The National Railway Museum reopens today – and thousands of people have already booked their visit

4 Aug 2020 @ 12.01 am
| Entertainment

Thousands of people are expected to visit the National Railway Museum in York this week as the museum opens to the public for the first time since 17 March.

Advance tickets were released on 20 July and after two weeks, more than 6,000 people have booked to visit the museum.

Ticket bookings have proved popular and the first reopening dates, including today (Tuesday 4 August) have now sold out.

One third of planned visits are from York and Yorkshire with the remainder from other parts of the country, supporting the trend for ‘staycations’ and UK-based holidays.

The third largest region for bookings is London and the South East, suggesting a rise in holidaymakers willing to travel further to visit the museum and the city.

To visit the museum, people are being asked to observe social distancing, wear a face mask and book online in advance.

Tickets and entry to the museum are free, although visitors can also make a donation and even book their sandwiches in advance. 

Great visitor experience

Staff prepare for the reopening. Photograph: Charlotte Graham

Director of the National Railway Museum Judith McNicol said: “After a long and often difficult time during lockdown, it is fantastic to be able to welcome visitors back to our museum once again.

“There will be some changes to keep everyone safe, and we will be reopening in stages, but we have worked hard to ensure we can give people a great visitor experience.

”The early booking figures have been really positive and demonstrate that there is a strong demand for UK attractions this summer – something which I hope will benefit the whole city.”

The Great Hall café and main gift shop will also reopen from 4 August. Overall visitor numbers will be limited each day to avoid overcrowding and to help people practice social distancing.

The museum will initially open on a limited number of days each week, before a gradual return to daily opening. Great Hall will be the first part of the museum to open with other areas including Station Hall, the Warehouse and outdoor spaces due to reopen in the coming weeks.

The museum will open an hour early on Tuesday 4 August for invited families of railway keyworkers to say thank you for their role during the Covid-19 pandemic.