UK Trip 2012, Day 8: York’s National Railway Museum and Arrival in Edinburgh

Today we checked out the Train Museum in York (Europe’s best train museum!) and then caught the train up to Edinburgh, which is where we stayed for the rest of our trip. See the picture gallery for the day here, or read on for details!

In our York bed and breakfast, The Ashberry, I had probably the best British breakfast I’d had so far, mainly because they served vegetarian sausages (upon request) that were really tasty! Apparently it was a Linda/Paul McCartney brand sausage. After breakfast, I admired the moss we saw everywhere along the road as we headed into town. (Not much moss in dry Colorado!)

We walked to the National Railway Museum, which was the whole reason we spent a night in York – my father loves trains. It’s supposedly the best train museum in Europe. The museum had one main room, but it was very impressive – it was a large (decommissioned) roundhouse, where trains were turned around on the tracks, stored, and had work done on them. There was a huge turning platform in the room, and at one point the museum staff demonstrated how it was used to turn a train engine around. There was a steam engine train cut open to show how the steam engines work – I learned a lot about how the steam engine works by seeing this, so I’m glad it was there, even if an engine was sacrificed to show it. We also walked underneath an engine to see it from below, which was neat. There was also a Japanese “bullet train” (shinkansin – we’ve ridden on them before in Japan) that kind of put the British trains of the time to shame. The first bullet train came out in 1964, and around the same time the last steam engine (British) came out – it looked extremely old-fashion in comparison. The “Hogwarts Railways” train engine, a real steam engine, from the Harry Potter movies was also there. Several relatively old trains cars and engines were there from the early to mid 1800s (or were replicas of such trains). There were also side rooms with model trains that we did not really make it to. It was all a bit overwhelming.

After seeing the Train Museum, we took a cute little train (that went on the roads) to the middle of the town, York Minster. (Minster means church, so it was basically York cathedral.) York Minster claims to be more impressive than Westminster Abbey and it was certainly impressive to us. We briefly checked it out before exploring more of the city during the daytime. Later my father went up inside the church to its highest tower, where he took several beautiful shots of the surrounding countryside.

The town felt much more touristy on a Sunday afternoon than it did the previous night. We got some tasty meat pies and sweet pies at a pastry shop and some sandwiches exploding with meat at, well, a shop that sold big chunks of meat (mostly in sandwich form). We stumbled upon a little market that had several stalls up selling different wares, mostly clothing, although some trinkets, pottery, and plants. From there we wandered down The Shambles, a short street that is very narrow and similar in style/architecture to how it was in the 1500s.

We headed back to the train station to catch our train up to Edinburgh, the last city on our UK itinerary. We were happy to find we could buy some of “John Crabbie’s Traditional Ginger Beer” (non-alcoholic) in a vending machine while waiting for the train – this ginger beer had become one of our favorite beverages on our trip. (I’d never really cared for ginger beer before this!) Passing through fields of sheep, cow, mustard plants, other crops, and some small cities and some pretty beach-like shores, after about 2.5 hours we found ourselves in the Edinburgh train station. We took a 15-minute taxi ride to our bed and breakfast, the Dunedin Guest House, which is in an area where a lot of bed and breakfasts are, on the southern end of town. (Although there are buses in Edinburgh, we discovered that it makes more financial sense for us, since there are four in our group, to take a taxi to most places – the taxis were relatively cheap by U.S. standards.)

After checking in, we wandered about six-or-so blocks from our hotel to an Italian restaurant (recommended by Rick Steves). There we had some of the best Italian food we’ve had in a long time (and all of the staff was really Italian too!).

As a side note, a lot of the buildings in Edinburgh are made of large stones and look rather gray/brown/dirty to us. There’s been some debate as to whether the gray is due to pollution or a natural coloring of the rock. Either way, I think they were actually a pleasant gray/brown color.

One Response to “UK Trip 2012, Day 8: York’s National Railway Museum and Arrival in Edinburgh”

[…] UK Trip 2012, Day 8: York’s National Railway Museum and Arrival in Edinburgh […]

Paradoxdruid’s Rants » Blog Archive » UK Trip 2012, Trip Summary! - August 6th, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Leave a Response (or trackback on your own site)

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Welcome to Paradoxdruid's Rants... a community based webblog. Feel free to snag an account and post.

Contributors Login


My first first-author paper!

Just wanted to share that my first first-author paper is now online! In the journal Stem Cells and Development, here’s my paper on “Roles of Integrins in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Growth on Matrigel and Vitronectin.”

The Future of Scientific Publishing

Just read a fascinating (if lengthy) essay on disruptive technology and the future of scientific publishing. Well worth the read!


Just wanted to share’s Visual Guide to Deflation, which is quite explanatory.

All Things Stem Cell

Hey all Paradoxdruid readers! I recently started up a blog on stem cells that I’d love you all to take a look at:

Barely Literate: The Fermata

I participated in another Barely literate book review podcast, this time on Nicholson Baker’s “The Fermata”. Give it a listen!

Time for Change

Obama has outlined a strategy for America, in great depth. Read all about!

Free Rice

Okay, I’ll admit that it’s entirely possible that I am the last person to learn about this website*, but it’s really addictive. 


Site best viewed in Mozilla Firefox. Site CSS template by Andrea Pitschmann. Banner photo by photocase.