Best 10 Car Museums in England

car museums

Updated On: February 20, 2024 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

If you are a car fan or planning a fantastic day out with the family, visiting a car museum is always a great day out.

Going back to motoring history, whether motorcycles or cars history, reflects the long way along the automotive road.

What are the best car museums? It is the first question to come to anyone’s mind. Where are these museums? You can find the answers to these questions in this article. Let’s have a look at the best car museums in England. We provide some key information here, but do go into details on each musuem under this key information.

Car Museums in England

Car Museum in England – Key Points:

The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu:

  • Rare/Unique Exhibits: World’s oldest surviving Rolls-Royce, Sinclair C5 microcar, recreated Jack Tucker garage, record-breaking vehicles.
  • Interactive: Driving simulators, car restoration demonstrations.
  • Events: World of Top Gear exhibitions, Beaulieu Autojumble classic car show.
  • Visitor Info: Open daily 10am-5pm, adult ticket £17.50, child ticket £9.50.

Caister Castle Motor Museum:

  • Rare/Unique Exhibits: 1893 Panhard et Levassor, first Ford Fiesta, Manning Wardle locomotive ‘The Rhondda’.
  • Interactive: None mentioned.
  • Events: Classic car shows, themed weekends.
  • Visitor Info: Open May-Sept, 10am-4.30pm, adult ticket £12, child ticket £8.

The Bubblecar Museum:

  • Rare/Unique Exhibits: Over 50 microcars like Reliant, Bond, Isetta, Frisky, Bamby.
  • Interactive: None mentioned.
  • Events: None mentioned.
  • Visitor Info: Open daily 10am-5pm, adult ticket £7.50, child ticket £5.

Haynes International Motor Museum:

  • Rare/Unique Exhibits: Land Rover ‘Cuthbertson’ concept car, Jaguar XJ220 supercar, historic Fords, Bentleys, and Rolls-Royces.
  • Interactive: Engine cutaway displays, driving simulators.
  • Events: Classic car shows, driving experiences.
  • Visitor Info: Open daily 10am-4.30pm, adult ticket £13.50, child ticket £8.50.

British Motor Museum:

  • Rare/Unique Exhibits: Land Speed Record Thrust 2 car, early Land Rovers, iconic Minis and Jaguars.
  • Interactive: Touchscreen exhibits, car design challenges.
  • Events: Family fun days, classic car shows, lectures.
  • Visitor Info: Open daily 10am-5pm, adult ticket £17.50, child ticket £12.50.
Car Museums in England

London Transport Museum:

  • Rare/Unique Exhibits: World’s first Underground steam train, 1890s padded cell carriage, original London Underground map.
  • Interactive: Ride on historic buses and trains, Tube driving simulator.
  • Events: Talks, workshops, film screenings.
  • Visitor Info: Open daily 10am-6pm, adult ticket £18.50, child ticket £10.50.

Lakeland Motor Museum:

  • Rare/Unique Exhibits: Exhibits related to record breakers Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell, Campbell Bluebird Displays, Isle of Man TT Tribute, Vincent Motorcycles.
  • Interactive: None mentioned.
  • Events: Vintage car displays, themed weekends.
  • Visitor Info: Open Feb-Nov, 10am-5pm, adult ticket £9.50, child ticket £6.50.

Coventry Transport Museum:

  • Rare/Unique Exhibits: Thrust land speed record cars, world’s fastest bicycle, pioneering cars, innovative and luxurious vehicles.
  • Interactive: 4D simulator experience of Thrust record-breaking run, touchscreen exhibits.
  • Events: Exhibitions, family activities, breakfast clubs, festivals.
  • Visitor Info: Open daily 10am-5pm, adult ticket £15, child ticket £8.50.

Moray Motor Museum:

  • Rare/Unique Exhibits: 1936 Jaguar SS100, 1951 Frazer-Nash, diverse collection of vintage, veteran, and classic cars.
  • Interactive: None mentioned.
  • Events: Classic car shows, talks.
  • Visitor Info: Open Easter-Oct, 11am-4pm, adult ticket £7.50, child ticket £4.50.

Brooklands Museum:

  • Rare/Unique Exhibits: Concorde supersonic airliner, historic racing cars and motorcycles, Hawker and Vickers/ BAC aircraft, Second World War bomber.
  • Interactive: Flight simulators, Concorde cockpit experience.
  • Events: Air shows, classic car shows, family events.
  • Visitor Info: Open daily 10am-5pm, adult ticket £19.50, child ticket £12.50.

The National Motor Museum 

Location: The New Forest, Hampshire, SO42 7ZN

The National Motor Museum is among five leading National Motor Museums across Europe that have joined forces to exhibit over 1,500 classic cars for fans to admire.

The Beaulieu car museum features a stunning selection of over 250 vehicles, varying from F1 cars and land speed record breakers to a great collection of Austin cars. 

Also, you can look at items like the recreated 1930s Jack Tucker garage and relive a bygone era. A great day out for motoring fans.

You can also discover the golden age of luxury motoring in a completely new display offered by the National Motor Museum.

Partnering with automotive software development firms will be key for manufacturers building the computerized, electric, and autonomous vehicles of the future.

The museum features some of the most luxurious cars ever produced. Learn the stories of their owners, the chauffeurs, and the designers and mechanics who made them.

Find out how automotive technology has expanded since the beginning of motoring. Discover how innovations have changed the ins and outs of vehicles. Plus, Discover how technology might affect motoring in the future.

Caister Castle Motor Museum

Location: the east coast near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Norfolk NR30 5SN

The Caister car museum lies in a spectacular setting. It’s home to a considerable private collection with many excellent and rare classic, vintage, and touring vehicles and motorcycles. 

Find out the 1893 Panhard et Levassor and the first Ford Fiesta off the production line.

The collection also contains bicycles, horse-drawn vehicles and others. Also, Manning Wardle’s locomotive ‘The Rhondda’ is on display.

The castle and museum welcome visitors from May to September. Check their website for exact dates. Opening hours are from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm From Sunday to Friday.

The Bubblecar Museum

Location: Clover Farm, Main Rd, Langrick, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE22 7AW

Microcars or bubble cars are an essential part of British motoring history.

These small, fuel-efficient vehicles operated by engines of less than 700cc in size are a substitute for full-size cars.

The museum contains more than 50 microcars on display, many in exciting dioramas, including Reliant, Bond, Isetta, Frisky, Bamby, and more.

There is also a row of new shops for you to explore, a gift shop, memorabilia, and a cafe where you can have a sumptuous afternoon tea.

Haynes International Motor Museum

Location: Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 7LH

Haynes International Motor Museum houses more than 400 motor vehicles from the beginning of motoring in the late 1800s, through those remarkable periods of motoring in the 1950s and 1960s, to supercars such as the Jaguar XJ220. 

The museum features 17 exhibition areas offering an incredible insight into the history of motoring. Opening hours are from Monday to Sunday, from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.

British Motor Museum

Location: Banbury Road, Gaydon, Warwickshire, CV35 0BJ

The British Motor Museum provides a family-friendly walk through the history of motoring, with many interactive exhibits that both adults and children can enjoy. 

Search for the Jaguar Zone with its pleasing display of Jaguar sports and racing cars that the Jaguar Heritage Trust owns.

The Collections at the British Motor Museum contain more than 300 British cars and over 1m historical items outlining the history of the British motor industry.

The museum is open every day from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The opening hours for the Collections Centre are from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

You have an optional tour of the Museum included in your entry fee. The tours operate at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. You do not have to book the tour in advance as they depend on availability. 

You have an optional tour of the Collections Centre included in your entry fee. The tours operate at 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm. You do not have to book the tour in advance as they depend on availability. 

London Transport Museum

Best 10 Car Museums in England

Location: Covent Garden Piazza, London, WC2E 7BB

London Transport Museum represents the history of London’s transport. Explore London’s heritage and its transport system. 

You can enjoy the stories of the people who have travelled and worked in the city for the past 200 years before checking out how future technologies might affect London as we see it.

Follow the development of iconic vehicles, Find the world’s first Underground steam train and explore the padded cell, a train carriage that goes back to the 1890s.

Design fans can marvel at the Design for Travel gallery, containing initial advertising posters and artworks. Discover Harry Beck’s original design for his original London Underground map and chart the development of the world-popular round transport logo.

Find interactive galleries where you can get on actual buses and trains and try a Tube driving simulator.

With so many breathtaking exhibits, it would take at least two hours to walk around the London Transport Museum.

Lakeland Motor Museum

Location: Old Blue Mill, Backbarrow, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 8TA

Besides being an area of breathtaking beauty, The Lake District in Cumbria also features a motoring museum. Lakeland Motor Museum has an extensive collection of motorcars and motorcycles worth seeing.

The museum features a range of 30,000 exhibits. The exhibits contain 140 classic cars and motorbikes, all carefully collected over 50 years.

The Museum is not only about cars. The whole collection is displayed in a social context, with a large group of rarities to raise some special motoring memories.

The museum’s connection with record breakers Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell sets it apart. 

Learn more about the remarkable local history with main displays illustrating the Historic Blue Mill, Iron Works, Woodland Industries, Gunpowder Factories, and Dolly Blue Myth.

You can also enjoy a trip down Memory Lane and indulge yourself in revived scenes, including 1920s garage and 1950s cafe, period shop displays, early motoring in the English Lake District, and historic female fashion. 

The displays contain many realistic figures, including a Woman’s Land Army Girl with a 1940s Fordson tractor, Allied Forces with a WWII Willys Jeep and a 1920s Gangster evocative of America’s prohibition era.

Find the large indoor exhibition area, such as featured displays on Campbell Bluebird Displays, Authentic Automobilia, Isle of Man TT Tribute, Vincent Motorcycles, Pedal cars and cycles.

Coventry Transport Museum

Location: Millennium Place, Hales St, Coventry CV1 1JD, UK

If you are in the Midlands, then the Coventry motor museum has to be included at the top of the must-visit list for all motoring enthusiasts. 

The museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of British road transport, with about 300 cycles, 120 motorcycles, and more than 250 cars and commercial vehicles. 

The museum also has both the Thrust land speed record breakers, and it is your chance to relive the Thrust record-breaking works with a 4D simulator. 

There are 14 fully accessible galleries housing the world’s fastest vehicle, pioneering bicycles, transport champions and many of the most innovative, remarkable and luxurious cars of the last 200 years.

Besides the collection, the programme features exhibitions, diligent family activities and various events, from Breakfast Clubs to fusion festivals.

The Museum’s collection includes motorcars, commercial vehicles, cycles and motorcycles. Besides, a great collection of automobilia, photographs, books, and loads of other archive material is maintained at the Coventry Archives at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.  

Most of the collection exists through the outstanding generosity of individual donors.

Moray Motor Museum

Location: Bridge Street, Elgin, Moray, IV30 4DE

If you want to know about the automotive history in Scotland, then go to Elgin in Morayshire, where you can find the Moray Motor Museum and a car museum that varies from a 1936 Jaguar SS100 to a stunning 1951 Frazer-Nash. 

The museum is an ideal place to visit, even if you are not into motors. It is home to an excellent collection of vintage, veteran cars and classics and some motorbikes—besides the model cars and auto memorabilia, which makes it a memorable visit.

The museum is not enormous, but every car you find is exceptional, and many have been lovingly revived over time. The exhibits display information about their history. The friendly staff, who are excited to help, can answer any of your questions.

Their opening hours differ in seasons. The museum opens from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm on a daily basis from Easter Weekend to the End of October. The museum is closed during Winter. 

Brooklands Museum

Location: Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 0SL

Brooklands was the place of origin of British motorsport and aviation, the house of Concorde and the home of many engineering and technological accomplishments during eight decades of the 20th century. 

The Museum displays a vast collection of Brooklands-related motoring and aviation exhibits varying from huge racing cars, bikes and bicycles to an exceptional collection of Hawker and Vickers/ BAC-built aircraft, including the Second World War Wellington Bomber, Viking, Viscount, Varsity, Vanguard, VC10, BAC One-Eleven and the only Concorde accessible for the public in South East England. 

Visiting car museums is incredible fun for car lovers. It is also an excellent trip for the whole family, including kids. England features car museums that reflect the history of motoring and unique vehicles in exhibitions. 

English Car Museums by Type

Museums with Interactive Experiences:

  • British Motor Museum: Touchscreen exhibits, car design challenges, family fun days.
  • London Transport Museum: Ride on historic buses and trains, Tube driving simulator, interactive galleries.
  • Coventry Transport Museum: 4D simulator experience of Thrust record-breaking run, touchscreen exhibits.
  • Haynes International Motor Museum: Engine cutaway displays, driving simulators.

Museums with Rare and Unique Cars:

  • National Motor Museum, Beaulieu: World’s oldest surviving Rolls-Royce, Sinclair C5 microcar, recreated Jack Tucker garage, record-breaking vehicles.
  • Caister Castle Motor Museum: 1893 Panhard et Levassor, first Ford Fiesta, Manning Wardle locomotive ‘The Rhondda’.
  • Moray Motor Museum: 1936 Jaguar SS100, 1951 Frazer-Nash, diverse collection of vintage, veteran, and classic cars.
  • Lakeland Motor Museum: Exhibits related to record breakers Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell, Campbell Bluebird Displays, Isle of Man TT Tribute, Vincent Motorcycles.

Family-Friendly Museums:

  • National Motor Museum, Beaulieu: World of Top Gear exhibitions, Beaulieu Autojumble classic car show, playground, picnic area.
  • British Motor Museum: Family fun days, themed events, adventure playground.
  • London Transport Museum: Explore London’s transport history, suitable for all ages, gift shop.
  • Haynes International Motor Museum: Kids’ zone with activities and challenges, cafe with kids’ menu.
Car Museums in England

Museums with Special Features:

  • Brooklands Museum: Concorde supersonic airliner, flight simulators, Concorde cockpit experience.
  • Coventry Transport Museum: World’s fastest bicycle, Thrust land speed record cars, diverse collection across transport modes.
  • Lakeland Motor Museum: Exhibits showcase local history and industries, realistic figures depicting various eras.

Museums with Events:

  • National Motor Museum, Beaulieu: World of Top Gear exhibitions, Beaulieu Autojumble classic car show, various events throughout the year.
  • British Motor Museum: Family fun days, classic car shows, lectures, special exhibitions.
  • Coventry Transport Museum: Exhibitions, family activities, breakfast clubs, festivals.
  • Haynes International Motor Museum: Classic car shows, driving experiences, special events.

To simmarise the museum experience:

Museum NameRare/Unique ExhibitsInteractive FeaturesEventsVisitor Info
National Motor Museum, BeaulieuWorld’s oldest surviving Rolls-Royce, Sinclair C5 microcar, recreated Jack Tucker garage, record-breaking vehicles.Driving simulators, car restoration demonstrations.World of Top Gear exhibitions, Beaulieu Autojumble classic car show.Open daily 10am-5pm, adult £17.50, child £9.50.
Caister Castle Motor Museum1893 Panhard et Levassor, first Ford Fiesta, Manning Wardle locomotive ‘The Rhondda’.NoneClassic car shows, themed weekends.Open May-Sept, 10am-4.30pm, adult £12, child £8.
The Bubblecar MuseumOver 50 microcars like Reliant, Bond, Isetta, Frisky, Bamby.NoneNoneOpen daily 10am-5pm, adult £7.50, child £5.
Haynes International Motor MuseumLand Rover ‘Cuthbertson’ concept car, Jaguar XJ220 supercar, historic Fords, Bentleys, and Rolls-Royces.Engine cutaway displays, driving simulators.Classic car shows, driving experiences.Open daily 10am-4.30pm, adult £13.50, child £8.50.
British Motor MuseumLand Speed Record Thrust 2 car, early Land Rovers, iconic Minis and Jaguars.Touchscreen exhibits, car design challenges.Family fun days, classic car shows, lectures.Open daily 10am-5pm, adult £17.50, child £12.50.
London Transport MuseumWorld’s first Underground steam train, 1890s padded cell carriage, original London Underground map.Ride on historic buses and trains, Tube driving simulator.Talks, workshops, film screenings.Open daily 10am-6pm, adult £18.50, child £10.50.
Lakeland Motor MuseumRelated to record breakers Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell, Campbell Bluebird Displays, Isle of Man TT Tribute, Vincent Motorcycles.NoneVintage car displays, themed weekends.Open Feb-Nov, 10am-5pm, adult £9.50, child £6.50.
Coventry Transport MuseumThrust land speed record cars, world’s fastest bicycle, pioneering cars, innovative and luxurious vehicles.4D simulator experience, touchscreen exhibits.Exhibitions, family activities, breakfast clubs, festivals.Open daily 10am-5pm, adult £15, child £8.50.
Moray Motor Museum1936 Jaguar SS100, 1951 Frazer-Nash, diverse collection of vintage, veteran, and classic cars.NoneClassic car shows, talks.Open Easter-Oct, 11am-4pm, adult £7.50, child £4.50.
Brooklands MuseumConcorde supersonic airliner, historic racing cars and motorcycles, Hawker and Vickers/BAC aircraft, Second World War bomber.Flight simulators, Concorde cockpit experience.Air shows, classic car shows, family events.Open daily 10am-5pm, adult £19.50, child £12.50.
Top Car Musuems in England

Unforgettable Journeys Through England’s Car Museums

England’s car museum scene pulsates with diverse experiences, catering to every type of motoring enthusiast. Whether you’re a family seeking interactive fun, a history buff drawn to rare exhibits, or a dedicated petrolhead craving unique experiences, you’ll find the perfect museum to ignite your passion. Remember, this curated list just scratches the surface. Delve deeper and discover hidden gems that resonate with your interests. So, buckle up, plan your itinerary, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the history and wonder of England’s car museums!

Unlocking Additional Gems:

While the previous selection offers a rich tapestry of automotive experiences, some exceptional museums deserve further exploration:

1. Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum: This haven for motorbike enthusiasts houses over 400 classic motorcycles, including legendary racers and exotic prototypes. Witness Sammy Miller’s engineering genius up close, and immerse yourself in the vibrant world of two-wheeled machines.

2. Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum: Step back in time and marvel at over 100 exquisite vehicles, including the crown jewels of motoring history – rare Bugattis and Rolls-Royces. With a focus on pre-war elegance and post-war innovation, this museum promises a captivating journey through automotive artistry.

3. Mercedes-Benz World: Dive into the immersive world of Mercedes-Benz, where cutting-edge technology meets legendary heritage. Explore interactive exhibits, witness the evolution of the brand, and even get behind the wheel for exhilarating driving experiences. This dynamic museum caters to both casual admirers and die-hard fans.

Beyond the mechanical marvels and historical narratives, many car museums also offer a vibrant celebration of auto paint. From the gleaming chrome and lacquer finishes of pre-war classics to the bold, graphic designs of modern supercars, these museums showcase the artistry and evolution of auto paintwork. Witness the meticulous restoration of faded hues, appreciate the intricate hand-painted details on vintage vehicles, and be awestruck by the contemporary mastery of color and shading. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply admire the meticulous attention to detail, the world of auto paint adds another layer of fascination to your museum experience. So, as you explore these automotive havens, take a moment to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that breathes life and personality into each meticulously painted masterpiece.

Car Museums in England

Beyond the vibrant canvas of auto paint, prepare to be dazzled by the diverse tapestry of design, engineering, and innovation displayed in England’s car museums. Witness the evolution of sleek, aerodynamic forms to muscular, high-performance machines, each reflecting the era’s design language and societal trends. Step inside and explore the transformation of interiors, from spartan cockpits to luxurious cabins brimming with technology and comfort.

Delve into the roar of powerful engines, from early, sputtering contraptions to fuel-efficient hybrids and roaring supercar powerplants. Trace the progression of wheels and tires, from rudimentary wooden spokes to sleek alloys and specialized performance treads. Immerse yourself in the ever-evolving world of technology, from basic dashboards to driver-assist systems and infotainment suites that redefine the driving experience. Each museum visit unveils a captivating journey through automotive history, where you’ll discover not just gleaming paint, but an intricate interplay of design, engineering, and human ingenuity that brought these four-wheeled marvels to life. So, buckle up and prepare to be amazed by the diverse and fascinating world that awaits within England’s car museums!

As you explore these additional gems, remember that the joy of car museums lies in their ability to transport you to different eras, ignite your curiosity, and spark a conversation with the past. So, hit the road, explore these automotive havens, and create lasting memories fueled by passion and discovery!

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