For those with a passion for the motor car, the new improved Haynes International Motor Museum has much to offer. Under its large roof, the veteran vehicles – over 400 in total – whose day in the sun has long passed, now reside in gleaming rows in an assortment of colours and styles.
Haynes Motor Museum – the UK’s largest exhibition of the greatest cars from around the world
From Rolls Royce, Bentley, Morris, Daimler and Jaguar to classic bikes and precarious contraptions from yesteryear, the museum is not just a place to be amazed at the evolution of transport since 1885, but an educational and interactive resource. Alongside the traditional visits, school groups are invited to the museum classroom for lessons in engineering history, technology and science.
Other attractions within the museum include the ‘Supercar Display’
The museum started out as a small enterprise with just 33 cars donated by its founder and chairman John Haynes OBE in 1985. To secure its future as a national collection it was established as a charitable trust, gaining momentum as its popularity grew and more vintage cars from around the world found their retirement home. It was only a matter of time until additional acres were needed to house the new intakes, and since benefiting from a £5m investment, the site finally has a base to be proud of.
The three new exhibition halls are Minis and Micros, Century of Supercars, and Motorcycle Mezzanine; within are galleries which span geography and time, from the Dawn of Motoring and Pre-War Classics to the American Collection and Advertising Hall. The Children’s Haynes Motorland offers adventure play while the Reel Fun Bus shows a variety of children’s films throughout the day. It’s not just about car-gazing either; there are opportunities to sit behind the wheel, even for the youngsters. The Haynes Hatch is a go-kart race circuit perfect for those wanting to get onto the tarmac. Check the website for the latest adrenaline-fuelled family events. For those lucky enough to have their own vintage wheels, there are daily workshop services available for classic car owners.
Getting there: By car, the museum is at Sparkford near Yeovil, just off the A303 and 30 minutes from junction 25 of the M5. Brown tourist signs from all major trunk roads. By train, the closest stations are Castle Cary and Yeovil. Taking a taxi would be necessary.
Don’t miss: Forshaw Speedway Collection, the world’s largest speedway display.
More information: Haynes Motor Museum, Sparkford, Somerset. Tel: 01963 440 804. www.haynes motormuseum.com