If you like buses, trams, motor bikes, old trucks and fire engines (or lawnmowers, for that matter) this is the museum for you. It’s packed full of vintage vehicles and, while it looks unassuming from the outside, it’s like a tardis inside. There are plenty of additional display that lead off from the main bus station hanger, and you can even see inside the workshops where restoration projects are ongoing. But it’s not just an interesting history exhibit – there are plenty of interactive displays too. With opportunities to hop aboard retro buses and trams, it’s simply fascinating for the little ones. Plus, they can even have a go on the fire engine! Here are some snaps from my visit to the transport museum and my tips for making a visit. Parking – While I didn’t spot a dedicated car park, there’s plenty of parking space available beside the industrial road which runs alongside the museum hangar. And there’s no charge to park.
Food and drink – The Sunbeam Tea Rooms offers food and drink at reasonable prices, or you could take a picnic to enjoy on the grassed area outside the front of the museum. We popped in and out of the museum all day long, so readmission is possible.
Admission – Day-to-day the entry fees for adults is £5.50 and £5 for concessions. Children under the age of 5 are free, and 5-16 year olds cost £3.50. Money can be saved by buying a family ticket for £16 which covers two adults and up to three children. On special event days (such as the fire engine day, classic vehicles rally or Christmas events) the price increases to £7 for adults and £4.50 for children.
Special events – The museum often holds special events for children, such as the ‘Ride A Fire Engine Day’ on the August bank holiday Monday, which offers free rides on the engines with sirens and bells ringing! I bet the little ones would love that! Check the calendar on the museum’s website to see what’s on – most event days involve visiting vehicles and free bus rides, so it’s worth making a trip to the museum on special occasions.
Gift shop – You enter and leave the museum via the gift shop but have no fear! It’s not overpriced so you’ll be able to treat your little ones to something from the gift shop. I bought my husband a metal ‘Bus Driver’ badge for £1 and I got myself a small ‘make do and mend’ book and a ‘wartime recipes’ booklet, each costing no more than £3 – in fact, I think they were even less than that. There’s plenty of pocket-money toys and the traditional museum pencils etc. I hope that my blog post has covered most of the things you’d need to know if you were planning to visit the museum but please do let me know if you think of anything else by leaving me a comment below. I really enjoyed going to the museum and couldn’t believe that I’d never thought of going there before. I suppose I thought that there couldn’t be much going on inside that old industrial building, but oh boy was I wrong! Plenty to do and see – we were there for a good few hours and ate lunch on site too, and I’m pretty sure that I still didn’t get to see all the exhibits. I’m hoping to go back on a special event day soon and take a ride on a retro bus myself!