Local industry has been the historic engine for pioneering British motoring and aviation, and the cutting-edge story of world-famous names continues to this day. Here is a pick of exciting ways to discover more: from behind-the-scenes factory tours to have-a-go thrills, record-breaking vehicles and showcase events.
Factory tours and experiences
Dream car hire
If classic cars get your engine purring – maybe an E Type or MG – hire your heart’s desire from Great Driving Days, Redditch. Try a taster experience or longer, or follow a half- or full-day driving trail.
Hi-tech tours at Triumph Motorcycles, Hinckley
Pre-book a guided Factory Tour of Triumph’s famous Hinckley headquarters and delve into all the details of up-to-the-minute engineering technology that make this iconic brand the world-class motorcycle manufacturer it is today. Combining little-known facts and access to precision manufacturing processes beyond the legendary factory security doors, the tour reveals just what goes into delivering the brilliant balance of performance, handling and style for which Triumph is renowned.
State-of-the-art Land Rover factory tours, Solihull
After a welcome drink and introduction, you transfer in specially built 147 Defender vehicles to the advanced body shop where overhead platforms give you fantastic views of Jaguar Land Rover’s robotic army: riveting, sealing and welding in perfect sync, it’s a breathtaking display of state-of-the-art engineering and manufacture. Then it’s on to the mind-stretching logistics of Trim and Final, where everything comes together into expertly completed vehicles. Truly inspiring!
Up the gears further by tackling exhilarating off-road challenges at Land Rover Experience Solihull, including the opportunity to negotiate the world-famous Jungle Track. Sessions with instructors range from one-hour tasters to full-day adventures.
Top museums and collections
Family fun at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon
Fuel the family’s imagination exploring the British Motor Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of historic British cars. Fun, hands-on exhibits keep everyone switched-on, and you’ll find features on record breakers and royal cars as well as motor stars of film and TV. You can now also view around 250 historic cars from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust in the Collections Centre, and get a chance to see restorations underway in the workshop. Look out for their weekend motoring shows and school holiday activities.
Pioneering flight at Midland Air Museum, Baginton
Explore the story of pioneering Coventry-born ‘Father of the Jet Age’ Sir Frank Whittle, revealed through a unique collection of aircraft, engines, video and animated displays in (what else?) The Sir Frank Whittle Jet Heritage Centre. The Wings Over Coventry gallery in the main hangar showcases more local aviation history including Armstrong-Whitworth products, while WWII exhibits highlight the area’s contribution to the war effort – RAF Baginton became a fighter station. Peer into cockpits, view helicopters and find out about aircraft like the Flying Flea.
Legends live on at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull
From the earliest pioneer model of 1898 to the latest superbikes: more than 1,000 machines representing 170 marques form the largest collection of British motorcycles in the world. Pre-book a Highlights tour with an expert guide to get the low-down on legendary creations and hear about the glory years of British motorcycle manufacturing. Or simply take a racing line to your favourite makes and themes – ABC to Zenith, military to sprint and dragster record breakers – showcased across five display halls,
Driving curiosity at Coventry Transport Museum
Living up to its tag line of ‘Driving curiosity’, Coventry Transport Museum’s nationally important collection – one of the finest of its kind in the world – includes 300 cycles, 120 motorcycles, and 250 cars and commercial vehicles, plus more than a million, mind-grabbing archive and ephemera items. Steer your way around Star Vehicles from a Daimler Armoured Car to a Rover Safety Cycle, and get up close to the two fastest cars in the world, ThrustSSC and Thrust 2 – spectacular feats of British engineering.
Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection, Bourton-on-the-Water
Here’s a trip down memory lane for parents, grandparents and older generations, and an eye-opener for the kids. Rare vehicles and classic memorabilia bring back the days of 20th-century motoring: from quirky Austins to sporty open-top MGs, and from a Vespa Scooter to a Brough Superior motorbike. See an authentic blacksmith’s workshop and recreated country garage, snug 1920s family caravans, toy pedal cars and model aeroplanes. How about an Art Deco racing-car teapot for the table? And who remembers motorcycle football?
Family ‘motoring madness’ at MotoFest Coventry
Fancy a weekend of non-stop, free motoring madness? Rev up for MotoFest Coventry. Celebrating Coventry’s motoring influence worldwide, past, present and future, on two wheels and four, the three-day festival mixes live motorsport with heritage vehicle displays, music, food and film. Did we mention MotoFest is free? Thanks to amazing sponsors.
Land Rover Show, British Motor Museum, Gaydon
Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of a British icon at British Motor Museum's Land Rover Show on 7 and 8 May 2023 and see the best and brightest cars in the Land Rover owners' community. For familiies, there's even a "Mini Me" trial, where kids can showcase their mini versions of popular Land Rovers. Tickets inclue entry to the Museum and Collections Centre too!
Land Rover factory tours
Copyright Land Rover
Great Driving Days
Copyright Great Driving Days
Land Rover driving experience
Copyright Land Rover
Land Rover Show
Copyright British Motor Museum
Cotswold Motor Museum
Copyright Cotswold Motor Museum