With museums permitted to open from May 17 in England and April 26th in Scotland, most of our favourite venues have taken the time over lockdown to develop new attractions and exhibitions. Here are some suggestions your first post-lockdown trip
If you’re looking for inspiration for a destination for your first classic-car outing of the year, how about a museum? There’s not much better for a car lover and there’s plenty to keep the family entertained too.
With the pandemic having been detrimental to visitor numbers over the past year, museums are itching to open their doors. These are some of our favourites – but don’t forget to check to see what your local museum has planned for its grand reopening.
British Motor Museum
The British Motor Museum in Gaydon is always worth a visit and if you haven’t seen the recently established Collections Centre, that’s worth the trip in itself, showcasing a fascinating collection of prototypes and one-offs. Other highlights include the E-type Evolution exhibition, Making British Cars display and an impressive collection sports cars, as well as dedicated Land Rover and Jaguar displays.
Coventry Transport Museum
The Coventry Transport Museum never fails to be a fascinating day out and differs from most other car museums by including a massive collection of bicycles, reflecting Coventry’s significant part in the cycling industry. The museum’s collection includes 300 bicycles, 120 motorcycles and 250 cars and commercial vehicles, which together comprise the largest publicly owned collection of British vehicles in the world – plus plenty of nods to Coventry’s car-building past.
Haynes International Motor Museum
The Haynes International Motor Museum offers a different take on the familiar car-museum recipe, with the ever-popular Breakfast Club set to resume in May, and Future Classics car meets on the first Sunday of the month. The museum’s extensive collection includes rarities, oddities and racing cars, and has its origins in John Haynes’ (of Haynes Publishing fame) extensive car collection.
Lakeland Motor Museum
The Lakeland Motor Museum has been quietly catering for everyman nostalgia for modern classics, while a complete building is devoted to the Campbell Bluebird exhibition, covering the exploits of Malcolm and Donald. Automotive highlights include the oldest surviving TVR along with a rare Cebera Speed 12, along with countless other classics from a bygone era presented in fantastic condition.
The famous venue in Surrey is planning to open in May and has already published a tentative calendar of events for 2021, including a tribute to Sir Stirling Moss and the Italian Car Day in July. And when you’re not in the mood for looking at cars there’s a huge collection of vintage aircraft to get excited about, as well as a big surviving section of the original Brooklands race track banking.
Beaulieu National Motor Museum
When the Beaulieu National Motor Museum opens fully reopens on the July 4 you’ll be able to see the latest exhibition, entitled Motoring in Miniature, covering all those childhood car toys you wished you’d looked after better. The collection ranges from a 1927 1,000bhp Sunbeam to modern classics like the VW XL-1, with countless important historical cars in between. A range of impressive exhibitions and displays feature, from historical racing cars to a recreated 1930’s garage.
Sign up for a subscription to one of our fantastic motoring publications by following the link below, with inspiration for how to get the most out of your classic this summer