The sights and sounds – and smells - of the country park couldn’t be more different from those in the mine. On the surface you’ll hear the birds overhead, see the wind in the trees, enjoy the fresh air. In the mine, you’ll find it difficult to see very far in the dim light, the roar of the fans ventilating the tunnels are the only sounds, and the mine smells damp and musty.
In Apedale Valley, you can enjoy the countryside and experience life as a miner. This former industrial valley has been reclaimed by nature, and you can explore the trails in the extensive country park, and enjoy far-reaching views. In the heritage centre, you can learn about the miner’s precarious life in a fascinating exhibition, and go on a tour of the original mineworkings with an experienced miner as your guide. This is one of the few places in England where visitors can go underground in a real mine. The coal face is reached on foot by a sloped tunnel, rather than a vertical shaft. Wear warm clothes and strong shoes – even in summer, the mine is cold.