First museum on our museum trail tour of York was the National Railway Museum, a wise choice on a rainy/snowy day!
Disabled parking spaces are outside the entrance to the museum, unfortunately they were all taken but when speaking to staff at the admissions desk they let us know that drop-offs can be made at the main entrance. You can then park in the main car park and collect a token for free parking inside the museum. By the time I made my way back outside a space had become free but handy to know the information for next time.
There are automatic doors into the museum and it is all level access. The road-train which takes you to and from York Minster also picks up/drops off outside the entrance. Although we didn’t travel on the train, we could see that the last carriage had a disabled symbol on the door.
The museum asks for a suggested donation of £5 per person for entry into the museum which seems very reasonable.
We first made our way into Station Hall, it’s an immediate ‘Wow!’ from everyone, an immense hall with gleaming steam trains on view.
There are level and very wide ramps to access all areas of Station Hall. The floor is very smooth and well maintained so no stumble hazards. There are small steps or ramps onto the trains which are open for viewing, the space is a little tight inside them and it was very busy!
The steam train and miniature railway rides are accessible from Station Hall, we didn’t make our way onto these as it was so wet but they looked like great fun. Tickets for both the steam train and miniature railway rides are £3 each (a carer can travel free with a disabled visitor). A family ticket for 4 on the miniature railway is £10.
We then made our way across to the Great Hall. Access to this is via 2 flights of steps, or 2 lifts which we used as Emily was tiring after walking round Station Hall and getting on and off the trains. Again another ‘Wow!’ when walking in.
There are disabled access ramps onto some of the trains which can be walked around, such as the Japanese Bullet Train (very space age despite being built in 1976!).
Others are too high up to be accessed by a ramp, so Emily needed loads of help up the steps (such as onto the Duchess of Hamilton) as they were quite wobbly. The tracks embedded into the floor in the Great Hall created a slight stumble hazard for Emily so she needed extra help around this area. We are working on Emily looking down when walking but she was just too excited!These tracks wouldn’t create a problem for the Maclaren Major (MM), a buggy, mobility scooter or wheelchair.
The Ambulance Train is fully accessible and actually has a disabled lift tucked away at the side in camouflage, make sure you search for it! It’s an amazing exhibition with digital projection, light and sound.
The cafes in both halls are fully accessible with loose chairs. Disabled toilets are available around the museum. There are wheelchairs available free of charge at both entrances. There are plenty of places to sit and rest while admiring the view!
The shops also have level access, although care needs to be taken around the displays and breakables when a bit wobbly after a busy time!
NRM is a great way to spend a few hours sheltering from the rain, and if you’re lucky enough to visit on a dry day there’s plenty to do outside as well! Lovely friendly staff and most areas fully accessible.