If you’re looking for places to visit in Warwickshire with kids, the British Motor Museum has recently risen to the top of my list of fun days out in the Midlands. Read on to discover why it’s definitely not just for speed freaks or classic car enthusiasts – my daughter and I are neither of these and still didn’t want to leave!
I’ve never been particularly obsessed with cars, they’re a means to get from A to B but I have to admit I was pretty blown away by the many vehicles on display in the main museum. There are over 300 sports cars, vintage cars, crazy cars, new cars and famous cars, each with interesting information about its manufacture, age or speed.
Children can pick up a family trail from the kids area and hunt out specific cars, noting their pertinent info and exchange it for a sticker at the end.
It's a bit like the super speediest treasure hunt ever and it encouraged the kids to actually read and take in some information instead of just racing around the museum risking some very expensive paint finishes!
The museum has created some really fun interactive exhibits in the “under the skin” zone which will keep little ones interested and engaged. The suspension machine was fun, you get all shook up on a custom made platform to experience different types of suspension.
The Silverston race circuit tested our steady hands.
Pipers absolute favourite, the Top Trumps board – I had to drag her away from this one!
The very best part of our visit was the family guided tour we attended. The staff member who led the tour (and stayed in character as a motor journalist for the whole time) was brilliant, he patiently answered all the kids questions, clearly had a passion for the exhibits and made sure everyone was engaged, tailoring his commentary for the different ages groups on the tour. Amazingly for a guided tour, no children ran off bored, they hung off his every word and were respectful of all the amazing vehicles we saw as instructed.
When the tour ended, our friendly guide offered to talk any interested parties through another area, everyone took him up on it – he was just that good!
Not only does the guided tour teach you more than you ever thought you would want to know about the vehicles on display but it gave us a bit more access to the exhibits. We were able to sit in the Queen Mums Range Rover and see her top secret paint colour up close.
And board the vintage bus, learning how different public transport was back in the day! We even all took part in a “wheels on the bus” sing along.
My favourite part was the cars from the screen area, this is home to loads of instantly recognizable vehicles. We saw Lara Crofts 4 x 4, some jeeps from the Bond movie Skyfall (with wrecked bodywork and smashed windows)
Lady Penelopes fabulous pink vehicle with its glittery paint job had Piper planning her first car (gulp!) and my favourite, the awesome Delorian. We even got to pose for some pictures – another bucket list item ticked off!
At the end of your trip, you can visit the collections centre to view mechanics working their magic restoring some other beautiful old cars. This is also where other important vehicles are stored, ranging from the very old…..
To other culturally relevant vehicles. How cool is this vintage police car?!
Our top 5 things to spot at the British Motor Museum
There's a cosy little cinema showing films about the British car industry, most kids will enjoy watching the screen for a while and it's a nice place for the grown ups to have a sit down!
If the kids have any energy left to burn, there is a lovely little playground near the car park with enough equipment to warrant another half hour of fun. There's also a little picnic area if you want to bring your own food.
The British Motor Museum is one of those venues that just seem to have got it right for kids. They hold regular family friendly events and all the staff seem really good with children.
As mentioned, on our visit we enjoyed the family guided tour but they also had an arts and craft station where we spent some down time colouring and an area where we could build vehicles out of lego.
They even have these tiny cars for when little legs get tired. Piper was gutted she couldn’t fit in!
The next family event they have on is over the February half term:
The Science of ‘POWER’ Half-Term Activities at the British Motor Museum
16 -24 February
February half-term at the British Motor Museum is all about exploring POWER and the science behind it! Find out about the Museum’s jet powered cars. Have a go at making a jet powered car yourself! And, enjoy daily science shows with Professor Pickle and Doctor Pumpkin who will bring the science of power to life with a BANG! To find out more visit the British Motor Museum website.
The British Motor Museum has a lovely onsite café, we enjoyed a quick lunch during our visit and found it great value and really tasty.
They have the usual selection of soups and sandwiches but also a few hot food options that looked great.
Sat nav (at least mine) isn’t your friend when trying to find the British Motor Museum. You need to leave the M40 at J12 and follow the big brown signs. That way, it’s really simple to find off the motorway.
2 Jan 2019 - 23 Dec 2019
Monday – Sunday 10am till 5pm
* Closed 24 December to 1 January
There’s plenty of onsite free parking when you arrive between the museum and the playground.
You can buy tickets for your visit here. A family ticket will set you back £40 and includes all the family events they are running on the day.
Make sure you save a pin for when you’re looking for fun things to do in Warwick today.
We were gifted tickets for our review of our visit but, as always, all opinions are our own.