I last visited the National Railway Museum in York as a kid – so, yes a while ago. Don't remind me. We had hoped to do it on our last visit a couple of years ago but ran out of time. So it was on the list for this visit which is why we found ourselves on the Coastliner bus again, not feeling entirely 100% - can't imagine why, at some hideous hour (mid morning!) heading once again into York.
With the bus stopping at York railway station and the museum just behind (who’d have thought it!) there was minimal excercise required before we were at the entrance. There is no admission fee – so it already gets high marks in my book – but donations are encouraged.
Spread over mainly two halls there are some wonderful exhibits to nose around, of interest to casual enthusiasts and rail buffs alike, and it’s not all about steam either. Diesel powered locos get a look in and you will find electric locos too.
The Evening Star is here – the last steamer to be built for British Railways. A massive ‘Bullet Train’ loco from Japan stands out and there is some great rail related artwork including a wonderful depiction of Waterloo station in the 1960’s by Terence Cuneo. It’s massive at over 6 meters wide and 3.6 metres high. Ask one of the guides to point out some of it’s otherwise hidden features.
There is a miniature train ride for kids of all ages outside and there are a number of options to fill your belly whilst emptying your wallet too. What you wont find here is the famous Flying Scotsman at present as, since it's restoration it is now able to travel around the country, but nevertheless the National Railway Museum is a great place to visit.
The loose plan was to have an evening in and throw something at the mercy of the little Cadac but a after a snooze and a freshen up, dining options were re-evaluated.
A menu in the information folder from the Agar Arms in the nearby village of Warthill drew the attention of the Portly Partner - that's Trev to the uninitiated. Pub favourites looking very good value and a hand written note indicating best bitter at £1.80. Yes, you read that right. Of course we went to check it out.
A lovely location and not ten minutes drive from our pitch at York Caravan Park we were not disappointed, although the beer was now a whole £2.00/pint. Scandalous! For the record it was Samuel Smiths Oak Cask Bitter - I've had it before and it's a nice pint. Moreover the food was good honest pub grub and the service was friendly and prompt. We had a pint, main and dessert each and the bill was less than twenty-five quid all in. Excellent value and well worth a visit. Again, apologies for the manky pics but I didn't think I'd be needing the DSLR for a trip to the pub!
Sunday brought with it another trip into York on the bus. We were to meet our friends for lunch later but wanted to have an amble around hopefully grabbing a few decent photos on the way.
I'd decided to capture as many pub signs as I could and there are twenty five in the collage below - all from within the city walls:
A little cafe by the Minster seemed a very agreeable place to stop and refuel. A proper pot with china cups and a lovely back drop. Very civilised.
Our friends Neil & Dave had made their way across the river and into the city and we met them for a pint at the Kings Arms. Given it's proximity to the river it's eminently sensible that the 'cellar' is in the roof, so normal service can continue at times of flooding.
The unanimous opinion was that it was still too early for lunch so we decided to take a cruise up the Ouse (clever eh!). Ok, at 45 minutes it was hardly a cruise but it was very pleasant - I like river trips becuase you do get a different perspective on a place.
Our nearest bus stop was just across the Lendal bridge at the railway station and we decided to head that way as the boys could get a taxi there easily too.
The York Tap was an interesting looking bar so, in the interests of research we decided to take a look. Wow. Quite apart from the fact that it was immaculately kept and a lovely place in which to enjoy an ale or two, there were twenty, yes twenty handpumps and plenty of ales that have yet to pass these lips. We stuck to the one, sadly but sensibly, and it's most definitely on the list for a return visit.
Right, here we are again. Stand by the final part and our last two days in York coming to an internet connected device near you soon.
Cheers for now
Rich & Trev