Just outside York, Murton Park is home to the Yorkshire Museum of Farming and the Derwent Valley Light Railway. We took our toddler there to try and decide once and for all which is better - tractors or trains?
The Museum of Farming's main exhibition focuses on vintage farming machinery, but the site also houses Roman and Viking villages which we were invited to explore as part of our ticket price. Usually there are a couple of people in Viking dress wandering around as well, and why not? This is a centre for living history and the school parties love it.
Younger children, like ours, will love the livestock gallery, the ride-on tractors, the indoor play room, the outdoor playground and the space to run about. I'm looking forward to bringing him back when he is older to learn about the Romans and the Vikings too, since these are things which anyone living in York really ought to know about.
There is a cafe at Murton Park, but it can't really be relied on for more than a cup of tea, due to slightly unpredictable opening hours. Picnics are welcome, however, and there is ample seating both indoor and outdoor. The toilets are clean and easy to find and the whole site is pretty easy to navigate with a pushchair, save for a small part of the exhibition which is kept upstairs.
The Derwent Valley Light Railway runs on Sundays only, and is free to ride once you've paid the museum's entry fee. It runs a selection of steam and diesel engines on 20-minute journeys through the countryside around Murton Park. On our journey we got the chance to watch one engine being uncoupled and another coupled up, which our little boy loved. The timetables can be found here.
This is a lovely place to come on a sunny day for a quiet day out away from the crowds. And in case you were wondering, the answer apparently is "tractors AND trains".
For ticket prices, and details of what's on, the Murton Park website can be found here.