As you will know if you’d read some of my other posts (Eureka, Cannon Hall Farm and Yorkshire Wildlife Park to name a few), the Roversi’s love a day out, and for the last few months, our little man has become a little obsessed with trains. With the National Railway Museum being only a 40 minute drive from our house, it seemed like a perfect place for our next family day.
Over half term, the museum had a few special events going on such as a Helter Skelter and Swing Boats, story-telling, the Needs for Speed Science Show and the Flying Scotsman was paying a visit too so it made it a great time to go. Entry is free however the car park is £9. Alternatively, you could make a day of it and get the train or the Park and Ride to the NRM too. I’m thinking that next time we go it would be nice to go into York too and do the Park and Ride, after all Little L also loves a bus ride! Stereotypical little boy I guess.
One thing I noticed about the National Railway Museum was that all the staff were really friendly and helpful. We were greeted at the door by a member of staff who gave us a map and a leaflet of the events going on in the day, there were also additional items that could be purchased for the kids, such as a sticker book and activity book. We declined this as L is still a little young for it but it would be great for the older kids!
As we walked down the stairs and were confronted by these huge locomotives, our sons face was a picture as he exclaimed “Mummy, Daddy! TRAINS!” before running of towards them. That’s how the next hour or so panned out as L ran from train to train with wide eyes. Obviously, he particularly loved the ones were he could go inside and was mesmerised by the medical train which has holograms of people in the train – very clever. I think Mini R thought they were real as he said “That man’s in bed, Mummy!” It’s a very interactive museum with lots of things for children to watch, touch, build and play with.
An under 5’s play area kept L amused for a good half an hour (he would have stayed in there longer if we had let him) where he could build a train, dress up, work in the train station and play with the little wooden train set…just like he has at home yet this was more entertaining apparently. They also had lovely information points around it with buttons to press that triggered a variety of sounds and information.
No trip to a Railway Museum would be complete without a ride on a train and we were lucky enough to get two: the miniature railway and the famous Flying Scotsman! Extra fees apply to these rides however, with the museum itself being free, it wasn’t an issue.
It was a fairly long track and the train goes round twice so it was great value for money. We waved at everyone as we went around and there were little things to spot as we went round which, thanks to our little guy picking the seats right behind the driver, he was able to point out to us. We also rode past the big version of the little train we were sat on which was cool. “It’s his Daddy” said L.
With the famous steam train, the Flying Scotsman, in town we had to have a ride on it. I’m not the biggest train spotter but I could appreciate how impressive this train is and I was amazed when the steam bellowed out of the front as it set off.
Again, L was just pleased to be on a train despite it only going half a mile down the train line and back. It cost £10 for the three of us and although the journey wasn’t long, it was a great experience and lovely to say we’d been on it!
There are several restaurants, cafes and tea rooms around the museum and also picnic tables if you want to take your own lunch. We treated ourselves to a cuppa and a cake in a tearoom as we planned to visit out favourite restaurant on the way home for our tea. I indulged in a Hot Chocolate with marshmallows and a scone, whilst L has a Babychino and a cookie and Mr Roversi had a coffee and a cookie.
Obviously we had to visit the shop before we left and, because L had been such a good little boy, we treated him to a new toy train. Typically his next move after buying this was to walk over to the Thomas the Tank Engine (one of those that you put a £1 in and it moves) and say “Get Out!” to the approximately 5 year old boy in there before pushing him so he few out the other side. I think we were all a little shocked and now, when I look back, it was quite comical. However, at the time, our little boy got the biggest telling off of his life , the new train got put in Mummy’s bag and he was made to apologise!
Our final experience of the day was watching the turntable talk and demonstration. The talk wasn’t too long so Lucas remained interested and it was really good for him to see as he has a turntable on his wooden train set but I don’t think he understood what it did!
All in all, we had a perfect family day. One of my favourite days of the year so far. I would definitely recommend a visit to the National Railway Museum, we’ll be returning in the future.
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Thanks for reading!