National Railway Museum York - Free entry

National Railway Museum York - Free entry

Found 1st Apr
Discover 300 years of history and 1,000,000 objects that changed the world in the UK's largest railway museum. York open 10am - 6pm | What's on
Locomotion open 10am - 4pm |
See Flying Scotsman in action throughout 2018 THE NATION’S FAVOURITE LOCOMOTIVE
Mallard Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, in 1938 Mallard broke the world speed record for steam locomotives, a record that has never been beaten. Built in 1938, she hauled express passenger trains on the east coast mainline until 1963.
The 'Chinese Engine' Eurostar Duchess of Hamilton
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It's a great place to visit for free, but what's the actual deal?
RUSSt3 m ago


Seems to be a problem with your keyboard?
Been free for years.
But you have to go through a turn style where they try and mug you for a donation
It's a great place to visit for free, but what's the actual deal?
Original Poster
M_z57 s ago

It's a great place to visit for free, but what's the actual deal?

RUSSt3 m ago


Seems to be a problem with your keyboard?
Been free for years.
Original Poster
Thats why it on the freebie section fantastic day out for kids and adults
But you have to go through a turn style where they try and mug you for a donation
Original Poster
only a mug will say yes lol
Wonderful place.
Took my son when he was 10
He DID NOT want to go.
I couldn't drag him away at the end.
Had to promise him a quick return
But the above is correct in how they try to shame you out of a "contribution"
Edited by: "PhilK" 1st Apr
Original Poster
PhilK1 m ago

Wonderful place.Took my son when he was 10He DID NOT want to go.I couldn't …Wonderful place.Took my son when he was 10He DID NOT want to go.I couldn't drag him away at the end.Had to promise him a quick return

i have been twice taking grand kids soon its for them you understand lol
Whist free there there is a suggested price on entry...which can choose to ignore if you wish
I've been a few times with grandson,yes they have turnstiles but never felt shamed into making a donation or not, maybe because I think it's worthwhile so don't mind paying something.
its annoying that you have to q to enter just so they can try and guilt u into donating they make enough profit in the shop and food places and all the little extras u pay for, rides etc
Brilliant place, 100% recommend
Been free for many years, although they do push for 'donations' upon entry. I would always donate anyway, but don't like the way that they expect you to donate by their pushy nature.
Last time I went I gave them a fiver, wasn't sure if they thought I was tight or not. I think I'd rather it be a minimum charge of say a fiver then I wouldn't feel so guilty and such a cheap skate like my brother calls me.
Original Poster
Envelope. For a donation would be best i think
RUSSt2 h, 53 m ago

only a mug will say yes lol

Why would you be a mug if you said yes and donated?
All go in for free then without donating and when it closes in a couple of years time, you know why.
Love this place, been going since i was 12 and at 36 i still get excited to go when i can. My partner wasn't up for going the first time, but in the end i had to drag her out of the place and she always wants to go back. As for donating i have no problem giving some £ and spending a bit in the cafe as well, i agree they are pushy and make you feel like it's not optional. That said a whole day out for what you pay is still a bargain.
duke4 h, 13 m ago

But you have to go through a turn style where they try and mug you for a …But you have to go through a turn style where they try and mug you for a donation

You should try South West Trains; they just rob you...
Just out of interest how much is the suggested donation?
As you can walk straight out the back of York station and into the museum I've visited this place several times while waiting for connecting trains. Its great - well worth a visit. They ask me to donate every time - I can't blame them - and I usually give them the price of a sandwhich and a coffee.
This has always been free!!
I was literally there just yesterday!!!! Loved it!
Fuzzybear781 h, 1 m ago

Just out of interest how much is the suggested donation?

I'm not 100% sure but £5 per adult springs to mind.
What i tend to do is if I'm going I'll always park in their car park and pay to park it is 9 quid but I don't feel as tight then
spoonta28 m ago

I was literally there just yesterday!!!! Loved it!

Were you chuffed you went?

I'll get me coat
Parking isn't free if you use their car park. Was £7 per car last time I went (about 8 years ago)
The NRN is part of the Science Museum group of museums, all are free. All are brilliant! NRN won European museum of the year on 2001. Car park is really expensive as are all the extras (kids railway, food, etc.) but they have to make their money somehow and I think it's run by volunteers.
If the car park was free you would really struggle to park due to it being so close to the centre of York.
I went last week and can't remember going through turnstiles.

I wasn't made to feel guilty for not donating but we paid for the extra rides and coffees / hot chocolates e.t.c so they make money that way instead.

Well worth a visit!
As above, we went last Easter and got the guilt trip.

I just said we'd just paid to park and would buy something from the cafe.

Our young kids didn't enjoy it, so glad we didn't pay
There’s no bloody turnstiles. They don’t ask for money. Drop boxes around museum for voluntary donations.
I went on Saturday. No turnstiles and just a small queue to get in despite being Easter weekend. They informed me that the suggested donation was £5 but I didn't experience any pressure to pay this. Would recommend to first timers to not pay the donation at the door but instead use that money to do the extras available. It's £3 for adults and £2 per child to go on the steam train and the train bus which travels to the Minster. The miniature train ride is also about £2. You can currently build a Flying Scotsman model for £2. The express train simulator is £3 if I remember correctly. Parking is £10 per day. But for those on a tight budget you can have a good half day or longer out if you go to all the shows without paying for any of the optional extras. The science show is good for those with primary school aged children. There's plenty of picnic tables inside and outside too to take your own food if you don't want to pay for their more expensively priced food. Highly recommended.
Edited by: "meryl1" 2nd Apr
I took my girls then aged 13 and 8 last summer. They moaned and groaned at the thought but they absolutely loved it. Teenager was fascinated by the hospital train, how many injured soldiers 1 nurse had to look after in miserable conditions amazed us all. Ended up a cheap weekend really as we also went to the Minster and Jorvik centre, both tickets are valid for a year so we're back again soon. Oh and they moaned about both of them as well but loved them too, they can't wait to go back!
pugit66612 h, 25 m ago

Why would you be a mug if you said yes and donated?

Too many people have a freeloader mentality. A local beauty spot near me is entirely free, and you can spend a day there, but you should hear the moaning about the £5 for a whole day's parking. It costs money to have well maintained and safe places to visit, so people should feel proud they are making their modest contribution.
It's free, but I spent a ton in.the gift shop before closing time last year. I'm going back this year to finish seeing what I ran out of time to see.
I was a member of staff that left the museum 12-18 months ago. I felt like I should clear up some of the confusion in this comments section. I'm not saying anything special but I feel like I shouldn't be posting this so throwaway account it is:

- The museum is and always will be free. There are absolutely no plans to charge for an entry any time soon. All national museums are free as far as I am aware.

- The Science Museum Group as a whole has had to make a greater push for donations over the past 5 years as government funding has been reduced significantly (cut back by millions per site). This means that the museum staff ask for a suggested donation of £5 per person upon entrance. If they didn't, they'd simply have to close down.

- Museum staff do not guilt trip people into donating, and are specifically told not to do so. Upper management are well aware of negative feedback on TripAdvisor where some visitors have complained that they felt overly pressured by the museum staff to donate. They have taken this into account and have made clear to staff that the visitor experience is more important to the museum than donations.

- If you feel pressured to donate by a staff member, that is entirely the staff members' fault. Though we do try our best to be as nice as possible. When you don't want to donate, just say you'll do it on the way out, as many visitors often do.

- You have to queue for entry. This is so staff can give you a sheet of information about the day's exhibit timings and a map of the museum campus. Management know that many people hate queuing for a free museum, but it's even more chaotic when the vast majority of visitors return to front desks for information that we could give you upon entry. So please be patient with the queue.

- Queuing also helps the museum get more donations.

- There's no turnstile anywhere in the museum. Multiple commenters have said that the site has turnstiles but it definitely does not.

- Donations are entirely optional. All proceeds from all retail, ride, car park and exhibition purchases go back to the museum as far as I'm aware. Food and catering is contracted out to another company. The museum does not itself set the prices for the catering outlets. As far as I'm aware, proceeds from the catering outlets do not feed back into the museum.

- If you have any problems, just talk to a member of staff. They're some of the nicest people you'll ever meet; and Duty Managers will always do their best to help you out.

- Honestly, don't feel bad if you can't afford to donate. A good recommendation is more helpful to the museum than anything else. What use is a museum that no one visits?

- Car parking is a flat-rate fee for the entire day because the car park barrier system doesn't support a time based charging format. That said, it's still good value for money as one of the closest car parks to both the rail station and the city centre.

- People really do come from all over the world just to see the National Railway Museum. We, the public, tend to take for granted that we have so much rich history at our fingertips in such an accessible format.

- The Hogwarts Express isn't there any more. The Mallard still is. The Flying Scotsman moves a lot throughout the year so just phone up to check on it ahead of time. Ambulance Trains are a permanent addition I think. The Tim Peake exhibition is time limited. The museum is also going to be expanding significantly over the next few years.

Hope that helps!
I always use the car park and get the token on the way in, never felt pressured great place both my kits have enjoyed every visit

Food is a little expensive but ive always found it to be good quality.

The staff are very helpful and know there stuff.
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