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“Great day out with the kids”

Haynes International Motor Museum
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Sparkford
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Offering an excellent day out for everyone, with more than 400 cars and bikes displayed in stunning style, dating from 1885 to the present day. For the children there is the autogame experience, motoring themed play area, soft play area. Throughout the year the museum also hosts exciting events including Rare Breeds Motor Show.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great day out with the kids”
Reviewed 14 June 2014

This is obviously an attraction for those interested in cars- both old and new. My 10 year old is besotted with cars (thanks Top Gear!) and absolutely loved the museum. I have to confess I also found it interesting as did my hubby - neither of us are 'into' cars but for a few hours it was entertaining. I have to say if it wasn't for my 10 yr old we would't have gone as this museum does exactly what it says on the tin.
I would definatley advise taking a picnic (some tables at the front and at the back where the play park is) as the food is very expensive and the queues at lunchtime were very long. We went on a sunday and although quite busy it did not feel crowded at all.
The play area for the kids is just fantastic - it has little toy ride-on cars, scooters, small go-carts (pay £1 extra but good fun) and sand area. We had our picnic there and stayed in that area for over 90mins as the kids (10 and 2) were having such a lovely time.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Wyton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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811 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Gillingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
85 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Haynes Motor Meuseum”
Reviewed 11 June 2014

Excellent way of spending an hour or two. The famous red room survives and it is truly facinating to be able to see all the models from your childhood memories. Have not been since the new entrance has been opened but i'm sure it is even better now

Visited May 2014
Thank Mike N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ilkley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2014

We visited this car museum while on holiday in the area and found it to be poor value for money.
Expensive to get in and poor selection of vehicles. No Morris Miners or TVRs apart from one unrecognisable sprint car plus the racing section was pathetic.The moter cycle section was mainly
speedway. The cafe was hugely expensive and was the sting in the tail . Beaulieu was so much better.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Stephen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Disappointed after waiting so long for refurbishment”
Reviewed 4 June 2014

For over 30 years we have visited Haynes and were eagerly awaiting the refurbishment of what had become a very tired attraction. My husband and son are very knowledgeable car enthusiasts and I enjoy reading the interesting provenance. The new entrance which is well lit and spacious but don't expect a warm welcome from the staff. We decided to have a cup of tea and a snack. The staff couldn't be more surly with the exception of one young girl on the till. The cakes looked like they had been there for weeks and my choice of a cookie from a jar surprisingly tasted stale and of onions. However, we came here for cars not a gourmet meal. Upon entering the exhibition hall, guess what, still the same dreary car park of red cars all sandwiched together, some great,some good and some just plain dull. But if this hall was lit with up to date lighting system rather than fluorescent tubes it could look a bit more impressive. So many of these cars need weeding out - they don't merit being in a museum setting. From one hall to another the same tired layout of cars desperately needing more attention than a flick over with a duster. The overall appearance is dull and boring so by the time you reach the more updated halls boredom and a feeling of sadness has set in. These cars look abandoned in a car park setting. Some so close together one wonders how the driver got out. Many of the type written descriptions are incomplete and of no interest to either the car fanatic or a visitor just browsing.
The motor sport section is laughable, with the same 1950's mannequins without wigs sporting marshals uniforms, which at last have been washed to get rid of the layers of dust but what are they doing there? There is very little to inform or impress the visitor with cars that really should fascinate. One highlight is the new mini section - bright, well laid out and interesting cars with a clever interactive configuration exhibit. Overall the long-awaited refurbishment has provided an impressive frontage to the road, entrance foyer, cafe area and outside play area. As the summer rolls on the outside play area will undoubtedly be a success with families but at the expensive entry cost, they deserve to enjoy something that takes up more time than a half hour walking through the halls. The shop too is very nicely done and beautifully displayed. However browsing round the shop would have been more enjoyable if not having to overhear the staff discussing loudly and at length various issues re staffing levels , hours etc. These are the same staff that couldn't or wouldn't bother to enquire if we had enjoyed our visit. In fact no staff seemed to be around at all except to take money.
All that money invested to improve the facilities why not at least make visitors welcome and keen to make a return visit. Even though we were told, almost as an afterthought, that as we had done gift aid we may come in for free during the rest of the year i am not sure we will bother.

Visited June 2014
3 Thank 633chukka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HaynesIMM, General Manager at Haynes International Motor Museum, responded to this review, 6 June 2014
Dear Chukka,

Thank you for your critique which I read with interest. Indeed some of your observations are valid and some of our very new staff do need more training and we are actively addressing that situation as we speak.

Regarding the interior of the museum and the exhibition. Please bear in mind that unlike other museums of the same standing we do not take government or any other grant. We provide a valuable educational resource here at no cost to the government purse.

When deciding our method of upgrading we have to take finances into consideration. Having a secure, watertight, warm and welcoming building was a necessity. At the same time as completing the restructuring of the fabric of the building we upgraded and added the following:-

1) New Dawn of Motoring exhibition.
2) New Mini exhibition.
3) Paint a car interactive.
4) British Marques Exhibition
5) American Hall reinterpreted
6) Complete reinterpretation of the Motorcycle Hall
7) Complete reinterpretation of the Speedway Collection
8) Supercars of the 20th Century exhibition
9) £150,000 Play area and Film Bus
10) History of motoring Arcade Games (working exhibit)

We have a number of other improvements and reinterpretations we wish to do along with many exiting new changes and additions over the coming months.

The new Café, Reception and Conference Facilities were added as a necessity to keep the museum open and funded.

We are a self sustaining, non profit making Educational Charitable Trust that can only remain open with the support of motoring enthusiasts.

Our aim is to provide a facility that has a modern outlook on museum interpretation giving everyone a chance to be entertained and educated.

The cookie biscuit that you purchase with your coffee was baked the day before. I cant comment on the fact you thought they tasted of onion but we have been baking these for years and had no such similar reaction. We bake fresh every day.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your observations. All constructive criticism helps with our training.

Further, if you would like to join me for a cup of coffee and a cake I will happily share with you our plans and aspirations for the future.

Mike Penn
Curatorial Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
138 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Does what it says on the tin!”
Reviewed 3 June 2014

Cars and cars and the odd bike!

If youre into cars, this is the place for you. It thrilled our two boys (17 & 16) who drooled over cars, but our 13 year old was bored.

I thought it was quite pricey to get in £65. We were in there about an hour and a half.

There is a place outside for smaller kids to run and let off steam.

Large cafe with sofas and chairs to relax on. Had a lovely cup of tea to revive me afterwards.

Gift shop is VERY expensive!!!

So all you petrol heads, get yourselves there!

Visited June 2014
Thank wilsonx6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HaynesIMM, General Manager at Haynes International Motor Museum, responded to this review, 6 June 2014
Dear WIlson6,

Thank you so much for your critique after your visit here. All types of feedback are always welcome to allow us to understand better what our customers want.

I would be particularly interested to understand why your 13 year old was bored whilst others appeared to enjoy the experience. Maybe we can do something to improve the resources for the early teens.

If you would like to repeat the experience I will gladly treat you to a cup of coffee and a cake when I could discuss with you what our plans and future aspirations are.

Kind regards
Mike Penn
Curatorial Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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