Taking your classic car out on the road is an amazing experience because of the freedom it provides. But it’s not the only way to see one up close. For those who don’t own a classic car there are various museums to visit, including the National Motor Museum and British Motor Museum. These are ideal places to see models from all over the world and marvel at the engineering. Here are five of the best automotive museums in the UK.
1. The British Motor Museum
Home to the world’s largest collection of historic British cars, The British Motor Museum has nearly 300 cars on display. Found in the village of Gaydon, the museum owns collections that record the history of car manufacturing in Britain. These include Jaguars, Land Rovers and Ferraris. The museum has a vehicle hiring option, so cars can be displayed at shows, photoshoots and exhibitions.
2. National Motor Museum
The National Motor Museum is located in the village of Beaulieu in the county of Hampshire. The museum has a number of classic cars, motorbikes and memorabilia, ranging from the Auburn 851 Speedster, to the 1898 Daimler Cannstatt. These early motor carriages are impressive, and they show how much the automotive industry has developed. Another attraction is Palace House, a Victorian styled country home that can be explored.
3. Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection
Planning on going for a walk in the Cotswold? Why not stop off at the Cotswold Motoring Museum, located in Bourton on the Water. The museum features a cavalcade of vintage cars, motorbikes and caravans. Collections include Windrush Alley, a place of Boneshaker and Penny-Farthing bicycles, and the Mill Gallery, home to the TV car Brum.
4. Coventry Transport Museum
Coventry Transport Museum features an impressive collection of classic cars, such as the 1935 Daimler Limousine which belonged to Queen Mary. The museum is also the home of the World Land Speed Record Breaker Thrust SSC, set on October 15th 1997. There’s a variety of exhibitions, including a WW2 factory display and a Rebuilding Coventry section which covers the period of 1945 – 1950.
5. Brooklands Museum
Located in Weybridge, the Brooklands Museum has a combination of classic cars and aviation projects. The car collection features Bentleys, McLarens and Vauxhalls, while the aircraft collection is filled with powerful Concordes and Biplanes.
Visiting the museum is an ideal family day, as there are plenty of events to look forward to in 2017. These include The Brooklands Double Twelve Motorsport Festival in June, which celebrates the 110th anniversary of the Brooklands race track. There’s also a number of Concorde events throughout the year, allowing people to experience what it would be like to fly the aircraft.
Taking a trip to the museum is an educational journey, especially if you’re bringing children. They’ll be able to appreciate the history of cars and learn about different time periods.