Rev up your summer holiday plans: England

Published: 19 May 2011

National Motor Museum Beaulieu

Museum website:
Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire,United Kingdom SO42 7ZN
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10.00am to 5.00pm (10,00am to 6.00pm from May 27)
Admission: £16.75 (under-5s free)
Tours: Guided tours available, consult the 'groups' section of the website
Parking: On-site parking available

Established in 1952 on the grounds of Beaulieu as a tribute to the motoring exploits of Lord Montagu, the museum has grown to over 300 exhibits, and gained National Motor Museum status when the existing museum building was opened in 1972. Contains a broad range of historic road and racing cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles and memorabilia.

Highlights: historic land speed record cars, including Donald Campbell's 1961 Bluebird (not to be confused with the Datsun of the same name). James Bond's Lotus Esprit submarine from the film 'The Spy Who Loved Me. '

Road access: M27 motorway junction 2, then follow the signs to Beaulieu
Take the train: Nearest station Brockenhurst, then take taxi to Beaulieu
Nearest airport: Bournemouth (BOH)
Regional tourism sites: Hampshire Tourism, South-East England Tourism Office

Worth the journey? An excellent day out and range of attractions on site mean that family members not interested in cars can enjoy other activities while you browse the car and motorcycle collection.

Other destinations

The Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon offers a comprehensive history of the British motor industry (plot spoiler: it gets sad towards the end of the 20th century). The Jaguar Heritage Museum, located in Jaguar's original home in Brown's Lane, coventry, is essential for Jaguar fans.  Coventry also has an excellent Transport Museum. London also has a Transport Museum, or if you're missing Max Power you could check out the custom cars at the London Motor Museum.