York Railway Museum Review - A Free Day Out

York Railway Museum has always been on my list of places to visit but for one reason or another we have never made it so when I knew we were staying in nearby Scarborough for the week, I planned a trip into our holiday.

The National Railway Museum is free to visit and 90% of it is indoors meaning it's a fantastic place to visit all year round. City centre parking can be a bit of a nightmare at times so we opted for the park and ride at Rawcliffe Bar which was super convenient for the A19 and only £2.90 return for grown ups (2 children travel free per adult). Bargain! The bus will drop you right outside the museum door. 

There is so much to see and do at the museum - you are given a timetable of events on arrival so it is probably best to plan your day around this if you can. I think you could easily spend a good 6-7 hours exploring everything there is to do here.

Lots of trains to explore in The Great Hall

We loved the turntable demonstration and learning why they are used.

You can walk underneath some of the engines.

Quite a few people were more prepared than us and had brought a packed lunch - there are seats and benches dotted around where you can sit and enjoy your sandwiches. There are however quite a few options for lunch (you can even enjoy afternoon tea inside a carriage). We decided to stop at The Mallard Cafe and our lunch was spot on! Home made and delicious. The kids enjoyed the normal sort of packed lunch box you would get from this place and our lunch was less than £30 for the 5 of us so not massively expensive.

Pulled Pork and Asian Slaw

Homemade sausage roll and piccalilli

After lunch it was time to discover more - there was a feast for all of the senses as we could smell various smells, dress up, play and enjoy fantastic views of the actual railway and York Station below us.

My favourite part was probably the Station Hall and if my children weren't getting a little tired by this point I could have spent hours here taking photographs. It is like stepping back in time looking at the vintage trains and signs. 

We spent 4 hours at the train museum and only touched on everything there is to do. If you are taking your children on holiday or visiting North Yorkshire, I would definitely recommend a trip. I still can't believe entry is free!



  1. Ahhh, good memories - we visited the museum a couple of years back but we had such a good there it feels like only yesterday. I really should write it up some time as I took a million photos that day too, hehe.

    Such a fantastic day out, especially considering it's free though we bought the photo guide book thingy as a way to donate - made a fab souvenir!

    We would go back in a heartbeat (and probably will next time we're up that way). I don't even think you need to particularly be a train fan even, there is so much history and story-telling there, it's an all-around experience.

    I agree, it's well worth a visit if you're in the area :)

  2. My Dad used to take me there all the time when I was a little girl! It is such a good day out!

    Katie x


  3. My dad loves trains so we visited at least once when I was younger but haven't been back for years - I'm sure my daughter would love it too.

  4. My boyfriend is a huge train geek and we have been talking about going here so thank you for sharing this. It does look fab!


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