From immersive F1 exhibitions to classic cars, bikes and buses, we round up the best motor museums the UK has to offer
Motor museums provide a great way for fans of cars and motorcycles to spend a few hours – and there are lots to explore here in the UK.
To help you plan a day out, we've listed some of the best motor museums the country has to offer, along with links to their events pages. So, grab your diary and get into gear for some vehicle-based fun. And don’t forget that Boundless members can save on admission tickets for a wide range of attractions and destination days out, as well as enjoying unlimited access to top UK attractions. Find out more about joining.
Bourton-on-the-Water, Glos GL54 2BY (find on Google Maps)
You’ll find lots of nostalgic vehicles at the Cotswold Motoring Museum, from classic cars (Jaguars, Austins, MGs and more) to vintage motorbikes and even a 1970s family caravan, as well as motoring memorabilia and toys.
Individual galleries have their own special pull. There’s a blacksmith’s shop put together to demonstrate the historic move from horses to motoring, and you can visit the Mill Gallery to see great vehicles, quaint caravans, motoring curiosities and nostalgic signs. TV star Brum makes his home here too – he always set out from the museum on his exciting adventures. Plus, did you know that it’s owned by Boundless, and members get unlimited admission?
Towcester, Northants NN12 8TN (find on Google Maps)
Housed within the circuit’s only remaining Second World War Wellington Bomber hangar, the Silverstone Museum tells the fascinating story of human endeavour, sporting rivalry and engineering innovation that characterises British motor-racing. At the end of your visit, you’ll get the chance to feel what it’s like to speed round the Silverstone track alongside your motor-racing heroes.
Gaydon, Warwickshire CV35 0BJ (find on Google Maps)
The British Motor Museum houses the world’s largest collection of historic British cars, with nearly 300 classic, vintage and veteran vehicles. This family-friendly attraction tells the fascinating story of Britain’s motor industry, with information on the designers, factories and workers involved in all of the country's most iconic drives.
Younger visitors can learn from themed trails, touchscreen exhibits and an interactive zone showing how a car works, while everyone will love the costumed guided tours. There’s also a café and a play area.
New Forest, Hants SO42 7ZN (find on Google Maps)
From the earliest motor carriages to the adrenaline-fuelled world of F1 racing, Beaulieu’s motor museum has a huge range of vehicles. There are 285 in total, with the oldest dating back to 1875. It boasts some great exhibits, too. You’ll be able to see a 1930s garage and explore what actually goes on beneath the bonnet of your car – thanks to the help of the Beaulieu crash test dummy.
Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 7LH (find on Google Maps)
Haynes Motor Museum is the fruit of one generous man and his lifelong passion for motors. Haynes Manuals creator John Haynes launched the museum with 30 cars from his own private collection. He continued to donate cars and financial support for the rest of his life until he died in February 2019.
The museum now displays over 400 amazing cars and bikes from the dawn of motoring in the late 1800s, through nostalgic classics of the 1950s and 1960s, to world-renowned supercars like the Jaguar XJ220. Trails, quizzes, tours and lots of events will keep all ages of car enthusiast entertained.
Hales Street, Coventry CV1 1JD (find on Google Maps)
Coventry Transport Museum houses the largest publicly owned collection of British vehicles in the world, and tells the story of Coventry through the rise and fall of its biggest industry. There are motor cars, commercial vehicles, cycles and motorcycles to see, and some quite novel exhibits to explore – like the development of the taxi.
You can even see what it would feel like to break the World Land Speed Record on the museum's thrilling 4D Land Speed Record Simulator!
Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0SL (find on Google Maps)
Home to the first purpose-built racing circuit, you could say that Brooklands is where British motorsport began. Now it displays giant racing cars like the 24-litre Napier-Railton, as well as motorcycles, bicycles and more.
There’s no escaping the huge flying and aviation industry connections of the site, either. Vickers started manufacturing at Brooklands during the First World War, with many other aircraft firms joining throughout the years. More parts for Concorde were built at Brooklands than at any other site, and you can see an example of the world’s first supersonic passenger aircraft here.
Bickenhill, Solihull, West Midlands B92 0EJ (find on Google Maps)
From ABC, Abingdon and Advance to Wooler, Wulf II and Zenith, the National Motorcycle Museum holds the largest collection of British motorcycles in the world, with over 1,000 machines from 170 different manufacturers spanning around three centuries. There are a number of temporary special exhibitions, as well as events including antiques and collectors’ fairs.
Backbarrow, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 8TA (find on Google Maps)
Nestled in the scenic Leven Valley in Cumbria, there’s plenty to see at the Lakeland Motor Museum. There are 140 classic cars and motorbikes – all carefully assembled over 50 years. From a Land Army Girl with a 1940s Fordson tractor to a 1920s gangster evocative of America’s prohibition era, much of the collection is exhibited in a social context, too.
And don't miss these other great motor museums
The following motor museums may be smaller, but they still provide a fabulous experience for automotive enthusiasts:
Stockley Lane, Calne, Wiltshire SN11 0NF (find on Google Maps)
King Street, Leyland, Lancashire PR25 2LE (find on Google Maps)
Clover Farm, Main Road, Langrick, Lincolnshire PE22 7AW (find on Google Maps)
Prescott Hill, Gotherington, Cheltenham, Gloucester GL52 9RD (find on Google Maps)
Longclose House, Common Road, Eton Wick, Berkshire SL4 6QY (find on Google Maps)
Pentre Felin, Llangollen LL20 8EE (find on Google Maps)
Whitewebbs Road, Enfield, Middlesex, EN2 9HW (find on Google Maps)
Do more with Boundless
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