British Motor Museums

BRITISH MOTOR MUSEUMS

So many of our motor museums in Britain are helping to preserve this country’s rich automotive history.

This website attempts to offer a summary of our British Motor Museums with websites where you can explore them in greater detail. As well as mainland Britain, the Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man details are included. We have included some town, aircraft and rail museums each of which do contain one or more motor exhibits.

During the past century, Britain has played a leading role in the development of the motor vehicle and commercial transport industry. It is an integral, vital and fascinating component of twentieth century culture and we are fortunate that so many of the vehicles which have contributed to the industry’s progress have been preserved for the interest and enjoyment of future generations.

Many marques that have passed into history are shown in various museums. Brands such as Jowett; Armstrong-Siddeley; Wolseley; Riley; Humber and Hillman, Triumph, Singer…it’s a long list so that’s just a few of them.

It is fitting that so many brilliant designers are remembered by their vehicles, such as Sir Alec Issigonis, of Morris Minor and Mini fame; Giovanni Michelotti, designer of the Triumph Herald and Spitfire; Sir William Lyons, of Jaguar; W.O. Bentley; Donald Healey to name but a few.

The National Lottery has helped, and no doubt will continue to help, many motor museums to develop and for new ones, such as Aerospace at Bristol, to open.

A great debt of gratitude is due to the army of volunteers who give their time and skills to help museums in so many ways.

If you plan to visit a museum/collection that is a distance away, it is often wise to check by phone/email the opening times, especially with smaller museums. Again, if you want to see a specific vehicle, worth checking it is still on display.

I am always interested to learn of new museums that have opened or any which may have been missed off this list or indeed that may have closed. Your comments about visits to museums are of interest as well.

2021 - PLEASE CHECK WITH ANY MUSEUM THAT YOU PLAN TO VISIT. COVID HAS MEANT MANY ARE CLOSED OR HAVE LIMITED NUMBERS ADMITTED BY BOOKING. MAYBE WORTH A VISIT TO THEIR WEBSITE AS MANY NOW HAVE A VIRTUAL TOUR.

David Burke (Co-author Burke & Price Guide to British Motor Museums published by Veloce)

Recent museums

Hovercraft Museum - HOVERCRAFT MUSEUM Well, they aren’t motors but they do have a Mini b... (5th November)

Great British Car Journey - Cars aren’t purely for looking at; more than 30 of them can b... (4th October)

Launceston Steam Railway & Museum - Launceston Station is home to a fascinating Transport a... (15th April)

Scottish Motor Museum Trust - The Trust preserve Scotland’s largest private historic moto... (1st April)

Castletown D-Day Centre - DORSET'S NEW WW2 VISITOR ATTRACTION... Castletown D-Day Centre is an... (29th October)

See the full list

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