Last but definitely not least, the Big Pit National Coal Museum was my final stop during my trip to South Wales where I also took in the Caerphilly Castle and Blaenavon Ironworks. Armed with only a flash light and gas mask, this offline, underground experience is the best way to fight your IG habit/addiction and really just enjoy the moment.
It’s half subterranean exploration, half stand-up comedy. The guides/ex miners had me cracking up so much I nearly fell down a pit shaft, but that could have been the lack of oxygen!
Aside from being an interesting location to visit, the stories are really touching and the guides manage to paint a vivid picture of what life was like for the 100s of people who spent most of their working day underground.
Claustrophobics beware! It’s dark, it’s damp, it’s cold, and did I mention it’s really dark. Not being a big fan of small spaces myself, I still felt comfortable and enjoyed exploring as the tour kept a good pace.
The mine might be an impressive 138 years old, but the seabed rock in one tunnel dates back 300 million years – now that’s what I call historic.
Not only was our guide, whose nickname was “Lucky”, a charming storyteller and fact machine, but the whole group of ex-miners were adorably joking around and defusing any last minute stress you might have being plunged into the darkness. It wasn’t much but seeing their enthusiasm and family-type bond was something special that I won’t forget anytime soon.
Have you headed deep underground before?