Located just outside the city of Birmingham, National Motorcycle Museum is one of the coolest spots in the UK for everything about motorcycles—engines, history, and a myriad of other cool things to top it all off. Occupying 8 acres (32,000 sq m) of space, the museum was started by self-made millionaire Roy Richards. The construction and collection of the motorcycles were all started by Richards, who began collecting good examples of UK motorcycles in the ‘70s. By 1985, the museum was ready to open. The initial collection of motorcycles started out at 350 machines and is now over 850 and spans over 100 years of British motorcycle history. If you’re in the Birmingham area, here is a guide to National Motorcycle Museum.
Things to do
Tour the museum
National Motorcycle Museum is a pretty big place, and if you want to see everything there is, you might want to come back because with over 850 different motorcycles to check out, you can definitely end up spending a lot of time here. The museum is home to the largest collection of UK motorcycles, with models and displays spanning over 100 years of history. Guided tours are available, and large groups and tour groups are accepted any day of the week with an advanced booking appointment. You can visit at your leisure to check out the foyer, where you can explore special exhibitions for free, then make a stop at the gift shop.
Buy a bike or bike parts
National Motorcycle Museum is not only a great museum but also a venue where motorcyclists from all over the country can come and appreciate the work of others. If you’re a collector yourself and are looking for your next great purchase, National Motorcycle Museum often has bikes for sale. If you’re planning to restore an old bike, this place can help you out with collecting parts and accessories.
Attend a non-motorcycle-related event
National Motorcycle Museum always hosts a wide variety of events that are non-motorcycle-related. Because of the size of the museum and its large conference spaces, there is almost always something happening here. Check the calendar for upcoming events like the coin fair, antiques and collectibles viewing, or book launches.
What to eat
National Motorcycle Museum has a selection of food joints on-site if you’re in need of a quick snack before or after you take a tour of the museum.
Museum Restaurant and Cafe
The entrance to this part of the museum is totally free and located on the first floor. The restaurant serves all kinds of tasty items that will please anyone—from sandwiches and paninis to soups and salads as well as cakes. The place has a wide selection of drinks on offer as well, like ILLY coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and sodas. The cafe opens at 8:00 a.m. every day, so why not stop by and have one of its delicious full English breakfasts. You can always head to the restaurant in the middle of your tour and continue later as well if you wish.
Museum Coffee Kart
Located in the foyer section of the museum and right next to the shop, Museum Coffee Kart is there to be your quick fix after the restaurant closes. Grab a coffee or light snacks like a cake or premade sandwich for something on the go. Museum Coffee Kart is open after 2:30 p.m. on weekdays.
Things to buy
Here you can grab anything from riding clothes like jackets and helmets to memorabilia T-shirts and even kids’ clothes. The clothing selection is wide, and the place has great and practical clothes for people who ride as well as some things for people who just want a nice souvenir from their visit to National Motorcycle Museum.
These are a great gift idea for the kids or just motorcycle lovers out there who like to work with their hands. Consider getting a model or a puzzle, and put together a couple of the most iconic motorcycles in British history. It might not be the real thing, but at least you can say you have a classic bike in your home.
For the riders out there, National Motorcycle Museum has a ton of great things to buy that will help you get the most out of your machine. Things like castor oil and merchandise to fuel-tank sealants and classic motorcycle parts and tires are available for purchase.
There is wheelchair access to the museum on the first floor, with a ramp to get in. For those traveling with a carer, the carer will have free access to the museum when accompanied by the person they are caring for. Moreover, guide dogs are welcome here, and there are a couple of free-to-loan wheelchairs on-site too.
How to get there
Getting here by car is probably the easiest way. There is ample parking on-site for both cars and bikes as well as designated parking spaces for those with mobility issues. There is also overflow parking available for those with large vehicles like motorhomes.
Getting here by bus is also very simple as the nearest bus stop is at Birmingham International Airport, and from there, a five-minute taxi ride is the way to go. The same applies to rail transport, as the nearest rail station is also at the airport.
Tickets to enter the museum can be bought online on the website or in person. Third-party ticket vendors are also available.
National Motorcycle Museum Admission
Duration: 2 hours
National Motorcycle Museum
Address: Coventry Rd, Bickenhill, Solihull B92 0EJ, United Kingdom
Opening hours: 8:30am - 5:30pm (daily)
Official website: National Motorcycle Museum
Department of tourism: Visit Birmingham
Price: 10 - 15 USD
National Motorcycle Museum Family Admission
Duration: 9 hours
Get Trip101 in your inbox