Anybody looking for an entertaining day out, perhaps over the Easter holidays with the family, could do far worse than paying a visit to the British Motor Museum, which is just off Junction 12 of the M40, close to Banbury.It might seem an odd location for Britain’s major motoring museum, the gentle Warwickshire countryside overshadowed by the nearby Cotswolds. But such is the collection of vintage vehicles that a large, rural centre is needed to house them. The Museum can trace its roots back to the days when British Leyland (‘Unipart Parts are Guaranteed by British Leyland’ – there’s a jingle to stir the memory cells) saw the merger of many of the last remaining joints of the British car industry.
The museum itself offers everything that might be expected from a modern place of interest and learning. There are regular shows and special events, plenty of places to eat, lots of things to keep the youngsters interested, loads of parking and the ubiquitous shop.
But for car lovers it is looking at the splendour of some of the stock that holds the biggest fascination. An absolute treat is to lose oneself for an hour in the Collections Centre. This part of the museum is there solely to show off some 250 cars from the British industry, celebrating its heritage. Volunteers are on hand to show off their extensive knowledge and get involved in hearty discussions of the attributes of various Jaguars, Daimlers and others.
In the museum proper, the interactive ‘Time Road’ and ‘Under the Skin’ zones will keep the youngsters happy, leaving more cerebral motorheads to read up on the many fascinating exhibits.
The museum is open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm, although is closed between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day inclusive. In terms of your money – and it is not a cheap day out, although compared to many venues represents good value – expect to pay £39 for a family ticket of up to five, including one or two adults, or £14 per adult.
This blog might, alas, read a little like an advertisement for the National Motor Museum – but it is hard to be any other way. It is a well thought through experience for anybody with a love of all things car related. It contains far more than is outlined is this brief review, but to find out about all of that, we might have head off down the M40.