The York Solar System model is a scale model of the Solar System, spread out along 6.4 miles (10km) of the old East Coast mainline railway. Along it you can find scale models of all the planets in our solar system as well as models of the Cassini and Voyager spacecraft. 

The scale of our model is 575,872,239 to 1, so every 100 metres along the track corresponds to more than 57 million kilometres in space. This means that along the route the speed of light is about 1.16 mph, so it is easy to walk at around 3 times the speed of light and to cycle at about 10 times the speed of light!

The route

The model lies on the national cycle network route 65. Your can download our map and some more information about the route:

There’s lots to see and do along the Solar System model. The track is a wonderful nature reserve with many different species of trees along the way, and an abundance of wildlife to see and hear. Remember too that this was once a railway line.

There are several pubs not far from the track, most of which serve good food, and Brunswick Organic Nursery is another great place to pick up food or drink - or even plants if you can carry them! 

The Fisher of Dreams is one example of a feature you will find along the route. Constructed in the main from galvanized 2cm diameter steel rod, the height of the fisher from the top of the bridge to the top of his head is over 4 metres. The dog is 3.3 metres from nose to tail and 2 metres tall. The bike wheels are 8 feet in diameter.


  Real diameter (thousands of km) Real distance from the sun (millions of km) Diameter of model (cm) Distance of model from sun (m)
Sun 1391900 n/a 242 n/a
Mercury 4.9 58 0.84 100
Venus 12 108 2.1 188


12.8 150 2.11 260
Mars 6.7 228 1.17 396
Jupiter 140 778 24.23 1351
Saturn 116 1427 20.22 2478
Uranus 47 2870 8.15


Neptune 45 4500 7.89 7814
Pluto 3.4 5913 0.59 102678