It’s all happening at museums in the Banbury area lately (and as a museum-lover, this pleases me).
Banbury Museum (www.banburymuseum.org) has announced that it is expanding its exhibition space which will include a waterway gallery and a “mini museum” for children. I’ve visited the Banbury Museum a few times now, easy as it is right in the town center, straddling the canal. I’ve been to both the permanent displays and visiting exhibitions – impressed each time by how much time and effort had gone into use of space and maximising the visitor experience. Make this all free – yes FREE – on top of everything else and you have a true jewel in the local cultural crown.
The British Motor Museum, formerly known as the Heritage Motor Centre, is reopening Feb 13 after a major refurb and rebrand. More cars, more space, more “behind the scenes” stuff. Very much looking forward to that and glad to see the place is getting a bit of a spit and polish. We’ve been here for both the displays and special events (this is the home of the annual Banbury Run, a motorcycle run with over 500 pre 1931 motorcycles taking part) and it has been fab each time but it WAS looking a bit tired and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be a star in the motoring landscape that is this area. I mean, we’re smack in the middle of motorsport valley – of COURSE there should be a first class motor museum.
Banbury sits very much like a spider in a motor museum web. Base yourself in Banbury for a petrol-head weekend and after the BMM, visit these nearby places of interest, all about 45 minutes away by car in various directions
- Coventry Transport Museum in Coventry
- National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull
- Cotswold Motoring Museum (and Toy Collection for mini-motorheads) in Bourton on the Water
It goes without saying (though I shall say it anyway) that Banbury is conveniently located for Silverstone, home of British Motorsport (20-25 minute away), but did you know it is also quite near the Shakespeare County Raceway, home to drag races, hot rods, track days… all just a hop skip and jump over in Stratford, an easy 30 minute drive from central Banbury.