Welsh Mining Experience

Southeast Wales

Until its last pit closed in 1990, the Rhondda Valley was synonymous with coal mining. That industrial heritage is celebrated within the buildings of the Lewis Merthyr coal mine, closed in 1983 and now the Rhondda Heritage Park. The highlight is the 40-minute Black Gold Experience (bookings advised), where you don a miner's helmet and lamp and, accompanied by an ex-miner, descend to the coalface. The commentary vividly recreates mine work, hammering home the social impact of the coal industry.

Other displays include recreated domestic interiors and shops, and a sobering section on the Tynewydd Colliery disaster of 1877. Upstairs there's a cafe and an art space.

The mine is located just off the A4058 in Trehafod, between Pontypridd and Porth. There are regular trains from Cardiff Central station to Trehafod (£4.60, 35 minutes), from where it's a 10-minute walk to the heritage park.

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