Explore the History at the Yorkshire Coal Mining Museum

The Yorkshire Coal Mining Museum is a captivating destination for history enthusiasts, curious minds, and families looking for an informative yet entertaining day out. Nestled in the heart of England, this unique museum offers visitors an opportunity to delve deep into the annals of coal mining, unraveling a history that spans over two centuries. In this article, we will take a comprehensive journey through the National Coal Mining Museum, discussing its pricing, tours, and exhibits, all of which contribute to a memorable and enlightening experience.

yorkshire coal mining museum
Image by LEEROY Agency from Pixabay

National Coal Mining Museum Prices

When planning a visit to the Yorkshire Coal Mining Museum, understanding the pricing structure is the first step to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. The museum aims to make its offerings accessible to a wide range of visitors, from individuals to families, and from students to seniors.

1. General Admission

  • Adults (16-59 years): £9.00
  • Concessions (60+ years and students with valid ID): £7.00
  • Children (5-16 years): £5.00
  • Children under 5 years: Free

2. Family Tickets

  • Family 1 (2 adults + 2 children): £26.00
  • Family 2 (1 adult + 2 children): £16.50
  • Additional children: £4.50

3. Group Visits

  • Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more, making it an ideal destination for school trips, historical societies, and other organized groups. It is advisable to contact the museum in advance to make arrangements for group visits.

4. Membership

  • For individuals and families planning to visit the museum frequently, an annual membership can provide significant cost savings. Prices for memberships vary based on individual or family needs.

It’s important to check the official website of the National Coal Mining Museum for the most up-to-date information regarding prices, as they may change over time. While the museum offers good value for the experience it provides, visitors can also explore various discounts, special events, and promotional offers that may be available.

Yorkshire Coal Mining Museum Tours

The Yorkshire Coal Mining Museum offers a diverse range of tours, each designed to provide a unique perspective on the history of coal mining. These tours take visitors on a journey through the different aspects of mining life, giving them insights into the working conditions, the lives of miners, and the impact of coal mining on the region. Here are some of the most popular tours offered:

1. Underground Tours

  • Main Tour: The highlight of a visit to the museum is undoubtedly the underground tour. Led by knowledgeable guides, visitors descend into the former Caphouse Colliery, a working mine until the 1980s. This immersive experience offers a glimpse into the challenging and often dangerous lives of miners. Visitors don helmets and lamps, stepping into the shoes of the miners who toiled underground for centuries. The tour covers various aspects of coal mining, from the tools and machinery used to the camaraderie among miners.
  • Adventure Tours: For the more adventurous and physically fit, the museum also offers tours that explore less accessible parts of the mine. These tours may involve crawling through narrow passages, making them unsuitable for those with mobility issues or claustrophobia.

2. Pithead Guided Tours

  • These tours focus on the above-ground elements of coal mining. Visitors can explore the pithead baths, winding engine house, and other surface facilities. Guides share stories of the social and industrial history of mining communities in Yorkshire, providing a comprehensive view of the region’s mining heritage.

3. School and Group Tours

  • The museum offers specialized tours for schools and organized groups. These tours are tailored to suit the age group and educational objectives of the visitors. They provide a unique opportunity for students to learn about history through hands-on experiences.

4. Nature and Heritage Walks

  • Beyond the coal mining history, the museum also offers walks that explore the natural beauty and heritage of the surrounding countryside. These walks can be a refreshing addition to the museum visit and offer insights into the broader history of the region.

In addition to the guided tours, the museum hosts special events and workshops throughout the year. These events often coincide with school holidays and provide an opportunity for families to engage in activities related to mining history, crafts, and more.

It is advisable to book tours in advance, especially during peak visitor seasons, to secure your spot and ensure an enriching experience.

Yorkshire Coal Mining Museum Exhibits

The heart of the Yorkshire Coal Mining Museum lies in its impressive array of exhibits. The museum has carefully curated artifacts, displays, and interactive exhibits that bring to life the history and culture of coal mining in Yorkshire.

1. Mining Galleries

  • The mining galleries showcase a remarkable collection of mining tools, equipment, and machinery. Visitors can see everything from the early hand tools used by early miners to the more advanced equipment of the industrial age. These exhibits provide a deep understanding of the technological progress in coal mining.

2. The Miners’ Strike Exhibition

  • This exhibition explores the history of the miners’ strikes in the UK, including the major strikes of 1972 and 1984-85. It offers insights into the social and political aspects of coal mining, as well as the hardships faced by miners and their families during these turbulent times.

3. Pithead Baths

  • The pithead baths were an integral part of the mining community, providing miners with facilities for washing and changing before and after their shifts. The museum’s exhibit on pithead baths is a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of miners.

4. The Winding Engine

  • The winding engine is a critical component of any coal mine, responsible for raising and lowering miners and equipment into and out of the mine. The engine at the Yorkshire Coal Mining Museum is a marvel of industrial engineering, and visitors can witness it in action during scheduled demonstrations.

5. Cottages and Colliery Houses

  • The museum also features preserved and reconstructed colliery houses and cottages, offering a glimpse into the domestic lives of miners and their families. These structures are furnished to represent different time periods, helping visitors understand the changing conditions of mining communities over the years.

6. Exhibits on Safety and Health

  • A crucial aspect of coal mining history is the evolution of safety measures and health standards. The museum explores this through various exhibits, showcasing the development of safety equipment, medical facilities, and the role of safety in the coal mining industry.

7. Temporary Exhibitions

  • The museum frequently hosts temporary exhibitions that focus on specific aspects of mining history, art, and culture. These exhibitions add depth and variety to the museum’s offerings, ensuring that repeat visitors always find something new and interesting to explore.

Visitors to the Yorkshire Coal Mining Museum can immerse themselves in the daily lives of miners, gain a profound appreciation for the hardships they endured, and witness the technological advancements that transformed the industry. These exhibits collectively paint a vivid picture of the history and culture surrounding coal mining in Yorkshire.


A day at the Yorkshire Coal Mining Museum is not just an educational journey through history but also an immersive and engaging experience. The combination of affordable pricing, informative tours, and a rich array of exhibits makes it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history of coal mining in the United Kingdom.

From the depths of the underground tours to the interactive exhibits that vividly depict the lives of miners, the museum provides a comprehensive and enlightening experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a student eager to learn, or a family looking for a unique and educational day out, the Yorkshire Coal Mining Museum has something to offer to everyone.

So, pack your curiosity, don a helmet, and embark on a journey to witness over two centuries of coal production and the indomitable spirit of the miners who made it possible. The Yorkshire Coal Mining Museum is a beacon of history and heritage, preserving the legacy of an industry that once powered a nation.