Visit Southern Wales

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Archive for tag: National Coal Museum

Is this Wales' best attraction?

Big Pit National Coal MuseumThis has got to be one of my favourite attractions in Wales. It's the Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenavon. It tells the story of the coal mining industry throughout the Southern Wales valleys.

The highlight of the visit is the underground tour. Take a ride in the lift to the bottom of the pit where you'll get an appreciation of what the men, women and boys who worked down here had to endure in years gone by.

If that's not enough for you, speak to your guide. They are all genuine ex-miners and as well as taking you around the pit, they'll also tell you of first hand tales of what life was like for them underground.

Oh and the best bit - it's all free.

www.museumwales.ac.uk/bigpit

Easter Ideas 2 - Big Pit National Coal Museum

Big Pit National Coal MuseumThe Easter holidays are now well underway and with the glorious sunshine here in Southern Wales it's time to get out and about. 

Last week's Easter Idea was a trip to Techniquest in Cardiff Bay.  Today we head North out of the capital city and into the Southern Wales Valleys and to the Big Pit National Coal Museum at Blaenavon.

The award winning museum is easily one of the best attractions in Wales.  There are plenty of opportunities to explore the restored pit head baths and exhibitions on the surface but the real highlight is underground tour. 

Head to the lamp room to be kitted out in your helmet and lamp and then step inside the cage for your journey for the 300 feet journey to the bottom of mine.  Your guide around the pit will be an ex-miner who will be able to tell you first hand stories of what life was like for them and their colleagues working underground.

Entry to the museum is free and is open 7 days a week.  More information can be found here.

Remember, if you do visit, tell us what you thought of it by leaving a comment below.

Blaenavon - World Heritage Site

BlaenavonAt first it might not be obvious what links the town of Blaenavon with India's Taj Mahal, Australia's Barrier Reef or the Great Wall of China. In fact all these places (plus another 886 around the world) are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The status of World Heritage Site is given to an area or monument which is considered to have had a significant historical impact on the world. Blaenavon was awarded its World Heritage status in 2000 in recognition for the role it played at the forefront of the industrial revolution.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth century the town became one of the biggest and most important coal, iron and steel producers in the world. Find out more about the past at the town's World Heritage Centre, Big Pit National Coal Museum or the Blaenavon Ironworks museum.

Today the area is thriving and is popular with tourists eager to find out more about its past. The town's high street is also popular, lined as it is with many independent retailers selling local crafts and produce.

Try some of the fantastic Blaenavon cheese, which comes in a range of weird and wonderful flavours - Cider and Onion Marmalade, Mustard Leek and Ale or for a bit of bite try Anadl y Ddraig (Dragon's Breath), a hot chilli cheddar.