A Day Out at the National Railway Museum-York

National Railway MuseumA Day Out at the National Railway Museum-York

It’s May and it’s raining…again. Like many parents out there, we find it a struggle to keep the kids entertained when the weather’s cold and blustery outside. Not another soft play I hear you cry. I’m with you on that, there’s only so many slides and ball pits I can cushion my tush on. Ouch.

One of our favourite ‘go to when it rains’ places in Yorkshire is the National Railway Museum (and I’m not even a train lover-London living for 11 years saw to that) but this museum is utterly wide eyed fascinating for all the family and it’s FREE.

There are literally hundreds of rail vehicles in the museum along with outdoor open train ride for when the sun finally shines and you arewide-eyedstep on board the futuristic Japanese Bullet Train indoors along with other trains you can walk on. Oliver, ten times on, still asks me why the trains aren’t moving and never fails to make others on board laugh when he pretends to be the ticket collector and asks for their tickets!


What is so enthralling is how you can get close to over 300 years of train history in York’s only National Museum by exploring their giant halls full of trains and railway legends including the majestic Duchess of Hamilton and the stunning opulence of the Royal Trains.

I know that’s how I would have liked to have travelled! We also love the gallery there, showcasing train art and posters along with suitcases, birdcages and confectionery machines of old dotted around the museum.

You can even watch engineers at work in The Workshop, uncover hidden treasures in The Warehouse and make tracks to the outdoor area where there is outdoor play along with miniature railway rides.

Every weekend and in the school holidays, kids can enjoy a fun filled programme of events, including science shows, storytelling, steam rides, craft activities and special events so do check out the website to plan your visit. 

The May Half Term 2013 is animal themed enabling to discover all things furry, scaly, feathery, and fluffy, and how they relate to our railways. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about working railway animals, the creatures that were transported on the rails, and even the creepy-crawlies who were secret stowaways! I’d strongly recommend the museum to all!


Photographs ©Peter Broadbent.

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