National Railway Museum – Wizard Week!

National Railway Museum

Wizard Week 11- 19th February.

Firstly, I need to apologise profusely for a much overdue review of a lovely day out.  Sorry, National Railway Museum in York.  I am a bad blogger.

Choo choo!

Right, so beginning at the beginning…..Sis and my two nephews, plus my two little munchkins, all went to the National Railway Museum to see what Wizard Week had in store for us.

We piled into the car at about 9.30am and drove over the hills and fields, through Harrogate and on to York.  Very pretty scenery, although the kids were too busy babbling to each other to notice I suspect.  My eldest nephew threw up in a plastic bag which was lovely, and my daughter started complaining of feeling pukey shortly afterwards.  Luckily Darlek didn’t chuck after all, and miraculously the car didn’t reek of horrible stuff, so the journey was in fact quite pleasant.

When we arrived, the kids were so excited!  In fact Sausage was so excited he walked at full pelt into a lamp-post and cried for a while.  No harm done though, and we got into the museum fairly promptly.  I was a bit unnerved to see people queueing out of the door, but the museum itself didn’t look too jammers.  You could still easily wander around without bumping into people, but the queues for some of the activities were a little lengthy.  That’s only because the place is so popular though I have to add, obviously word has got around that this museum is excellent.  And I say that completely seriously too, it is.  If you want a good all round family day out, I don’t think you can do much better than this!

Wave! We're off on the mini steam engine!

The star of the show was definitely the ‘Wizard Express’ – this was the steam train that was used in the Harry Potter films and you could even ride on it if you could cope with standing in the rain at the end of a substantial queue.  We were getting wet and the kids were getting fractious so we made do with a go on the mini-steam train above which they loved!

Used for transporting Muggles for a change.

There was so much to do, and so much to see, it was hard to fit it all in, doubly hard because of the volume of visitors.   We didn’t manage to find the Owl Display at all, I think it might have been in one of the halls we didn’t find time to fit in, but then again I didn’t see any signs pointing to the display either?  Maybe it was just me being blind or something though.

The kids made their own ‘Wizard ID Badges’ which was a great idea in principle, although I have to say they were bog standard ID badges that you added your own wizard pics and comments to.  It would have been nice if they’d been more customized with the wizard theme I think.

Derek the Dragon puppet chatted happily with the fascinated kids, and our four loved listening to him telling tales about the steam engines.  I gave up trying to watch or listen to the Wizard Duelling performance though,  simply because the crowd was just too big.  I couldn’t see or hear properly what was happening, although my nephews and my two shuffled as close to the front as they could to see what was going on and seemed to enjoy it.  We didn’t see the The Magic Hatter at all, not sure how we missed him, and we also missed out on the Science Behind Harry Potter talk because that was on a different day which was a shame.

It’s all sounding slightly negative, in fact it isn’t.  It’s just the National Railway Museum has obviously got so popular that the numbers of visitors has become an issue. The main draw was probably the Wizard Express, I should think that attracted many, many more visitors than usual.  The last time we came here as a family there wasn’t as many people, and so it was quicker and easier to get around and see the sights.   But then, I guess, the NRM would like as many visitors as possible to see their beautifully maintained steam trains, and who can blame them!  The weather didn’t help either.  Usually our kids would have spent a while playing outside in their very well maintained, safe and up to date playground.  As it was, it was tipping it down so we came inside as soon as we could.

Lastly we had our photo taken by these lovely people!  I would appreciate it if you could blank the slap headed woman in the background here. Dunno who she is! (honest…cringes)


I’d definitely recommend a day out at the museum, but I’d certainly arrive earlier to get there before the masses if this visit was anything to go by.   I think this week was the victim of its own success.  It was so well publicised, and had so many top class attractions it attracted too many people I think.  I wonder how many people left with the same impressions as me.  Having said that, the museum is free entry, it’s fun filled, chocca with things to do, the staff are unfailingly helpful and friendly, and of course it has fabulous trains there!  I feel terrible even mentioning anything slightly negative.  We are so lucky to have free access to museums like this.  I say go if you can!  You will enjoy it I’m sure.

Please do have a look at their website to see if there are future events you’d be interested in going to.  They are obviously working very hard to cater for all ages, steam enthusiasts and families. National Railway Museum – York. <<<  Click here.

We were given free passes to all the activities on offer, and had lunch provided.  No other financial reward was given.  This is a sponsored post.  We had a lovely day out, many thanks to the National Railway Museum! :O)


2 responses to “National Railway Museum – Wizard Week!

  1. Which day did you go? We went on the first Saturday of half term and because there was still lying snow on the ground, it wasn’t all that busy. And we also arrived around the same time, as we too travelled from Lancashire. There was a queue for the train, but we got on the next one, just. We’ve been lots of times recently but we whizz around most parts of it. Still, I have never found it TOO packed. You must have been unlucky.

    • We went on the last day which was a Monday. The queue for the train would have meant they had to get through about 4 trainloads before they got to us I think. I think the snow maybe put a lot of people off and as there was no problem with it on that day, I think loads of people turned up. I wonder if any other bloggers went on the same day as us, I’d be interested to see what they thought. It was a great day out though, just busy that’s all.

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