The National Railway Museum

Posted: August 29, 2009 in Ramblings

Billed as “the world’s largest railway museum,” this one is certainly very large and involved, and yes, it’s larger than Steamtown, which is the largest one I’d ever seen before that time.  We got here before it opened so that we could maximize our museum time.

Starting out in the back, we saw the red locomotive that serves as the Hogwarts Express.


hogwarts logo

Inside there were, as you might imagine, loads of exhibits, all very well-done.  Here is the logo on the side of the locomotive Winston Churchill.


This next picture was the following picture on my camera’s card, so I assume it’s the interior of the Churchill, but I can’t be certain.  We saw so much and I didn’t make any notes, so…I can’t promise anything here.


Then we went back out and rode the miniature railway.

miniature railway

From here we went back inside and wandered around some more exhibits.  I got separated from the boys here, so I took some pictures of the roundhouse area.

inside 1

inside 2 

inside 3

inside 4

This is the Rocket, a pioneer of trains!

After a total of about four hours here, we rode the little “open-air bus disguised as a train” back to York Minster.  The area was scenic enough, so we wandered about for a bit and Chris spotted this little monument tucked in the trees.  It’s a very old-fashioned looking monument, but if you enlarge it you can see that the statues carved in it are all WWI-type soldiers!


There were no real plans for the afternoon, so after a quick lunch at an Italian restaurant (which was nothing like an American Italian restaurant – for example there were red peppers in the meatballs!) we had to run to PC World and use one of their computers to log in and pay our Amex bill.  We shopped a bit, including buying new t-shirts for all of us who were running out of laundry, and then drove up through the moors to Whitby.

The plan by this time became “have fish & chips in Whitby for dinner” but Whitby, being a seaside town, was packed, packed, packed with pedestrians and cars, and it was nearly impossible to get through the town, let alone find a parking space.  Hasty plan revisions led us to a new plan, “Drive back through the moors and have dinner in York.”

We did just that, also stopping in a very, very small town called Goathland.  Ant wanted to see this town because it’s where the Hogwarts end of the train journey is filmed, and because a show called “Heartbeat” is filmed there.  (We never heard of “Heartbeat.”)  The boys all got an ice cream from a ticky-tack shop and we stepped around some sheep to get back to the car.  I wish I’d taken pictures of the moors.  I want to live there.  Nicely desolate.

Tomorrow, Cambridge in the sweltering heat!

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