Motor Mania: Best car museum and motor museums in the UK
Vroom-vroom… It’s time for a great day out at one of the best car museums in the UK!
We’ve gathered a list of the top 10 motor museums in the country, so you and your budding car enthusiasts can get up close with hundreds of classic cars, race cars, vintage rides, beast sports cars and lots more. It’s the perfect day out for petrol heads of all ages!
London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, London
We can’t talk about kid-friendly car museums without giving some special attention to the London Transport Museum! Located in Covent Garden, right at the heart of the capital, this awesome motor attraction is packed with interactive activities and exhibits for the little car lovers in the family.
From family trails to friendly costumed characters, and a special kids’ play zone (0-7) complete with fancy dress - you’ll have plenty to keep the kids occupied. Plus, for the arts and crafts lovers, there’s a family station running various activities. Oh, and did we mention, kids go FREE?
Transport Museum Wythall, Wythall, Worcestershire
Let’s go big! Transport Museum Wythall boasts a collection of over 90 buses - your little ones will feel really little standing by these giant vehicles. But you don’t have to “just look”, you can also hop on one of the vintage buses for a ride in the countryside (select days). On nice days, you can even bring your favourite Teddy for a Teddy Bear picnic outdoors.
After you’re done cruising around the museum, your tiny car lovers can stop by the Kids Kabin and enjoy play time with cars, trains and lots more colourful toys. Keep an eye out for special event days too!
Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Holywood, County Down
Ready for a ride into history? Ulster Folk and Transport Museum will take you on a journey to an early 1900s town with its horse-drawn carts and other Victorian wonders. You’ll also get to see Irish-built motor cars and steam trains, along with a DeLorean sports car and a McCandless Mule car. It’s going to be one surreal visit, all of you will enjoy.
The museum is located in the beautiful County Down countryside and offers outdoor activities for the little ones too, so it’s a perfect place to enjoy a full day out when the weather is nice. They even have farm animals!
Lakeland Motor Museum, Newby Bridge, Cumbria
If you fancy a day fuelled with motor history, Lakeland Motor Museum should be on the top of your list to visit! The epic car museum has over 30,000 exhibits which show you how much the world of wheeled transportation has changed in the twentieth century - from cycles to motorbikes, motor cars and automobilia.
Kids can get easily bored, we know, but thanks to the free activity book you get when you enter the museum, your mini car maniacs will turn exploring the exhibits into a real game. Plus, the friendly staff are always on hand to answer all those endless questions the little ones come up with. This is a heritage motor museum that simply loves families!
East Anglia Transport Museum, Lowestoft, Suffolk
At East Anglia Transport Museum, you’re welcome to explore the world of public transportation over the years. With hundreds of trams, trolleybuses and other historic vehicles on display, it has one of the richest collections in the UK. Plus, this is a motor museum that’s always on the move! You’ll get to ride the trams, trolleybuses and even a light railway.
East Anglia Transport Museum also hosts lots of family-friendly events throughout the year, so each return visit with the kids will be a different experience. If your kids (3-14) really love the place, you can sign them up for Larry Lodekka Kids Club for free entry on open days, meet and greets with Larry and his friends on Sundays, plus lots more!
British Transport Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire
As far as car museums go, the British Transport Museum is amongst the best of the best; it houses the largest collection of historic British cars in the world! The focus through the exhibit is mainly on the history of Britain’s iconic Jaguar and Landrover - from the first HUE to their record-breaking race cars.
With activity packs, dress-up section, interactive displays and a kids’ activity corner for even more arts and crafts, the museum definitely looks after the little ones. Plus, there are mini push-along cars for the tiniest visitors, so you can explore the exhibits without having to worry about them getting tired. There’s also an outdoor playground for the kids, if you happen to come when the weather is nice.
Streetlife - Hull Museum of Transport, Hull, East Yorkshire
Here’s another great car museum you can visit with the kids for free! Streetlife - Hull Museum of Transport has all the vehicles and history any motor maniac can desire. From a walk down a 1940s high street, to boarding a tram or going for a carriage ride, you’ll not only see, but experience 200 years of transport history in one very special family day out.
With five galleries to explore, featuring artefacts from bicycles to horse stables and motor show exhibits, you’ll have plenty of variety to your day. Be prepared for the smell of the stable as you step out of the simulated Hull - York Mail Coach ride!
Coventry Transport Museum, Coventry, West Midlands
Rev up your engines with a visit to the Coventry Transport Museum - a heritage motor museum with plenty to teach you about the history of cars in the Midlands! From James Starley’s first bicycle to the fierce Jaguars produced locally - it’s great for local families and visitors alike. A digital cartoon guide will give you information on interactive screens throughout the museum, if you fancy learning a little bit more details.
There’s a section by the end of the visit which brings the World War II bombings of Coventry to life with sounds and light effects. It’s quite impressive!
Oxford Bus and Morris Motors Museums, Witney, Oxfordshire
Local motor museums can be quite charming, bringing a feeling of nostalgia with old photos and artefacts from your area. If this is the kind of day out you’re after, the Oxford Bus and Morris Motors Museum is the right attraction for you. There you can find out how people used to travel around Oxfordshire in the last 130+ years, using all sorts of transport from a horse-drawn tram to motor buses and coaches.
For those of you who love your vintage cars, there’s also a collection of Morris vehicles representing those produced during William Morris's life. There’s an exhibition of vintage bicycles too!
Haynes International Motor Museum, Yeovil, Somerset and Bristol
Haynes International Motor Museum is properly geared towards families! Kids under four go free and there’s plenty of entertainment waiting for them, including a dedicated indoor soft play area, an interactive garage and mini road system with ride-on cars, a Construction Zone with Super Diggers, plus mini car strollers for the tiniest visitors too. For the older kids (4-12), there are also coin-operated ride-on cars, adventure climbing frame and a whole lot more!
With guided tours taking place throughout the day, you’ll get to hear the stories of the vehicles come to life - it makes your visit that much more exciting! It’s the perfect place for the whole family, from the grandparents to their grandkids.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best car museums and motor museums in the UK! For more similar days out ideas, check the articles below: