learning Officer on the day of your preview visit.

The Big Pit visitor's guidebook contains further details of the Museum. This can be purchased in the reception and gift shop, or ordered in advance.

Underground

We may have to evacuate visitors from underground by a different route in an emergency e.g. as a result of power failure. If this happens, your guide will give instructions.

First Aid and Medical Needs

If you need First Aid attention, please inform a member of Museum staff who will contact a responsible First Aider.

Group leaders should contact the Learning Officer if any member of the group has any specific medical needs.

Fire

An alarm will sound in the event of a fire in one of the surface buildings. On hearing the alarm, your group should evacuate the building or gallery by following the signs to the nearest fire exit. You will receive instructions from a member of staff.

Lost Children

Please tell children that if they are separated from their group they should inform a member of Museum staff, who can find one of the group leaders.

Child protection policy

The museum’s child protection policy is available here.