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Top 5 Railway Museums for Children

30 June 2023

Railway museums are a great place to take your children for a fun and educational outing. They can learn about the history of trains and railway travel and see some fantastic trains and carriages up close. Here are five of the best railway museums in the UK for children.

National Railway Museum

The National Railway Museum is based in the historic city of York and is a must-visit for any children who like trains. They have some of the world’s most famous trains on display, including Mallard, the world’s fastest steam locomotive, and a Japanese bullet train. 

With lots of fun and exciting exhibitions, it's a great place to learn about the history of railways and how they work. The museum also offers free entry - donations are welcomed - which makes it an affordable day out for families. There are plenty of activities and workshops for kids to get involved in the exhibits and a play area for the youngest ones. 

Head of Steam, Darlington

Head of Steam in Darlington is a great place to take children for a day out. It is located at the world's first steam-powered passenger railway, making it ideal for children interested in trains. There are many exhibitions and events suitable for children, and the staff are always very friendly and helpful. Halloween and Christmas are particularly special times to visit the museum, as there are many extra events and activities. Note: the museum is closed for major works in 2023, due to reopen in 2024 as part of the Darlington Rail Heritage Quarter. 

Glasgow Riverside Museum

The Glasgow Riverside Museum based on the River Clyde is the purpose-built new home of Glasgow Transport Museum, and train-related displays and activities are abundant. There are lots of interactive displays and touchscreens, which help to keep children engaged. Explore real trains and the tall ship located just outside, which features a play area for the under 5s in the cargo hold. There’s something for everyone, with every form of transport you can think of covered, and best of all, it’s completely free to visit. 

North Yorkshire Moors Railway Museum

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway Museum is another fantastic railway museum for children. It offers workshops and tours that teach children about the workings of a steam railway. The museum also holds special events for Halloween and Christmas, which are always popular with kids. In addition, the museum has lots of children's events and activities throughout the year, making it an excellent place for kids to learn about railways. So if you're looking for a railway museum that's fun and educational for children, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Museum is worth a visit.

Bressingham Steam Museum

Bressingham Steam Museum in Norfolk is a great day out for all the family. Take a ride on the four narrow-gauge steam railways around the beautiful gardens and surrounding fenland. Visit the locomotive sheds and see the collection of steam engines up close - as seen on Channel 5. Children will love the historic Gallopers merry-go-round, while parents may be interested in the Dad’s Army Collection on display. There truly is something for everyone.

Railway museums are a great place to take your children for a fun and educational outing. With lots of exhibits, interactive displays, and events all year round, they're sure to enjoy themselves. So if you're looking for a day out that's both educational and entertaining, be sure to check out one of these suggestions.

Photo by andrea nonni

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