Tuesday, 26 August 2014

National Railway Museum, York

Sooner or later every small child seems to have a phase of being obsessed by trains. I assume this happens to little girls too. When it does, you can do worse than get yourselves to the National Railway Museum in York. It is free to get in, although there are lots of opportunities to spend money once you are in.

The highlights include many large steam engines, including the record breaking Mallard, a replica of the Rocket, a Eurostar, bullet train and various royal trains. There are also some impressive model railway layouts, which my son was very excited by. You can go on a Mallard simulator, which recreates the 1930s record breaking speed attempt, for an extra charge. You can buy a children's guide and spend lots of time in the large shop full of train related goodies.

Outside there is a large play area for 3-8 year olds and a ride on model train (extra charge). There are inside and outside picnic benches, and during the school holidays there are a series of hands on activities to take part in, some of which also have an extra charge.

There is plenty of in house catering to choose from. We sampled the Mallard cafe which provides surprisingly good quality drinks, snacks and lunches in the middle of the Great Hall, surrounded by steam engines.

Round up
Cafe latte price: £2.75 for a large one in the Mallard Cafe
Favourite cake: Choc peanut butter brownie for £2.95
Child friendly highlights: Big trains, small trains, trains in the playground, kids lunch boxes in the cafe
Buggy friendy: Yes
Parking: Come by train or park and ride

Although free to get in, the extras can mount up quickly, but this can be a full day out for train enthusiasts of all ages.

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