A little over a mile from the southern tip of Lake Windermere you’ll find the Lakeland Motor Museum. With over 30,000 exhibits ranging from vintage fire engines to collectible toys, this is an absolute must for any motor enthusiast. In fact, even if cars and bikes are not your thing, it’s a fantastic day out, as the museum offers so much more than just cars. And after your walk through motoring history, why not pop into Café Ambio for a bite to eat?
The museum is located in a converted mill in the village of Backbarrow, just off the A590. Among the 30,000 or so exhibits are around 140 classic cars and motorbikes, as well as a host of other ‘automobilia’. Take a trip down memory lane as you wander through over 100 years of automotive history, as well as some local history, authentic recreations and period shopping displays. Learn all about the Isle of Man TT race and marvel at the huge collection of bicycles, pedal cars and caravans.
The extensive car collection will no doubt provoke a sense of nostalgia for many visitors, and for the younger ones a sense of intrigue – they’ll be amazed at the amphicar, built in 1966 and designed to swim through water at the push of a lever. In fact, one was even driven by the former owner of Belle Isle – the largest of Windermere’s eighteen islands – making it a regular sight gliding across England’s largest natural lake.
For those of us with a few more miles on the clock, we’ll no doubt remember family cars, first cars and cars we wish we’d held onto! From vintage and veteran to weird and wonderful, there really is something for everyone.
The Campbell Bluebird Exhibition
Opposite the main building is a separate exhibition dedicated to the work of Sir Malcolm Campbell and his son Donald, who between them set twenty-one land a water speed records. The exhibition includes a timeline of their achievements, as well as full size replicas of the 1935 Bluebird car, the 1939 Bluebird boat and the 1967 jet hydroplane, Bluebird K7.
Once you’ve explored the museum and the Bluebird Exhibition, make sure you visit Café Ambio where you’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of options. Open from 9.30am to 5.30pm every day, it’s a great way to finish your visit to the Lakeland Motor Museum. And if it’s a nice day, why not sit outside by the river?