Festivals, shows and museums with an ‘auto’ prefix: a guide to UK events and venues for motorists

23.01.2024Ksenia Batyshkina

The United Kingdom is renowned for its rich automotive history and culture. In our guide we have selected the most interesting and high-profile car-related events that will take place in 2024, as well as places that will appeal not only to connoisseurs of good cars, but will also be a great reason to spend time with the whole family.

Goodwood Festival of Speed (Goodwood Festival of Speed)

For many, the lack of a suitable race course is an insurmountable obstacle to organizing a race, but not for aristocrat and peer Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox (aka Earl of March and Kinrara). After failing to get permission to hold races at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in 1993, he decided to organize a track on his own estate. Over the next 20 years, the event has grown from a competition for vintage cars into one of the biggest and probably the most interesting car festivals in the world.

Only there and only 3 days a year you can see how ordinary motorists together with past and present champions of all practical racing series of the world “carry” on a rural road among haystacks and old stone fences, trying to break the record of speed of hill climbing and using absolutely any sports and civilian equipment. The participants and spectators themselves have dubbed the show “a veritable extravaganza of car love”.

In addition to the central point of the program (racing competition), each year one of the famous car brands (sponsors of the event) installs a large-scale car-art installation, which impresses spectators as much as the race itself.

Dates and venue: July 11-14, 2024, Goodwood House, Chichester, West Sussex.

More information on the event’s official website .

British Grand Prix – F1 Race (British Grand Prix – F1 Race)

For many it may not seem obvious and new fact that racing on the British circuit (by the way, rich in overtaking) for Formula 1 is the central, and perhaps the most important part of the season. As it is ‘home for most teams by 2024, 7 out of 10 participating teams will have their headquarters in the United Kingdom. Recently, due to the abundance of new bright new grand prix and their high-profile press coverage, fans of “royal motor racing” do not pay much attention to the stage at the Silverstone circuit. So, fans of the Formula One Championship are especially advised not to overlook this event and leave some free time on their calendar between July 5 and July 7, 2024.

By the way, the first round of Formula 1 on the track “Silverstone” was held in 1950 and was held in the presence of King George VI.

Dates and venue: July 5-7, 2024, Silverstone Circuit.

More information on the event’s official website .

National Motor Museum

The museum was founded in 1952 by Edward Douglas-Scott-Montegue (the third Baron Montague of Beaulieu) as a tribute to his father, who was one of the pioneers of the automobile industry in the United Kingdom.

The museum’s collection includes more than 250 cars produced from the late 19th century to the present day. In 2012, it opened an exhibition of “James Bond” cars, and among the displays you can find a collection of “On Screen Cars” glimpsed in famous films and TV shows – for example, Mr. Bean’s lime green Mini or the Weasley family’s Ford Anglia from the Harry Potter film series.

Another entertaining exhibit at the National Motor Museum is an exhibition of cars from the show Top Gear. In some episodes of the legendary TV show, the hosts challenged each other to create extravagant cars for the most fantastic purposes. For example, amphibious vehicles (there are as many as 3 of them) that can swim across Lamanche, or a car equipped with a rocket launcher for space flights.

This museum will not only be of interest to car enthusiasts, but will be a great place to visit for the whole family.

More information on the museum’s official website .

British Motor Museum

If you don’t know about important UK car brands like Leyland, Morris, Triumph or Austin, then you should definitely head to the British Motor Museum in Gaydon. Visitors are presented with the world’s largest collection of historic British cars – over 400 vehicles – as well as an archive of nearly one million objects and photographs from the collections of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and the Jaguar Heritage Trust.

The material presented – parts, racing equipment from different times, archive drawings, equipment used to produce the cars, etc. – together tell the story of the British car industry over 100 years. – together tell the story of the British car industry for more than 100 years.

More information on the museum’s official website .

Silverstone Festival.

If the interest in modern circuit racing is decreasing, it is impossible to say the same about classic car racing, because the number of cars on the pitlane (the starting grid or simply the start) every year only grows. The number of events taking place under this theme is also increasing. If you only have the opportunity to attend one event, it should probably be the world’s largest retro car festival at Silverstone.

Over the course of the weekend, spectators will be able to watch 20 races in various racing classes. The average spectator can see the race cars preparing for competition, as the paddocks are open to the public, a rarity for such tournaments. All in all, the festival annually features about 100 car clubs and 10,000 classic and rare modern cars from around the world.

In the beginning of its history, the festival was an event only for car connoisseurs, but over time its format changed and the organizers added a music show and many other activities for the whole family.

Dates and venue: from August 23 to 25, 2024, Silverstone, Circuit Towcester, Northamptonshire.

More information on the event’s official website .

Jaguar Factory Tour (Castle Bromwich Factory Tour)

If you are a fan of the Jaguar brand or have always wanted to see for yourself the high-tech production of modern cars, then the following information is definitely for you.

The doors of the Castle Bromwich factory in Birmingham are open to the public every week. Accompanied by an experienced guide, they will not only hear the history of the famous brand, but also learn how the factory where Spitfire airplanes used to be manufactured was transformed and became the “home” for modern Jaguar cars. Participants of the excursion will have an opportunity to see with their own eyes how scattered pieces of metal and car parts are transformed into works of modern engineering art within a few hours by the hands of skillful workers and production robots. Tour guides will also familiarize guests with all the current models of the famous premium brand and give them a chance to ride them on a special platform.

More information on the company’s official website .

Concours of Elegance.

The name of the event speaks for itself. It was first held at Windsor Castle in 2012, but after several “relocations” and changes of locations, it has firmly settled in the country palace of English kings in the outskirts of London – in Hampton Court.

This year’s event will bring together around 60 of the rarest cars from around the world, many of which have never been seen in the UK before. Uniquely, the winner of the Concours of Elegance is chosen not by a jury, but by the car owners themselves, who are invited to vote for one of their competitors. In addition to the main competition, hundreds of other fine machines will be presented and several additional interesting nominations will be initiated. For example, the Junior Concours, which will feature about 20 cars in half and three-quarter scale, with the main competitors being children.

The whole event is traditionally held at the highest level of hospitality and elegance – guests are provided with private marquees and lounges, elite drinks and food, various auctions and activities that are executed with royal flair.

Dates and venue: August 30 to September 1, 2024, Hampton Court, London.

More information on the event’s official website .

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