National Railway Museum York

During the first week of the Easter holidays we coincidentally all had the same day off. My mum was looking after Rhianna my niece, so we decided a day out was in order.  We all bundled into the car and went to the National Railway Museum in York for the day.  

I’ve been before when I was younger but never as an adult so didn’t really know what to expect, apart from a lot of trains.   For those of you that don’t know it is located really close to the station in York so you can either get the train there or you can drive as they have their own car park too.  The car park is £9 but you have until 6:30pm so you could go for a look around the museum which is free and then go into York itself on their little shuttle train thing, much cheaper than parking in York itself.  The museum is open from 10am-6pm every day, apart from the 24th, 25th and 26th December. 

By the time we had got Rhianna ready to go and actually made it to York, she’d decided she was hungry so our first stop was straight to the Dining Car Restaurant.  This is located between all the royal carriages and you can either eat in the Victorian inspired dining car or relax in the 1920’s lounge. There are tables in between these two areas too and these are equally lovely to sit and eat at as it is just like being sat on an old station platform surrounded by the beautiful trains and old fashioned detailing like the lights and the beautiful props placed all over the museum.  

The food isn’t cheap, I’d say it’s priced as you’d expect in a free museum, but it was worth the money.  Rhianna & Luca had macaroni cheese which was served in cute little individual enamel dishes and my mum and Ant had homemade sausage rolls. All were demolished fairly quickly and everyone said it was delicious.  We finished it all off with a cookie and a cuppa.

Once we’d all eaten we then went to explore. We discovered that as it was Easter there were plenty of free activities going on for the kids. Rhianna loved this and made herself some 3D glasses and went on a mystery hunt around the museum. We looked at lots of trains, went onto the footplate of a steam train to hear all about how they work, sat inside a bullet train (which are huge), saw the famous Mallard and the Royal carriages plus lots more. 

My mum was absolutely in her element as her Dad (my Papa) was a train engineer so she knows pretty much all there is to know about trains. He fixed the Mallard a few times and also worked on the Flying Scotsman. One of my mums proudest moments was when she helped to drive the Flying Scotsman when she was at work with my Papa one day. Unfortunately that wasn’t there the day we went as it is currently being repaired.  
I thought about my Papa the whole way round the museum, he loved his job and this clearly rubbed off on my mum, but I wish he could have been there to see his Great Granddaughter as she also loves trains and listened to everything my mum could tell her about them. He would have been so proud of them both.

 We also managed to squeeze in a quick play on the playground which is lovely and there are plenty of picnic tables too for a picnic in the sun on a nice day.  We had a ride on the miniature railway, which costs £1 per person and although is only a very short ride, 5 minutes max, the kids absolutely loved it.

As we got there late in the day we did miss out on lots of the activities they had on offer.  During the school holidays it is definitely somewhere that you could spend the whole day.  Even if you went on a normal day you could spend the whole day in York.  Park in the car park, wander around the museum and take the shuttle train into York as I mentioned above, there is so much to do in York you’d be hard pushed to find yourself at a loose end. 

We will definitely be visiting again, just with a few more hours to fill next time.

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