In December, my parents were in York for the Christmas markets so because I'm only an hours drive away, I decided to meet up with them for a night. The idea was to spend a day visiting the Christmas markets, having lunch and dinner out and go back to the hotel and have a catch up. That we did but unfortunately there wasn't exactly much to see when it cam to the Christmas markets. In comparison to Manchester and Edinburgh, the York Christmas markets were very poor. There was one bar and a lack of actually Christmas things on the stalls. In Edinburgh, when we went last year, there was even a Christmas tree maze! None of that in York which was a bit disappointing. So on the second day we took a trip to the National Railway Museum which my Grandad assured us would be good.
I didn't really think about taking my camera with me so I ended up having to take photos on my phone, which didn't really come out all too well. Despite the lack of Christmas in York, it was nice to see a couple of pretty decoration at the museum. The museum is free to enter but, if you wish, you can make a donation or there are guide books you can buy. My mum decided to donate £10 for the three of us but the lovely cashier refused to let us carry on into the museum without taking a book for the money. The staff were so pleasant to meet. Good first impression.
The first thing we came to was the royal trains used by the royal familt for what must have been the last 100 years or so, I can't quite remember right now. How very posh they were indeed! I mean, who has a bath on the train, and a full double bed. These people and their luxuries, eh? But seriously, the detail in each of the trains was amazing. You could literally live on the carriages and never at home! What I noticed most was how not much changed for the royals of the years, except the odd advance in technology, like a telephone. Each train was a beautiful piece of machinery. Clearly fit for a king of queen!
What made the museum great was all the little extra bits of detail. The walls were covered in train signs and traditional advertisements. Even the cafe had train-like booths you can sit in. There are areas where you can sit and get photos as though you are on one of the upper class carriages and everywhere, you can see bits of memorabilia. Past the trains of royalty, is the pathway to the engine room, or warehouse. The pictures I took didn't quite come out but I've never been in such a huge rooms absolutely full of trains and engines from all different periods. I was massively dwarfed by every single one of them! The Eurostar included. You can take a ride of the Mallard experience train, watch the Flying Scotsman being restored, visit an exhibition on Ambulance trains and the list was endless. If you really want to, they have their own library full of books all about trains for you to do some research.
At the very end, or beginning depending on which route around the museum you decide to take, we came to what seemed to be a collectors shop. The place was absolutely crammed full of even more memorabilia! Everything for door bells, to chairs, to miniature models, and I think we ever saw a toilet at one point. I could be mistaken. Most of it seemed to have a price tag on so we couldn't figure out if the stuff was for sale or if it was just their value. Although I wouldn't have thought putting a value on something was a good idea if it wasn't for sale. I said to my mum that I would be surprised if there wasn't anything to do with Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Express around, and my luck would have it, just above my head was a Platform 9 3/4s sign. Of course I had to get a picture of that! Such a good place to take kids as well, lots of big trains to be amazed at and during nicer weather, there's a kids play area out the back and a mini train ride!
It was a lovely day out and a nice pick me up after the disappointing markets, sorry York. I absolutely love York, and so do both my parents, but I think it's probably best to go at another time of year. Possibly when it's not as cold and the streets are taken up by huts, that way you can see the beautiful old streets as they are! It was great to be able to see my mum and dad again as well. It was a much needed break before the end of the semester at uni! Too bad I couldn't stay for a second night and do some more exploring on the third day. Instead I had to get back to do more work and rehearsals. That's life at uni I guess!
Have you visited York?
- KC xx