London Bus Museum
- Check out the interesting engineering exhibits that track the development of the English public transport system and rescue vehicles throughout the years.
- Sit back and enjoy the ride on one of the vintage buses kept inside the museum.
- Keep an eye out for the fun annual family events held at the museum during the year.
If you’re looking for a weird museum in London to bring the kids for a fun day out, look no further than the London Bus Museum. With great engineering exhibits filled with old London buses and other vintage vehicles, interactive activities and fun events, this transport museum will make for an enjoyable day out that the whole family will love.
The origins of the London Bus Museum stem back to 1929 when the first vintage London Bus show was organised to celebrate 100 years of the company. Due to the major success of the show, a “commemorative fleet” of the vintage vehicles were put together. In 1974 the Cobham Bus Museum opened with great success. Since then, the collection of iconic engines has grown to a total of 35 working buses. Moving to a new location in 2011, it is a great museum in London for families with an interest in engineering and unusual history to visit.
The collection of 35 vintage buses is on permanent display in the London Bus Museum. From the horse-drawn buses of the 1870’s right up to the 70-seaters of the 1970’s, the chronological display of these vehicles allows the viewer to track through over 100 years of engineering within the scope of London Bus history. The exhibition is much more than the buses themselves; see how major events like World War II affected the public transport industry with the historical diorama and the Associated Equipment Company (AEC) memorial plaques to commemorate those in the transport service who lost their lives during the war. Check out the working maintenance room; where vintage vehicles are restored and fixed to working condition again. Don’t miss a chance to ride on the Handling Fleet, a selection of vintage buses that take to the roads on special occasions. There is a lot to do and learn here that will delight both children and adults.
Other smaller exhibits within the museum focus on smaller areas of the London Bus organisation. Those intrigued by engineering will love getting an insiders look into the pieces that compose the buses such as the different types of chassis on display. The vintage service vehicles are fun for all the family to see, the difference in an ambulance from the early 1900’s and what we see today is stark!
Keep an eye out on the museum’s website to schedule in one of the great community events held at the London Bus Museum. The annual Spring Gathering has been a tradition since the establishment of the organisation and is a fun time of year that staff and visitors of the museum look forward to every year. With tours of the museum, vintage bus rides, workshops and puppet shows, this festival is one to pencil in on the calendar. Other events include the London Buses Summer day out and the TransportFest, usually held in October.
When you’re finished checking out the buses, why not pop into the Brooklands Museum just next door? Here you can see several other vintage vehicles on display like RAF planes, race cars, helicopters and more. It will delight all!
What to know before you go
- The London Bus Museum is open every day from 10am - 5pm. In the winter season, the museum closes at 4pm.
- A ticket to the London Bus Museum also covers entry to the Brooklands Museum just next door.
- There are no food vendors on site. However, the Brooklands Museum Sunbeam Café is nearby and welcomes all visitors for a light, refreshing meal.
- There is a gift shop that sells unique souvenirs to visitors. There’s also an online facility to the shop with a click and collect service.
- There are toilets and baby changing facilities available on site.
- The London Bus Museum is wheelchair accessible; however, some facilities may not be suitable for wheelchair users.
How to get there
- The nearest rail station is Weybridge, which is less than a mile from the museum.
- If you are planning on taking the bus, route 436 has a stop right outside the Brooklands Museum, just next to the London Bus Museum.
- There is a designated car park on site for visitors.