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Visitor Information

The only Scottish lead mining museum

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Lead mining here dates back to the 17th Century. It stopped in 1956. Take a glimpse into the past by visiting the lead mining museum and see how miners and their families lived from 1750-1920.

Opening Hours 2023

The museum has closed for the winter.

We re-open to the public in Spring 2024.

You can still contact us on

Please check the news section for updates


Visitor Information

What to Expect

The circular guided tour usually takes about 75 – 90 minutes. The paths are well maintained.

From the Visitor Centre you will walk a short distance to Lochnell Mine. Helmets are provided. The mine is generally dry underfoot, but may be muddy at times and the roof can drip water. Walking shoes are recommended. The temperature is usually about 8 degrees C, so warm, showerproof clothing is advised.

A short walk to Straitsteps Cottages passes the Beam Engine. You will be guided through the three eras.

The guide will bring you back to the Miners’ Library. This is up a slight, tarmacked incline.

You will then be guided back to the museum.

The order of the tour may change at busy times.

Getting Here

By car, we are just under an hour from Glasgow, an hour and a half from Edinburgh and just over an hour from Carlisle.

Directions from M74 (approx. 15 mins)
Directions from A76 (approx. 15 mins)

Directions from the M74
Your junction number from the M74 will be determined by the direction in which you are travelling. If you are travelling northbound on the M74 then use junction 14.

If you are travelling southbound then leave at junction 13. The Museum is well signposted from both junctions.

Directions from the A76
To reach us from the A76 Dumfries to Kilmarnock road, check out the map and you will see the junction for Wanlockhead (B797) is just outside the village of Mennock, two miles from Sanquhar.

This route will take you through the spectacular Mennock Pass, as it climbs up to the village.


There is dedicated, accessible parking alongside the museum.

The on site museum car park can be full at busy times. Additional parking is available a short distance away. It is signposted on the right at the junction of the road passing the museum with the B797. There is space for Coaches to park at the ‘Additional Parking site’ approximately 200m from the Visitor Centre’


Museum of Lead Mining welcomes all.

• Wheelchair access to the Visitor Centre and Tearoom
• Free parking
• Designated parking for disabled visitors
• Accessible toilets next to Visitor Centre with Baby changing facilities

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information on accessibility.

Dog Policy

We are happy to welcome dogs to the Museum of Lead Mining, but we would ask that the following rules are respected:-

  • Dogs be kept on a lead and under adult control at all times and should not be left unattended. This includes in parked vehicles that are on the museum site.
  • The owner shall clean up after the dog if there is any mess. Dog poop bags are available at Reception.
  • That you take care around our other visitors who may be less comfortable around dogs.
  • Dogs, excluding service dogs, are not allowed into the Visitor Centre (includes the Gift Shop and Tearoom), The Miners’ Library, Straitsteps Cottages and Lochnell Mine.
  • The dog may not go through the food facility in the tearoom. There is a pathway to the patio dining area. Please ask if the direction is not clear.
  • Dogs are welcome in the outdoor dining areas as long as they do not create a sanitation nuisance and you make sure that your dog is well-behaved and on a leash.·      
  • Sheep roam freely through the village and surrounding land. Please respect the Scottish Outdoor Access Code

With regard to dogs the Scottish Outdoor Access Code says:

Access rights apply to people walking dogs as long as their dogs are kept under proper control. Your main responsibilities are:

Farm animals:

  • Never let your dog worry or attack farm animals
  • Don’t take your dog into fields where there are lambs, calves or other young farm animals
  • If you go into a field of farm animals, keep your dog(s) on a short lead or close at heel and keep as far as possible from the animals
  • If cattle react aggressively and move towards you, keep calm, let the dog go and take the shortest, safest route out of the field


  • Don’t take your dog into fields of vegetables or fruit unless there is a clear path, such as a core path or right of way, and keep your dog to the path

Ground nesting birds:

  • During the breeding season (usually April-July) keep your dog on a short lead or close at heel in areas such as moorland, forests, grasslands, loch shores and the sea shore to avoid disturbing birds that nest on or near the ground

Recreation areas and public places:

  •  Avoid causing concern to others by keeping your dog close at heel or on a short lead

Dog waste:

  • Pick up and remove your dog’s faeces if it defecates in a public open place

Health and Safety

Your safety on site is very important to us. All staff have received basic First Aid training and First Aid equipment is available at each building in the museum complex. There is an automated external defibrillator (AED) outside the WC block.

  • The museum has full public liability insurance.
  • Our staff inspect Lochnell Mine each day before tours commence.
  • Lochnell Mine is regularly inspected by HM Inspectorate of Mines
  • There is an Emergency Plan. In the unlikely event of the plan being activated, it is managed from the Reception Desk by the Duty Manager.


Wanlockhead and the surrounding area is both a a Site od Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is scheduled as an Ancient Monument in relation to the historic lead industry. As such permission is needed from Historic Environment Scotland and the land owner to enter any of the mine workings or to dig for mineral specimens. Mine workings are dangerous and must not be entered without permission or suitable training and experience.

Map Key

– Lead Mining Museum & Public Toilets
– Miners Library
– Straitsteps Cottages
– Lochnell Mine. (Access along footpath opposite museum)
– Study Centre & Overflow Parking
– Goldscaur Cottage (Archive & Office)
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