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salguod Avatar
salguod Doug Kreib
Salt Lake City Area, UT, USA   USA
All- a different form of question. My wife and I are going on a church trip to England in September(10-17). I would like to add to the trip by visiting some car things while there. I would appreciate any suggestions/recommendations of things to see or do while there. I like all things mechanical and have had a Midget or Sprite all my adult life. So I'd like to know of museums or car things I could visit. I heard of a museum that has cars, planes and trains for example. So i'm eager to here anyones recommendations. For those of you in England- what should I try to see. Thanks everyone- Doug

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mack65 Marcus Knoell
Itzehoe, SH, Germany   DEU
Hi Doug,

most interesting is Beaulieu take a look: Museum
A quite big collection of cars and motorcycles plus the biggest autojumble in Europe beginning of September!

BR
Marcus

66jalopy Avatar
66jalopy Silver Member Phillip Jolliffe
Lake City, FL, USA   USA
Don't miss the Cotswolds. This was 2012 when I was over there.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-01-25 10:56 AM by 66jalopy.

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Kerr Avatar
Kerr Platinum Member Norm Kerr
Ann Arbor, MI, USA   USA
Besides the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire (with 250 cars), there's also the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire, with the world's largest collection of British Cars (over 300).
And if you are in the South West, definitely the Cotswolds because it is such a pretty area.

If you are in the North, the York National Railway Museum is an amazing collection of steam locomotives (kind of an unbelievable collection). Also in York, the Jorvik Viking Centre is pretty cool (and presented in odorama).

If you are planning to spend any time in London, ditch the rental car (or plan to pick it up only for when you are heading out of town), and use mass transit + feet to get around. Much faster and more pleasant than trying to navigate + traffic.

Travelling in the UK in September is ideal: not too cold, not too hot, everyone is in school (or at work) so the roads, and attractions, are not too crowded. It will be cloudy (but I love the grey skies, so am always rapturously happy when I'm there and the skies are moody).

If you plan to rent a car and drive: keep left, look right (repeat that over and over). Making right turns are the hard ones.
Most rental cars are manual transmission (hooray!), just takes a minute to adjust to the other side (mainly I find the mirrors aren't where I expect them to be, is the only real issue I keep having).

Norm

Rayhpgh Avatar
Rayhpgh Ray Halackna
Pittsburgh, PA, USA   USA
1974 MG MGB
I suggest visiting Bletchley Park, home of the world war 2 code breakers where Allan Turin led the team. There are several enigma machines there in the museum. FYI, my mother worked at Bletchley Park along with 9,000 others during the WW2.

1974MGMidget Avatar
1974MGMidget Silver Member Jack Orkin
Grayson, GA, USA   USA
If you're in London, check out the Ace Cafe. They have frequent cruise-ins featuring various types of cars and bikes depending on the day/week. Sounds like a pretty cool place.

T.McP Thaddaeus M
Seattle, WA, USA   USA
The Goodwood revival might be going on at that time, the Morgan factory tour is supposed to be great, England's vintage sports car Club has regular events https://www.vscc.co.uk and so does Bicester Heritage.

I was in England very briefly last summer and didn't get a chance to do any of these things, but plan on going back for a longer trip. General car watching is really fun as there are tons of cars that never came to the US. Have a great trip!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-01-25 01:17 PM by T.McP.

tap Avatar
tap Tom P
'56 MGA, '49 TC, '31 MG Midget, '53 TD, Others..., CA, USA   USA
1931 MG Midget "Midge"
1949 MG TC "Chitty"
1953 MG TD "Ginny"
1956 MG MGA 1500 "Maggie Mae"    & more
I've done this trip a number of times...

Your dates are PERFECT to accommodate going to the Goodwood Revival Sept 13-15. I consider this to be the premier vintage car event in the world.. the parking lot is better than 90% of the world's vintage car shows. The events and paddocks are incomprehensible. Google it - that is your prime automotive event target and your dates coincide. Saturday is the prime day, but I usually get the whole weekend pass because, being England, you are likely to have a bad weather day (or two). Get your tickets online, they sell out.

Other places I have visited there...

British Motor Museum in Gaydon - Old Number 1 is there... As an MG person, you owe it to yourself to see that.

Jaguar Factory Tour - can be done in half-day and then go to Gaydon same day. Must be arranged in advance online. Same factory where spitfires were built during the war. I was there a few years back and watched the F-Type Project 7 cars being built - huge coincidence to be there the day those were finishing up.

Aston Martin factory tour - BEAUTIFUL tour. You need to arrange in advance at your local Aston dealer. They spoil you on this tour.

Beaulieu has been mentioned. That is a must see. As is the manor house on the same property. If you are a Top Gear fan, they have many of the strange cars featured on the show over the years in an exhibit.

You are probably arriving in Heathrow... Grab your rental car and a short drive away is the old Brooklands Race Track in Weybridge. Some of the old track is there and you can walk it and climb the embankments. The old buildings are full of old race cars and exhibits. It takes about 3 or 4 hours to see... so when i take folks there I arrive in the AM at Heathrow and head straight to Brooklands - checks one of the car sites off the to-do list before we ever even get to our lodging.

The Haynes International Motor Museum is nice, but a bit out of the way in Yeovil. I've been there, and enjoyed it... but...

Someone mentioned the Cotswold Motor Museum in Bourton on the Water. This "museum" is fun because it is more like a dusty barn-find than the traditional "polished and organized" museum. This place is small, but worth the visit. You will see it all in 2 hours. So, it is a perfect venue for a short car visit, then a walk of the beautiful village, a meal and beer at the pub, etc. If you have a spouse who is not into cars, this is the kind of day that allows you to get your car fix and let the spouse enjoy the local Cotswold charm.

I HIGHLY recommend avoiding the hotels and instead booking B&Bs in the country. I have had incredible luck with this. I'm thinking a Cotswold cottage with day trips to places like Bourton on the Water. When you are in this region I also highly recommend at least a half-day at Blenheim Palace (Churchill), Warwick Castle, and a walk through the weavers' cottages in Bibury (make sure to stop at The Catherine Wheel pub in Bibury for a pint of Hooky Bitter and their fresh trout from the local trout farm.

Up in Coventry is the Coventry Transport Museum. Sadly, it has been 20 years since i went there, but I remember it fondly. I recall a nice exhibit showing the local manufacturing evolving from swing machines to bicycles to vehicles. To make a full day of it, you could see Kenilworth Castle ruins for an hour or so, then pop up to Coventry for the museum. In the old days you could add the Jaguar Browns Lane Factory to that itinerary, but that is long since closed. I heard that Jaguar Heritage now has some restoration work happening there, but not sure they are open to the public.

I have NOT been to see the lone marker showing where the MG plant once was... not have I been to the Morgan factory - but those may interest you.

A tad bit out of the way to the East is the Duxford Imperial War Museum (airfield). Their air show is Sept 21-22. In past years i have done Goodwood on one weekend, then Duxford the next. Last time was 75th Anniversay of the Battle of Britain... More Spitfires and such in the air than you can imagine. Highly recommended.

I personally do everything I can to stay away from London - the countryside has a lot to offer.

Enjoy the trip. Go to Goodwood Revival (did I mention that?).

VintageBob Avatar
VintageBob Platinum Member Bob Crow
Alvin, TX, USA   USA
1972 MG Midget MkIII "The Green Car"
1972 MG Midget MkIII "The White Car"
Hi Doug. The Midget & Sprite Club in England has many chapters. Why not check with them to see if any are having a monthly meeting near where you will be. Personally, I'd like to go the the MG Owners Club building and shops. The National Exhibition Center 'The NEC' in Birmingham has big events almost every weekend. I'm thinking of going to the huge Classic Car Show 8-10 November this year. Many cities have websites which list local events of all kinds. Try googling the area where you are going.

https://www.necclassicmotorshow.com/

also try googling 'museums with cars and planes in England'.

Bob Crow.
---------------------------------------------

Kerr Avatar
Kerr Platinum Member Norm Kerr
Ann Arbor, MI, USA   USA
x2 (x1000): GO to the Goodwood Revival.

Bring period clothes (if you don't have any, they love US military uniforms and the ladies love getting dressed up in 1940's, or 1950's outfits). You simply won't believe how many of the crowd are dressed up in period clothes, if you shoot black and white photographs of the cars they look like period photos because of the crowd. Some have said it is the best classic car event because the ladies are as into it as the men.

Amazing access to the cars, amazing show, amazing presentation (they do have the very nicest porta-johns I've ever SEEN, and the food is excellent, and some of the classic car vendors are there with booths).

I've made a special trip to England just for the Goodwood Festival of Speed (mid-summer), and plan to attend the Revival some day (mid September).


Norm

sam-i-am Avatar
sam-i-am Sam L
Caledonia, Wisconsin, USA   USA
Hi all,

My wife and I are also thinking of venturing over the pond in September. Would anyone have a map with the points highlighted (with the suggestions from above) to make it a bit easier to schedule a B&B in the proper area. Thank you in advance, I appreciate your efforts.

Sam.

Stevenmanc Avatar
Stevenmanc Steve N
Manchester, UK   GBR
1972 MG 1300
Hello Doug
The Gaydon museum is really worth a visit as is the museum at Duxford.
Cheers. Steve

Ed Middleton Avatar
Warwick, Warwickshire, UK   GBR
Hi Doug,

Let us know your travel plans and areas you will be in, it will help with recommendations.

If you are in the West Midlands then I’d second a visit to the British Motor Museum at Gaydon. It recently expanded and most of the Jaguar Heritage Collection is there now as well.

Not too far away is RAF Cosford, a must visit if you’re even slightly interested in anything war/engineering, there are some really special machines on display.

If you’re in London then the Science Museum has a good section with lots of engines (IC and turbine).

The Castle at Edge Hill is 10 minutes from the BMM and a really special pub and B&B with great views, it’s on an escarpment that is the start of the Cotswolds.

Sam, England is a small place, most of the places mentioned are less than two hours apart.

British Motor Museum to central London is 1h30 without traffic.

And to reiterate what others have said, if you can, go to the Revival! I have a friend driving his Midget from Austria for the occasion!

Ed



1972 Bronze Yellow MG Midget

Sarge101st Avatar
Sarge101st Silver Member Brian S
Carlisle, PA, USA   USA
1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Biggles"
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Grrr"
1980 MG MGB "Piddles"
You mentioned trains, and already the NRM at York has been mentioned; well worth the visit. There are a great number of preserved railways running steam, everything from 2' gauge in Wales to standard gauge steam on North Yorkshire Moors. There might be some mainline steam tours on (a stellar ride would be the Settle & Carlisle, given they still do trips on that line).

In America, bookstores like Borders sell UK railway magazines. Pick up a number or two to get a feel for what's on.

The rest of the posters here have hit what I would recommend for cars, aircraft, &c, though a mention of the Imperial War Museum is always appropriate.

tap Avatar
tap Tom P
'56 MGA, '49 TC, '31 MG Midget, '53 TD, Others..., CA, USA   USA
1931 MG Midget "Midge"
1949 MG TC "Chitty"
1953 MG TD "Ginny"
1956 MG MGA 1500 "Maggie Mae"    & more
Ed's post reminds me of a story... Summer 1998 I was scheduled to visit the Browns Lane factory, but the schedule was odd. The day I was scheduled was the first day of production after some scheduled shut-down (machinery updates, I suppose). When I got there, there was some sense of disorganization and they were confused that while they indeed had me on their schedule for a tour, I was the ONLY person they had scheduled for that day. So, I proceeded to have my very own tour with extra time spent at any factory station I desired, since there was nobody else to disappoint! The guide was a retired floor worker that noted that he no doubt was on the line the day my E-Type was manufactured. At the end of the tour, in those days, you got to see the Jaguar Heritage Collection in a connected building (no fancy display as I recall, just very spaecial cars parked in a big, safe, undecorated space). Now, here is the weirdest part... the tour guide needed to leave. He said, "take the time you want to look at the collection and then exit through that door over there..." All alone. Here I am with the world's most significant LeMans D-Types, C-Types, the E2A prototype, XJ13, an early significant BRG-on-suede-green E-Type, etc... I spent about an hour seeing, touching (don't tell!), etc. I refrained from hopping into the drivers' seats - though I wanted to. Badly. Exiting that room there was a gift shop for books, memorbelia, prints and such - and that area had an attendant. But, I will always remember the day I was left alone with one of the most significant collections in the world.

Now, why is this relevant to the original topic? On that same trip I went to the historics at Silverstone. The Jaguar Heritage Collection had about 8 or 10 of those very same cars on display at the event. So, if you are traveling to see these cars, there is a reasonable probability you might see them at Goodwood. The collection, at least back then, seems to travel.

Doug, looking at your original email and thinking further... you reference that this is a "church" trip, and only one week. So, time is limited and your co-travelers are going to have desires as well. I suppose some of those desires would have you going to London. So here is what I would do.

Arrive on the 10th... from the airport (I assume Heathrow) take the Underground into London (do not drive - it is just not able to be navigated by non-locals). Have a hotel in town (Kensington would be high on my list). Stay there the 10th, 11, 12th and do the typical London things (St. Pauls, Wesminster, Tower, Shows, etc.). Likely, your co-travelers are going to want to do this. I'd rather die, but well...

Then, take the Underground back to Heathrow early morning Sept 13th. At Heathrow, grab a rental car from Hertz. Take out the extra insurance, unless you have a really good existing insurance company that understands you driving abroad, on the opposite side, in the opposite side of the car! Driving is EASIER in England, as people are courtious, follow lane discipline, etc, but you will just not be used to the methods. Exiting Heathrow is easy - lots of tsigns (maybe too many). Get on the M4 for a short while, then M25 (it is a ring) heading south at that western end of the ring. It will be less than 20 miles and you will see signs for Weybridge and the Brooklands museum. Have someone navigating the details for you on their smartphone (encouraged, since good nav apps tell you which rounbdabout exit to take - "take the third exist on the roundabout..."winking smiley. Have the late morning to mid-day at Brooklands, eat lunch in that area, and then head to Goodwood.

It is darn near a straight shot on the A3 to Goodwood from Weybridge - no more than 1.5 hours. This will get you to the event in time to see the bulk of the exibits, buy the last few items you need for your vintage costume for the vendors, etc. Stay there as long as you can into the evening then proceed to your lodging. I have used AirB&B exclusively the past several trips. Last time we stayed at a home in East Witterings; walking distance to the coast (and a 20 min drive with traffic to Goodwood event). I have also stayed in an AirB&B in a villiage 20 min north of there, can't recall the name of the village - I think the lodging was called "The Barn" as it was a modern-fitted lodging from a very old barn structure - it was nice, slept 4 of us comfortable. Air-B&B is your friend! Lodging right within the Goodwood circuit area is limited, 20 min out of town you'll be OK so long as you book soon. If you have exceedlinly deep pockets, I believe there is a Goodwood manor house / hotel - not in my league.

Do Fri and Sat at Goodwood, then... for your church friends... Every time I go to England (I often work in the Swindon area), I schedule a little time to go take in the ambiance of Salisbury Cathedral. The grounds outside are beautifu. The town is nice. The cathedral itself is amazing. And, if you contact them in advance, for a small fee you can get a guided tour climbing up the internal passages of the spire - this is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. So, move your lodging to the Salisbury area (under 1.5 hours). I have had wonderful luck with Newton Farmhouse Salisbury. Lodging is an old farmhouse. Inexpensive per room. But don't take the room under the creaky staircase!! The owners are VERY accomodating, and they do a wonderful breakfast for you. You are spitting disance to the Cathedral, and just a short drive (30 min max) through the New Forest (what a hoot - wild horses!) to Beaulieu. Non-car people might enjoy Bucklers Hard area next to Beaulieu (where Nelson's ships were built). If you do it right, you can do the Cathedral visit and Beaulieu in one Sunday. If you are a time-management genius, you may also squeeze in Stoneheng (but Stoneheng is really just not worth the effort). So, that takes you through Sunday Sept 15th...

You could do one more day in the Cotswolds. It is WELL under a 2 hr drive (1.5hrs?) from Salisbury to Bibury - which gets you into a beautiful Cotswold village. You could get there Sunday night. The Catherine Wheel Pub has a small outbuilding with some rooms - they are adequent, and perfect if you plan to be in the pub (which all close by 11PM) and stumble to your room. But, I prefer to go another mile or so East to Aldsworth, where a lady named Alex has a B&B called "The Stable House." It is also walking distance to a loveley pub, but the village area there is not as quaint as Bibury. If you want to spend a few more bucks, The Swan hotel in Bibury is simply perfect (local wedding venue) and the scenery, etc is ideal. Now that you are centered in the Cotswolds, you can spend Monday the 16th seeing Bibury, Bouton on Water (Cotswold motor museum), Burford, Upper Slaughter, Lower Slaughter, etc, etc, etc...

Then, your time is pretty much used up! Time to get back to Heathrow for departure on the 17th. I usually like to get in that night, return the rental car, stay at the Renaissance next to Heathrow, and that makes the departure easier.

I've rambled on a bit here - but over the years a lot of folk here have given me great detail to help with my cars. On this topic, I know a few things, so this is paying it forward.

Tom

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