UK Transport Museums

View UK Transport Museums at Mashed Museum.

See How Transport has changed over the Centuries when Visiting These Great Museums of Transport

Today we take it for granted that we can jet off from one side of the world to the other in a relatively short time but it wasn't always like this. Around the UK there are some amazing Transport Museums where visitors can learn how transport has changed over the years from the first primitive vehicles to supersonic travel. Here we talk about some of the best.

Coventry Transport Museum Coventry Transport Museum

Coventry Transport Museum is located in the centre of Coventry making it a convenient venue for visitors to the city. The museum boasts the world's largest collection of British road transport vehicles there is, while all the exhibits are displayed in such a way as to enable visitors to get up close and personal to see the great detail that goes into the vehicles. Following a comprehensive redesigning project the museum will open newly refurbished galleries and exhibits in spring 2015.

What Can We See at the Museum?

There is so much to see here that it takes a good afternoon to look around the museum properly. Vehicles are displayed on replicas of old streets from the past and include the very first bicycles, old cars and carriages. The museum houses over two hundred and forty cars, commercial vehicles and buses, ninety four motor cycles, two hundred cycles and twenty five thousand models, while visitors will experience a journey through time as they walk through the museum.  Vehicles that visitors must see include:

  • Lady Diana's Mini Metro
  • Queen Mary's 1935 Daimler
  • Monty's Victory Car Humber Super Snipe
  • Ferguson TE20 Tractor
  • 1870 Penny Farthing Bicycle by James Starley
  • Standard Fulham Car 1929
  • Rover Safety Cycle 1888

Exhibitions play a huge part in what's on at the Coventry Transport Museum including the story of invention with displays of vehicles dating back over one hundred and fifty years. Exhibition titles include

  • Large commercial gallery
  • Boomtown
  • Spirit of speed
  • Ghost town
  • Model world
  • Cyclopedia
  • Jaguar heritage gallery

Tours of the museum are available, while individuals, groups and families are also welcome here.

Location and Opening Hours

The museum is located in the very heart of Coventry in Millennium Place. Drivers can follow the M1, M6, M40 and M42 motorways to travel to Coventry and park in pay and display car parks close to the building. The museum does not unfortunately have its own car park.

The museum is a fifteen minute walk from the train station with follow on bus services leaving the station at regular intervals. Poole Meadow Bus station is a two minute walk away from the museum, while of course those who are feeling energetic can always walk to the museum.

The museum opens daily from 9am to 5pm, while admission is free which is amazing! Why not plan a day out in Coventry and take in the Transport Museum as part of your itinerary.

  • Coventry Transport Museum
  • Millennium Place
  • Hales Street
  • Coventry
  • CV1 1JD
  • Tele 024 7623 4270

Museum of Transport Greater ManchesterMuseum of Transport Greater Manchester

This great transport museum that was established in 1979 is housed in an old bus garage next to an early tram shed that are both Grade II listed buildings. The museum focuses on passenger transport vehicles with some of the exhibits a far cry from today's comfortable warm vehicles. Most of the vehicles are in working order with the fleet displays ranging from 1969 buses through to 1981 vehicles.

What Can we see at The Museum?

The oldest of the vehicles here is an 1890's Victorian open topped horse drawn bus that is in amazing condition being restored to its former glory in vivid colours of red and gold. You can imagine the Victorian travellers sitting aloft as the carriage trundled down the narrow roads of the era, while sitting on the top deck would have been really cold in winter.

Further vehicles and exhibits include

  • Ninety vintage vehicles
  • Trams
  • Buses
  • Classic 40's 50's and 60's coaches
  • Original coach station booking office
  • Vintage fire engine
  • Vintage brewers dray
  • Ticket machines, uniforms, time tables
  • Step back in time buffet café

Visitors to the Greater Manchester Museum can also see the only Atkinson double decker bus that was produced, the last rear loader double decker that was built and the very first Leyland National bus to be manufactured in the UK. Visitors can read all about the history of public transport and view many other artefacts in relation to it. The museum will be holding many events throughout 2015 including the Spring Transport Festival in March and the Free Museum Bus Rides Day at the end of June. Details of what's on can be found at the website.

Location and Opening Hours

The museum is located just one mile from the centre of Manchester at the junction of the A665 and the A6010 near Manchester Fort Shopping Park. The museum also has great bus and rail links. Please contact First Manchester for further bus service details and Metrolink regarding trains.

The museum opens every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday plus every day in August from 10am to 4.30pm. Admission costs £4.00 per adult, while children under sixteen enter free.

  • Museum of Transport Greater Manchester
  • Boyle Street
  • Cheetham Hill
  • Manchester
  • M8 8UW
  • Tele 0161 205 2122

London Transport MuseumLondon Transport Museum

London Transport Museum is dedicated to the story of the London Transport system, how it began plus how it has evolved over the last two hundred years. The museum boasts over four hundred and fifty thousand artefacts, while its central location in Covent Garden Piazza makes it an ideal venue for those who are touring around London's many amazing sightseeing venues.

What's On at the Museum?

There are all kinds of vehicles to see in this museum with some dating back as far as the early 1800's. Visitors will be captivated by

  • Horse drawn buses such as the twenty two seater Shillibeer bus or the Tilling "knife board" Horse Bus that carried twenty six people
  • Railway rolling stock dating back to 1866
  • Trams and trolley buses with horse trams and early electric trams
  • Taxis
  • Bicycles
  • Tractors
  • Sedan chair circa 1780-1800

Visitors to London Transport Museum can also view many interesting photographs, posters and films, while the layout of the museums galleries takes us through the timeline of transport. Galleries featured include

  • 19th century London
  • Steam Underground 1863-1905
  • Growth of the suburbs
  • Digging deeper, story of the tube
  • Travelling underground
  • London Transport at war
  • After 1945

The museum is also great for families with many different activities for kids to enjoy such as drawing vehicles, folding paper, colour and draw postcards and decorate your own travel card. Kids under seventeen enter the museum free too which is great!

Location and Opening Times

London Transport Museum is ideally located for those travelling by tube with underground services from Leicester Square, Holborn, Embankment and Charring Cross. Charring Cross and Waterloo over ground stations also service Covent Garden Piazza.

Buses travel from the Strand or Aldwych, while car drivers need to know there are a limited number of parking spaces available near the museum. The museum opens seven days a week while admission costs £16.00 per adult, £13.50 for concessions, groups get a discount and kids under seventeen go free!

  • London Transport Museum
  • Covent Garden Piazza
  • London
  • WC2E 7BB
  • Tele 0 20 7379 6344

National Railway Museum YorkNational Railway Museum

The National Railway Museum is located in York and is the UK's largest railway museum housing over one million objects, artefacts and rolling stock. Adults and children alike will be amazed at the spectacular collection of trains held under one roof and will need at least a full morning or afternoon set aside in order to view and appreciate all this great railway museum has to offer.

What Can We See at the Museum?

When we arrived at the museum entrance there was quite a queue waiting to get in which surprised us as entry to the museum is free. We then realised that although entry is free of charge we had to file through barriers past a desk where staff at the museum were asking for donations to the museums upkeep before entering. Now don't get me wrong we would have donated by putting money into the receptacles placed near the exit prior to leaving the museum but we do object to being made feel uncomfortable when entering the museum if we did not donate. Almost everyone was giving money over and we think that kind of pressure is not on!

Once inside the museum you are met with a whole host of fabulous trains sited on various platforms with some trains that visitors can board too!  Watch out for

  • The Mallard the world's fastest steam locomotive
  • The Shinkansen a high speed bullet train. Sit inside the train and imagine speeding along
  • The Royal carriages. We especially found the Queen Victoria Carriage interesting as we imagined her Maj sitting on the plush sofas sited inside the carriage. It looks very much home from home
  • The Turn Table Demonstration
  • Ride the miniature railway
  • Join in a science show
  • Experience the art gallery
  • Visit the warehouse that holds over ten thousand artefacts

Our five year old especially liked the miniature railways and spent ages just watching the trains go in and out of the tunnels. Whether it's looking at the fabulous locomotives in the Great Hall or visiting Station Hall that looks like a real railway station from decades ago you are assured of a fabulous day out at the National Railway Museum in York.

Location and Opening Times

The National Railway Museum York is a short walk from the centre of the city and York station on Leeman Road. The route from the station is well signposted so no fear of getting lost, while the car park which is also well sign posted costs £9.00 per day.

Park and ride services are also provided, while for those who like to travel in style there is a Road Train Service that sets off from York Minster every half hour from 11am. The museum opens daily from 10am to 5pm and as we have discussed previously entry to the museum is free!

  • National Railway Museum
  • Leeman Road
  • York
  • YO26 4XJ
  • Tele 0844 815 3139