Looking to take your train, plane or car mad little ones on a fascinating (and educational!) day out? Look no further! I’ve pulled together this super handy list of some of the best railways and museums from across the UK that everyone will love!
Wonderful World of Trains and Planes; Birmingham
For the mini transport enthusiasts among the family, bring them along to this fab museum which has three floors of interactive fun suitable for all ages. They will get to experience flight simulators, watch model railways and so much more. You can even watch a live feed from the Birmingham Air Traffic Control centre where you get to learn about how they control the aircraft in the sky! There’s a Thomas’s Day Out area which is a real hit with the little ones as they can take control of Thomas and his friends around a track!
Buy tickets here.
London Transport Museum; Covent Garden Piazza, London
If you’ve got kids who are mad on motorbikes and batty about buses, the London Transport Museum is the perfect place to bring them for a great day out! You’ll learn all about the history of the iconic red London bus and black cabs as well as the world famous London underground. There’s loads of fun workshops going on during school holidays for children so check before you visit! Find out more.
West Somerset Railway; Minehead, Somerset
Take in all the sights and smells of travelling by steam on The West Somerset Railway, which runs twenty miles along the glorious Somerset coast and through the countryside between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead. In total there are ten stations where you can hop on and off and with the authentic stations and enthusiastic staff, you’ll really feel like you’re travelling in the early 1900’s. Find out more.
Bond in Motion Exhibition at the London Film Museum – Covent Garden, London
Fans of James Bond will enjoy a visit to the Bond in Motion exhibition where there is not a replica in sight! Head to Covent Garden where you can see some of Bond’s most iconic vehicles including the Aston Martin DB5 and the Lotus Esprit S1 along with the actual props, gadgets and costumes used in the films.
Buy tickets here.
Swanage Railway; Corfe Castle, Dorset
This heritage railway line that travels between the historic village of Corfe Castle and the seaside town of Swanage makes for a great day out with the family. There are both diesel and steam trains to take you on a magical journey through the Dorset countryside. This is a journey that I have done frequently as there’s plenty to do at both destinations, the kids love the trip and the views are stunning! Find out more.
The Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway; Borrowstounness, Scotland
Begin you day at the station at Bo’ness where there is an authentic ticket office, station buffet, model railway and gift shop. From here you can catch a train along the five miles of preserved track in one of the majestic heritage trains. Also, on site is the Museum of Scottish Railways, Scotland’s largest railway museum. The children will enjoy the large buildings full of railway locomotives, carriages and wagons. There are plenty of things to keep everyone entertained, you can operate a railway signal and points, climb aboard heritage locomotives and there is a play area for the children. Find out more.
Beaulieu National Motor Museum House and Garden; Beaulieu, Hampshire
With over 250 different cars including World Land Speed Record Breakers and Formula 1 racers, Beaulieu National Motor Museum is a fantastic day out for the kids. Set in village of, in the heart of the New Forest, attractions also include a monorail, cars of the silver screen and TV and a Top Gear exhibition for Dad! Find out more.
Royal Air Force Museum; London
Head to this fascinating museum where you can see over 100 aircraft, listen to Winston Churchill give his ‘Battle of Britain’ speech, and check out the ‘Bomb Bay’ television underneath the giant Vulcan Bomber! There’s even a 4D Theatre (charges apply) where you can experience one of the exciting flight movies with added 4D effects. Find out more.
East Lancashire Railway; Bury, Lancashire
Since 1846 steam trains have been providing a great day out for the family at East Lancashire Railway. There are a few different stations where you can alight and explore between Heywood, Bury, Ramsbottom and Rawtwnstall. There are also plenty of family activities planned throughout the year so check before you visit for what’s on. Find out more.
Streetlife Museum; Hull, Humberside
Bring the children here to learn about the history of transport from over 200 years ago! Board a tram and experience a carriage ride, stroll down a 1940’s highstreet, and get up close to the exhibits. Find out more.
North Yorkshire Railway; Pickering, North Yorkshire
Travel back in time to the glory days of steam travel by jumping on board one of these gorgeous vintage trains operated by North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The eighteen mile journey will take you between the market town of Pickering and the seaside town of Whitby- where you can enjoy some of the world famous fish and chips. Find out more.
Coventry Transport Museum; Coventry
As the birthplace of the British cycling and motor industry Coventry is the natural home for this transport museum. Throughout the museum you will look back at the history of road transport and discover the earliest cycles and cars on earth. With 300 cycles, 120 motorcycles and over 250 cars there is plenty to see! This summer costumed characters around the museum will bring history to life, you can even join in the fun and dress up too! Find out more.
Isle of Wight Steam Railway; Bembridge, Isle of Wight
This beautifully preserved railway runs for five miles between Smallbrook Junction, through Ashley and Havenstreet on to Wotton and you are able to hop on/off at any of these stops. In the Train Story Visitor Experience you will find lots of interactive activities for the children that bring to life the history of the railway. Find out more.
Newark Air Museum; Newark, Nottinghamshire
If you have a budding pilot in the family, The Newark Air Museum is a great day out. You’ll see a fantastic collection of aircraft including cockpit sections, war aircraft and other wonderful displays exhibiting object from aviation history. Find out more.
The Kent and East Sussex Railway; Tenterden, Kent
Spanning over ten miles, these fantastic locomotives allow visitors to experience travel and service from a bygone era. The line weaves between Tenterden and Bodiam with spectacular views en route. Find out more.
Haynes International Motor Museum; Yeovil, Somerset
This fabulous museum is home to over 400 amazing cars and bikes and has the UK’s largest exhibition of cars under one roof! You will get to see 50’s and 60’s classics, as well as the modern super cars of today, plus there’s soft play, adventure play and go-karts for the little ones! Find out more.
Severn Valley Railway; Kidderminster
Bring the family to this heritage railway for a steam powered day out. The trains travels sixteen miles between Bridgnorth, Bewdley and Kidderminister through the Severn Valley. Make a day of it and hop on and off at the different stations where you can find a number of attractions for the family to enjoy. Find out more.
Bluebell Railway; Uckfield, East Sussex
The magnificent heritage trains of the Bluebell Railway will take you on a nostalgic trip through nine miles of Sussex countryside between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead. The family can enjoy the excitement and magic of experiencing the bygone era of steam travel. Find out more.
Museum of Transport; Greater Manchester
Take a trip into the past at Manchester’s Museum of Transport. Wander through the UK’s biggest collection of vintage trams, buses, coaches and more including a real horse and carriage and retro double decker bus! Keep the kids entertained on your day out with the free kids quiz which they can complete as they discover each artefact. Find out more.
Railworld; Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
If your little ones love trains, bring them to Railworld! You’ll be able to see the world’s first 100mph hover train, many fantastic steam engines and even an amazing Model Railway! There is a some wonderful railway memorabilia on display and even a Garden Railway. Find out more.
Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, Porthmadog, Wales
Visit this fantastic heritage railway, featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest railway company in the world as it was founded in 1832. The two different railways travel through tranquil pastures and forests, past lakes before clinging to the side of the mountain. The Ffestinigog Railway traveling twelve and a half miles from Porthmadog to the town of Blaenau Ffestingog and The Welsh Highland Railway takes you on a scenic 25 mile journey from the foothills of Snowdon to the hillside town of Beddgelert. Find out more.