If you’re looking for something to do with the car fan in your life this half-term holiday, look no further. Museums are cottoning onto the fact that there’s a captive car-crazy audience out there and many have responded accordingly. But there are also some more traditional activities.
National Motor Museum
Beaulieu is apparently one of Britain’s most haunted places so unsurprisingly, it’s taking advantage of Halloween which coincides with this October half term. There’s a Halloween quiz trail including a lucky dip from the witches’ cauldron, spooky stories from costumed guides, and face painting. Any kids who come to the museum in Halloween costume get in for free.
Where? National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Hants
When? October 25-November 2
How much? Adults £21; Age 5-12 £10.50; Under 5 Free; 10 per cent discount for advanced bookings
More info: Beaulieu.co.uk
Heritage Motor Centre
Artist Ian Cook is famous for painting by using remote-controlled cars as his brushes. This year the Heritage Motor Centre celebrates Family Arts Week by encouraging visitors to the museum to create some unique automotive artwork using Ian’s unusual painting techniques. Under the watchful eye of artist-in-residence Ian, it should be fun: it involves painting with a variety of strange implements from spoons to tyres and of course (bearing in mind the artist!) radio-controlled cars.
Where? Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, Warwicks
When? October 27-30
How much? Adults £12; Age 5-16 £8; Under 5 Free
More info: Heritage-motor-centre.co.uk
Coventry Museum of Road Transport
Half-term means a week of crafty fun in Coventry. All week there’s the Big Draw Made in Coventry Trail which helps visitors get to know the museum by drawing various of its exhibits. Younger visitors can also make a foam aeroplane, an Olympic torch to take home, create a Coventry watch or bicycle collage and even design their own car-based money box, depending on the day.
Where? Coventry Transport Museum, Coventry
When? October 25-November 2
How much? Admission is free, the drawing trail is £1.50, the money box £3, the aeroplane, watch, torch and collage £1
More info: Transport-museum.com
London to Brighton run
The world’s longest running motoring event is also the largest gathering of veteran cars in the world. To qualify, cars must have been built before 1905 so for them to still be in one piece, let alone capable of driving from London’s Hyde Park to Brighton’s sea front is quite remarkable. If you want to have a close-up look at them, free of charge, more than 100 entrants will be gathered on London’s Regent Street the day before the run.
Where? Regent Street, London W1
When? November 1, 11am-3pm
How much? Free
More info: vccofgb.co.uk
Brooklands is running the Half-term Big Draw Workshop. It’s for kids, and junior artists will be encouraged to draw the Brooklands World – so lots of cars and aeroplanes. In addition, the museum’s popular vintage car rides will be operating. Visitors will be able to ride in an old car up the Test Hill or on the banking of the famous old race track. And there are bus rides around the area in a classic London bus.
Where? Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, Surrey
When? October 27-31
How much? TBA
More info: Brooklandsmuseum.com
The Footman James Classic Vehicle Restoration Show
Car fans in the south west have their very own classic car show. Held in Shepton Mallet, it features more than 150 exhibitors from car clubs to restorers, suppliers and autojumble stalls. There’s even an auction. There are live displays and plenty of enthusiasts and experts around to offer those interested in owning a classic car – and even those who’re just interested – plenty of wise words.
Where? Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset
When? November 1-2, 10am-4.30pm
How much? £10
More info: bccsl.co.uk