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The most highly rated free museum in the UK is in Wales

11 Dec 2023 3 minute read
Picture by fromthevalleys (CC BY-ND 2.0)

With more than two million families struggling financially in the UK according to Unicef, it’s no surprise that a third of all parents are worried about the cost of activities to keep their children entertained ahead of the upcoming Christmas school holidays.

To ease the burden for parents, a new survey has identified 46 of the highest rated free museums and galleries across the UK, according to Tripadvisor data.

The survey officially ranked the top 10 – and The Big Pit National Coal Museum in Torfaen claimed the top spot.

The former working mine is a perfect museum to visit with kids, offering an educational and interactive experience that can be both enjoyable and informative for children. With 2,882 total reviews on Tripadvisor, an impressive 2,588 are five star reviews; a 90% difference making it the highest rated free museum to visit this winter.

There was also good news for St Fagans National History Museum which secured a place in the top 10.

Ever imagined what life was like for the men, women and children who worked deep underground? Big Pit was once a working mine, and today the museum has former miners on hand to share their stories and history.

A working coal mine from 1880 to 1980, it was opened to the public in 1983 as a charitable trust called the Big Pit (Blaenavon) Trust. By 1 February 2001 Big Pit Coal Museum was incorporated into the National Museums and Galleries of Wales as the National Mining Museum of Wales.

Visitors can experience what it was like working on the coal face and travel 90m in a ‘cage’ to the pit bottom with a guide. There’s more to see above ground in a multi-media tour of a modern coal mine with a virtual miner, historic colliery buildings and exhibitions to explore in the Pithead Baths.

You can also take part in workshops, where the Big Pit’s Learning Team will guide you through 300 million years of Welsh history.

Big Pit (Credit: Lacu Schienred, WikiCommons)

Survey methodology: Sarah Connelly, Finance expert at Cashfloat analysed 46 free UK museums and galleries across the UK, having referred to multiple seed lists including The Guardian, National Geographic and Visit London. Review data was then collected from Tripadvisor including total number of reviews, number of 5* reviews and overall star rating. A percentage ratio of 5* reviews out of all reviews was calculated to provide a final ranking. Data was collected in December 2023.

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Not free
Not free
7 months ago

It’s not free tho is it £5 parking then another £5 to guarantee you can take part in the underground tour!

Same as St Fagans £6!

7 months ago
Reply to  Not free

Not to mention the almost non-existent public transport that many poorer families will need to use since they cannot afford to run a car.

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