TRAVEL REVIEW: Museum is a rail good way to have fun

York's National Railway Museum
York's National Railway Museum

Car or train? What a daft question when you’re travelling to the National Railway Museum.

Chugging from Sheffield to York is much faster by rail and heading to the station seemed a fitting start to our day trip.

Although I have to confess that the impressive locomotions waiting for us at the popular attraction made today’s trains look very dull.

There are amazing royal trains, decorated to a standard that goes beyond luxurious.

Velvet seats, bedrooms, deep baths and china cups that any palace would be proud of - train journeys certainly aren’t like that for us average folk.

Entry to the largest railway museum in the world is free and even if, like me, you know practically nothing about trains, there’s plenty to enjoy.

One really nice thing about the museum is the number of friendly Explainers on hand and keen to make sure they can help.

So if you have a question, whether it is a technical trainspotter type or just directions, they’ll have the answer.

There is lots to keep the kids busy and the museum always has extra activities on during school holidays.

Paddington Bear popped in during our visit so youngsters could have their photo taken with him.

But there was also a chance to dress up as Paddington, wang one of his wellies and hunt for his other furry friends.

We enjoyed our ride on the miniature railway and although it doesn’t go far, the kids were excited from start to finish.

If you fancy something a little more scary there is a simulator which demonstrates the white knuckle side of travel.

There is also a really good restaurant, ironic in a train museum today, where you can enjoy a platform feast.

This was our first visit to the museum and I had wondered if collections of trains would be enough to keep the kids interested for a day.

I needn’t have worried as they loved exploring and getting involved.

When they had finally had enough we jumped aboard the road train which took us to right outside York Minster.

So we even managed to squeeze in a look around the quaint Shambles, visit the market and see Guy Fawkes’ birthplace.

Then back on the train.

If only it could have been as glamorous as the engines of the past.