This weekend we went to one of my sons favourite places, The National Railway Museum in York. However this time was made even better by the fact that my youngest son is now walking.
In my opinion the NRM is one of the best free to enter attractions in the area, (note: there is a £9 car parking charge) there is just so much to do. So, if you are looking for something to do when the weather has let you down, I recommend you head here. Even for those of you who visit regularly, like us, it is definitely worth going back for another visit as the displays and engines change frequently so there’s always something new to do.
You will probably spend most of your visit in the main hall where the majority of engines are on display. These do change regularly as new items are added to the display that are swapped round with those on display at other museums.
There are around 100 out of 280 locomotives displayed at York at one time. One not to miss is the Mallard. It was built in 1938 and broke speed records for steam locomotives that are still unbeaten.
What appeals to the children the most here is that they can see inside many of the trains. Whilst some have steps to walk up so you can take a peep inside others are actually open so you can sit inside. They have everything dating back from the 1800s through to the late 20th century.
Also situated inside the Great Hall is one of a few cafes and gift shops. The prices are high, as to be expected, so we do usually bring a picnic (there are many benched inside and outside to sit to eat your own food). The gift shop does sell an array of lovely items though from bigjigs and Thomas tank toys through to merchandise for the Mallard and Flying Scotsman such as tea towels and mugs. If you do decide to enjoy a drink or snack from the cafe there is a lovely little children’s play area in the main hall that has been recently refurbished.
If you do manage to get the kids away from the big locomotives, then there are many more areas to explore.
All areas in the museum are accessable via stairs or lift so are wheelchair and pushchair friendly.
With the works, station hall and warehouse to also take a look at you could spend the whole day here. Make sure not to miss out the station hall. This is my favourite area where the royal coaches among other things are displayed. There is also another quaint cafe situated here between the carriages.
Outside there is a lovely play area (weather permitting). I didn’t think we were going to get the boys away from here. There is also the miniature railway ride (£3 per person).
Not to miss on your visit:
- Great Hall
- Station Hall
- Indoor Play Area
- Model Railway
- The Mallard Experience (charges apply)
- Outdoor Play Area
- Miniature Railway (charges apply)
- The Turntable Demonstration and Talk
- The Viewing Platform (to see trains coming out of York station)
Review Score 9/10
For the adults:
Newly opened is the Countess of York, a beautifully restored carriage offering Afternoon Tea. Bookings can also be made for evening meals, private events and weddings.