We finally made it to Murton Park, York! Located 3.6 miles from the centre of the city of York, Murton Park is an often-overlooked attraction that offers a wide range of activities and experiences for families. We have driven past Murton Park many times on the way to Beetle Bank Farm but have only just visited. I’m excited to write this Murton Park review because it exceeded my expectations. I didn’t know much about the Yorkshire Farming Museum before visiting, so hopefully I can provide you with all the useful information to make the most of your day at this great family destination. It has a mix of indoor and outdoor attractions, historic sites, and educational activities. Murton Park is a must-see for anyone visiting the York area.
- About Murton Park York
- The Museum: Exploring the History of Farming
- The Derwent Valley Light Railway: A Unique Steam Train Experience
- Animals at Murton Park: A Delight for All Ages
- The Playground
- The Nature Trail
- The Historic Villages: Step Back in Time
- Tractor Collections
- Childrens Play Hut
- Events and Activities: Making the Most of Your Visit
- The Yorkshire Barn Café
- Practical Information: Planning Your Visit
- Ticket Prices at Mutrton Park
- Beetle Bank Farm vs Murton Park
- A Unique and Engaging Attraction in York
About Murton Park York
Murton Park, formerly known as the Yorkshire Museum of Farming, is a family-friendly attraction that has a large selection of activities and exhibits to keep visitors entertained. The park offers both indoor and outdoor experiences, including a museum, historic villages, a nature trail, animals, and even a steam train ride on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Murton Park caters to visitors of all ages and interests.
The museum is situated on a 16-acre site, which was originally part of the Murton Hall estate. The site’s historical significance dates back to the medieval period, with records indicating the existence of a manor house as early as the 13th century.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the area around Murton Park witnessed significant developments in agricultural practices, with the introduction of innovative farming techniques and machinery. The museum aims to preserve and commemorate this agricultural history, providing visitors with a glimpse into rural life and farming practices of the past.
Since it’s opening, Murton Park has been continuously developed and expanded to create an immersive experience for visitors. The museum features a range of historic buildings, including a traditional farmstead, a blacksmith’s shop, a dairy, and a mill, which have been carefully relocated to the site to showcase different aspects of rural life.
The Museum: Exploring the History of Farming
The Yorkshire Museum of Farming at Murton Park York is an indoor attraction featuring a lot of information about the history and evolution of farming in the region. The museum is spread across two levels and houses a variety of exhibits, including vintage farm machinery and authentically recreated rooms that showcase the living conditions of farmers in the past.
The museum first opened in 1982 and has since evolved into a registered charity, making it a worthwhile destination to support. For families with young children, the museum also features a small soft play area designed for under 5’s, providing a safe and enjoyable space for little ones to explore. We found this quite useful when we wanted to stop and look at things in the museum but our son just wanted to walk around quickly. We took it in turns to look around the museum while the other watched him in the play area.
The Women’s Land Army Gallery
You can find out all about the Women’s Land Army on the upper level of the museum. There are rooms set out showing how people lived back then and items from the time period. You can read all about the daily lives of wonderful women who helped feed the nation during World War Two.
The Women’s Land Army was first set up in January 1917 and re-formed in June 1939. They helped farmers cope with the shortage of men due to the war. You can find out more about the Women’s Land Army here.
The Derwent Valley Light Railway: A Unique Steam Train Experience
On Sundays and most bank holiday Mondays from spring to summer, you can enjoy a ride on the Derwent Valley Light Railway (DVLR) as part of your Murton Park York experience. This volunteer-run steam train ride is a popular attraction for families and train enthusiasts, offering a charming and nostalgic journey on a short stretch of track.
The platform and train itself are perfect for capturing memorable photos, especially as they let you stand in the driver’s section of the train which the kids love!
We decided to get the first train at 11 am. We got on about 5 minutes before and the train carriage was quickly filling up. It was my son’s first time on a train and he was getting a bit frustrated at the wait becausem you know, he’s two and asking a two-year-old to sit for 5 minutes is difficult. If you have young children who are restless, bring snacks! We were saved by a box of raisins.
As soon as the train started going, he forgot all about his snacks and was watching out the window the train went past the whole of Murton Park York and under the A64. It stopped after a few minutes while the train uncoupled went past us on the track beside us, moved back onto our train track, reversed and attached back on so it could take us back to the station (sorry, this is a really awkward sentence because I don’t know the correct train words!). The full train ride took about 10 minutes.
Animals at Murton Park: A Delight for All Ages
A visit to Murton Park wouldn’t be complete without spending some time with the animals. The park is home to a variety of furry and feathered friends. While you can’t feed the animals, many are friendly and enjoy being petted and interacted with.
Here are some of the animals we saw at Murton Park:
- bee hives
Animal lovers will appreciate the opportunity to get up close and personal with these charming creatures, making it a highlight of any visit to Murton Park York.
The outdoor area at Murton Park York offers a variety of activities for everyone to enjoy, starting with the playground. While not the largest play area, it features a range of equipment, including swings, sandpits, slides, and climbing structures, suitable for children of all ages. The playground is located near picnic benches and cafe, providing an ideal spot for parents to relax and supervise their children.
The Nature Trail
In addition to the playground, Murton Park also offers a one-kilometre nature trail that circles the site. This easy walk is perfect for families with young children. It’s a great opportunity to spot wildlife, play in the long grass, and engage in interactive activities such as log jumping and musical instruments.
Leo loved playing on the instruments and log jumps. There was also a little wooden fairy village (pictured below) and a small pre-historic village around here.
The Historic Villages: Step Back in Time
One of the standout features of Murton Park York is its collection of recreated historic villages. These unique attractions allow visitors to step back in time and explore the lives of people from various historical periods.
The Murton Park Viking Village
The Viking Village is the largest and most impressive of the historic sites at Murton Park. This immersive attraction transports visitors to the time of the Vikings, with authentically designed buildings and a realistic atmosphere. While exploring the village, you’ll have the opportunity to peer into houses, grain stores, and even ancient toilets, providing a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Vikings.
We had so much fun exploring this area. It was so big and exactly how you would picture a Viking village. I loved peeking inside the buildings and seeing all the old beds and furniture! About once a month, the village is filled with Jorfor’s Hall Viking reenactment group who demonstrate crafts and skills of the time.
I can’t wait to go back when they are there!
Medieval at Murton
The Frei Compagnie hold a living history display on special weekends giving you an insight into medieval life in the 15th century, featuring knights, crafts and medieval toys and games.
The Wild West Village
Another popular historic site at Murton Park York is the Wild West Village, which offers a taste of life in the American frontier. Complete with authentic buildings, a saloon, and a pharmacy, the Wild West Village is a fun and educational attraction for visitors of all ages.
When we went, they had the Trailblazers there. The Trailblazers are a living history wild west reenactment group who occupy the village as an immersive experience, playing different roles. They also do short shows. We watched one where a bounty hunter was looking for a wanted murderer. They are at Murton Park about one weekend a month, so be sure to check the What’s on a section to find out if they’ll be there on your visit.
Other Historic Areas
In addition to the Viking and Wild West Villages, Murton Park also features a WWII-themed area in the Museum and a small prehistoric village at the start of the nature trail. These smaller attractions are worth exploring and provide further opportunities for learning and discovery.
There are outdoor tractor collections as well as a gallery for the Scardifield Tractor Collection at Murton in the John Sawkill Building.
These collections show you different tractors through the years.
Childrens Play Hut
As if the outdoor play area and small soft play inside the museum aren’t enough, there’s a room that has wooden train set tables, books, play farms and role-play equipment such as play kitchens and shops for children to play with inside.
Leo loved playing with the trains!
Events and Activities: Making the Most of Your Visit
Throughout the year, Murton Park York hosts a variety of events and activities designed to enhance the visitor experience. Many of these events involve reenactments and living history exhibits in the historic villages, bringing the past to life in a dynamic and engaging way.
They also do craft mornings and Lego mornings which will be great for Leo when he’s older.
Visitors are encouraged to check the Murton Park website for up-to-date information on upcoming events and activities. With the park’s 12-month return policy, there are lots of opportunities to attend these special events and make the most of your Murton Park experience.
The Yorkshire Barn Café
Murton Park York has an on-site café called The Yorkshire Barn Cafe. serves a selection of hot and cold food and drinks, providing a convenient option for those looking to grab a bite to eat during their visit. The cafe is open Tuesday – Sunday.
Alternatively, you can bring your own picnics and enjoy the outdoor seating areas and picnic tables located throughout the park.
We had a coffee and sausage roll at the cafe. I was happy to discover they had a vegan sausage roll!
Practical Information: Planning Your Visit
To help you make the most of your Murton Park York experience, here are some practical tips and information to keep in mind:
- There is no need to pre-book your ticket
- parking but the car park was so busy on the bank holiday we went! Arrive early!
- Dogs are welcome at the park, provided they are kept on a lead.
- The park is accessible for visitors with disabilities, offering wheelchair-friendly pathways and facilities.
For more information on accessibility and other visitor amenities, visit the Murton Park website.
Murton Park Opening Times:
|Monday||10:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Tuesday||10:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Wednesday||10:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Thursday||10:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Friday||10:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Saturday||10:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Sunday||10:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
The last admission is at 3.30 pm.
Ticket Prices at Mutrton Park
One of the major perks of visiting Murton Park is its ticket policy. Upon purchasing an admission ticket, visitors are granted unlimited return visits for 12 months, including entrance to most events hosted at the park. This makes Murton Park an excellent value for families looking to explore the many attractions and experiences it has to offer.
|Ticket Type||Price (GBP)|
|Children (under 16)||£12.00|
|Family (2 adults, 3 children)||£38.00|
Under 2’s are free.
Beetle Bank Farm vs Murton Park
Beetle Bank Farm is just down the road to Murton Park. We have an annual pass for Beetle Bank and go fairly often. Murton Park is a different experience!
Bettle Bank is best for:
- feeding animals
- holding guineapigs and rabbits
- bouncy castle and an inflatable slide at peak times
- big playground
- a short visit in the morning or afternoon
- it’s aimed more at children, I would not recommend adults visit without kids.
Murton Park is best for:
- fun for adults as well as children
- a big museum, with lots to learn
- steam train ride
- live history reenactment groups
- could spend a full day there
- inside children’s activities such as soft play, role play and train sets
A Unique and Engaging Attraction in York
Murton Park York is a fantastic experience for visitors of all ages, it’s an ideal destination for families looking to explore the history and culture of the region. With a wide range of activities, exhibits, and events, there is always something new and exciting to discover at this unique attraction.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an animal lover, or simply seeking a fun and educational day out, Murton Farm York is well worth a visit. Don’t miss out on this hidden gem in the heart of North Yorkshire.
We loved our time at Murton Park Farming Museum. It took us around 3 hours to get around it all. You could easily stay all day if you have kids who enjoy playing at the park. Many families had picnics and sati in the park enjoying the sun.
We’re going to try and get back to Murton Farming Museum to see all the different live-action events at the weekend!