Region: North West

Disabled Facilities: No

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: North Pennines Heritage Trust, Nenthead, Alston, Cumbria CA9 3PD

Contact: 01434 382037



Nenthead Mines, is a fantastic interactive museum dedicated to both showing and telling the 'story' of the mineral mining past of the North Pennines. Prepare to launch on a voyage of discovery at Nenthead Mines, learning more about the people, places, tools, lifestyle, and legacy of the mining industry that at one time completely dominated the landscape of the North Pennines!


Why is this venue great for School Trips and Educational Visits?

At Nenthead Mines visitor and education centre, near Alston in Cumbria, the Trust has developed a 200-acre site with a wide range of exhibits, attractions and facilities for groups to experience


Activities include:


The Power of Water Exhibition

Showing the workings of the water wheels at nenthead.


Carr's Mine

Carrs level is part of an extensive underground network of tunnels and workings around Nenthead from which miners extracted lead and, later, zinc over a period of at least three centuries.


Mineral Panning

School pupils will have lots of fun while they pan for minerals.


Brewery Shaft

The Site consists of a complex water powered compressed air system.  Over the last few years, the Trust has conserved the remains of the site and allowed access to the Brewery shaft building and shaft head itself which is now enclosed in a timber extension.


The Smelt Mill Complex

The smelt mill at Nenthead was constructed in 1737 and was in
production for almost 160 years. By the time it closed in 1896 it had
grown to 6 ore hearths, 1 slag hearth, 2 reverberatory furnaces, 2
refining furnaces and 1 de-silvering house.


What does a typical school trip or educational visit include?

We cater for an extensive range of subjects and key stages aiming to help teachers and educators deliver the National Curriculum through a creative and cultural educational approach.


What size groups do they cater for?

Concessions are available for groups of 10 people or more - booked in advance


What can they provide you with to support your school trip or educational visit?

Please contact us regarding support and workpacks.


Can you take photos, video or audio? Are there any copyright restrictions?

Yes photos, no restrictions.


How do you arrange a risk assessment?

Please contact the education department for pre risk assessments.


Call: 01434 382037 or e-mail:


What are the contact details for their education officer?

Please contact the education department for pre risk assessments.


Call: 01434 382037 or e-mail:


What does it cost?


See link regarding costs:

(Concessions are available for groups of 10 people or more - booked in advance)


Is specific clothing required?

Dependant on weather conditions, sturdy shoes advisable for external tour in mines.


Do you have first aid on site?

First Aid on site, please provide first aiders within your groups.


What facilities do they have for school trips and educational visits?

• Café & Shop selling souvenirs & provisions

• Picnic Area

• Self guided trails

• FREE Car & Coach Parking


Bunkhouse Accomodation

The bunkhouses are situated within the Nenthead Mines Heritage Centre, a Scheduled Ancient Monument. In the 19th century it was one of the largest lead and silver mining and processing areas in the country. This is an ideal location to explore the dramatic North Pennine area, with walks and the C2C cycle route passing the door, as well as the opportunity to visit the Heritage Centre (Open April to October).


Assay House Bunkhouse

The assay house was the laboratory of the Assay Master, whose job was to analyse ore samples to determine their lead and silver content, and thus set the prices paid to the miners. For 2007 it has been converted into a bunkhouse, sleeping up to 12 people in double bunks, in two upstairs bedrooms. There is a kitchen / dining room downstairs. The bunkhouse is fully heated, has hot water and showers, and a small kitchen / dining room on the ground floor


Mill Cottage Bunkhouse

In the 18th century it was part of the home of the smelt mill manager. For the 2007 season, the bunkhouse will sleep six in the upstairs bunkroom. Each bed is styled like a ship’s cabin bunk with curtains across for privacy and a small internal light and shelf. The former downstairs bunkroom has been converted into a sitting room / dining room.

The bunkhouse is fully heated, has hot water and showers. There’s a small kitchen, with a washing machine and tumble dryer


Booking Information

The rates are £12 per person per night and the bunkhouses are open all year. Bedding is provided (duvet, pillow & sheets). Please note that we can’t guarantee sole use of the bunkhouse for your group unless you arrange this with us in advance. The bunkhouses are open all year.


Bookings can be made through the Heritage Centre:




Telephone: 01434 382726 or 01434 382294

A deposit of 50% is required to confirm a booking.

Please make cheques payable to: North Pennines Heritage Trust.

Meals, including breakfasts, are available from the local pub, the Miners Arms, telephone 01434 381427. Please note that breakfast must be booked in advance, and the pub would appreciate advance bookings for evening meals, especially for groups.


Are there disabled facilities?

Please contact us regarding your specific needs.


What are your opening days and hours?


See link:

Age of Children / Pupils: Pre-school 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years College University

Type of Visit: Environment Centres Green Awareness Historical Heritage Museums Outdoor Education Science & Technology

Curriculum Topics Covered: Art and Design Design and Technology English Engineering Environmental Studies Geography History ICT PE PSHE Religious Education Science

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December