It is great when our collective interest in cars brings people together. No wonder there are so many motoring museums in the UK! Find out our top picks, so you can enjoy a day out seeing your favourite vehicles. From classic cars to supercars, there is something for every car enthusiast in these museums.
British Motor Museum
This museum holds the world’s largest collection of historic British automobiles, with over 300 cars in it! It has a great focus on the British motor industry, showcasing the birth, decline and rebirth of the industry and the cars it produced, as well as the people whose creativity and skills played a part in designing and building them. Visit the ‘Time Road’ display, beginning in 1896 to discover how motoring has changed over the years, from the first driving test being taken to the first motorway being built. Or visit the ‘Sports Cars’ section to get a close-up view of your favourite cars from much loved British manufacturers like McClaren and Aston Martin. There is something for everyone in the family with the ‘Under the Skin’ interactive zone, where the little ones can get involved and find out what goes on underneath the bonnet of your car.
Lakeland Motor Museum
Situated in a converted mill in the heart of the Lake District, this museum hosts a collection of over 30,000 exhibits that cover a century of motor history. It has probably the largest collection of motoring memorabilia in Britain. From petrol pumps to globes to enamel advertising signs and much more, the collection is vast and unique. The ‘Campbell Bluebird Exhibition’ is the museum’s tribute to the racing career of Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell. With its own building, you can find full-sized replicas, including the 1935 Blue Bird car. During your visit, take a break and unwind in the picturesque riverside setting of Café Ambio.
National Motor Museum
Located within the New Forest National Park in Beaulieu, this museum has a collection of 285 vehicles and tells the story of motoring on British roads and racetracks. From some of the earliest motor carriages to classic family saloons, the collection of cars, motorcycles and motoring memorabilia has something for everyone. Do you have a taste for the finer things in life? You can experience the golden age of luxury motoring and see some of the most desirable cars ever built. Or do you have a need for speed? See the adrenaline-fueled world of motorsport in the ‘Grand Prix Greats’ display, which celebrates the history of F1, whilst the ‘Road, Race & Rally’ covers sports cars from rallying, hill-climbing, and the consumer market. Experience the ‘World of Top Gear’ display to see what many of the battered, modified, and ruined cars from the show! James Bond fans can visit their new exhibition, ‘Bond in Motion – No Time to Die’.
Coventry Transport Museum
With Coventry being the home of Jaguar and Land Rover, it only makes sense for there to be a transport museum! The Coventry Transport Museum boasts the world’s largest publicly owned collection of British vehicles. Find interesting displays, interactive galleries, and immersive exhibitions. The 14 galleries host the fastest vehicle in the world, pioneering bicycles, and a collection of the most luxurious and innovative vehicles of the last 200 years. Thrill-seekers can get their adrenaline pumping by breaking the World Land Speed Record on their 4D simulator!
The Silverstone Interactive Museum
Learn how Silverstone became the home of British motor racing. Get up close to iconic racing cars and bikes from over 70 years of racing. Walk the ‘Heritage Track Trail’ to learn about the circuit and walk parts of the original Grand Prix circuit. Or put together your own racing bike using what you have learnt about the amazing technology that goes into racing taught by experts from McClaren and Suzuki. Discover cars and motorcycles that have competed and even won at Silverstone, including the iconic MotoGP and Formula 1 machines. Formula 1 fans can even see race car driver Lewis Hamilton’s suit, boots, and lid! End the day with a thrill by immersing yourself in some of the circuit’s most iconic moments on the ‘Ultimate Lap of Silverstone’ in the special-effects cinema.
Whether you are a history buff or a thrill-seeker or both, whichever museum you choose to visit, there is something for everyone. With interactive elements and other attractions nearby, it should make a memorable day out!
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