If you or your children are big fans of buses, you’ll love to know just how many bus museums the United Kingdom has to offer. Whatever region of the country you’re in, there’s always a bus museum to entertain you.
Let’s start exploring the country by region, after all, most people need to know the locations of museums before they can consider visiting them.
Bus museums in Scotland
Scottish Vintage Bus Museum
If you love vintage buses from the 1920s to the 1930s, the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum is a fantastic place to explore. This museum opened its doors in 1986 in Whitburn, West Lothian and is home to around 160 buses. There are also around 30 different vehicles, including a collection of small railway transport, which has been loaned to the museum by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society. There is also a restored steam roller, a horse tram that has been carefully restored and some classic lorries and classic cars. In 1995, the museum moved to its current location, which used to be part of the Royal Navy Stores Depot.
- Location: Lathalmond (2.5 miles north of Dunfermline in Fife).
- Details: Open on Sundays between Easter and October.
Riverside Museum – Glasgow
While the Riverside Museum is more of a transport museum than a bus museum, it’s certainly worth a mention as it houses over 3000 objects. The museum has lots of interactive displays and you can walk through the streets of Glasgow. You can get on a bus, tram or train and feel what vintage public transport was like. It is a museum that all ages will enjoy as there are 90 touch screens with films, memories and images.
- Location: Pointhouse Place, Glasgow, G3 8RS
- Details: Open 10 am until 5 pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday Open slightly later on Friday and Sunday at 11 am.
Bus Museums on the Isle of Man
Jurby Transport Museum
If you’re looking for a bus museum on the Isle of Man, look no further. The Jurby Transport Museum has a great collection of buses and transport all housed in a former aircraft hangar. The museum has no public funding at all and is run solely on donations for its running costs. Even so, it is free to enter this museum. It is a relatively new museum, having only opened in 2010 but it has already seen a staggering 30, 000 visitors. The museum is home to buses that date between 1927 and 1997. There is also free parking and a shop on site.
- Location: Hangar 230, Jurby Industrial Estate, Jurby, Isle of Man
- Details: Open each weekend and Bank Holidays during summertime. Open on Sundays and Bank Holidays in wintertime.
Bus Museums in North East England
You’re in for a real experience at Beamish. If you’re just into buses and want to explore a range of buses from different eras in a large building, this might not be the place for you. But, if you want to be taken back in time to experience life and transport of a bygone era, you’ll love Beamish Museum.
This is an open-air museum that gives you a feel for everyday life or rural North East England during the early 20th century when industrialisation was at its peak. The site covers 300 acres and you can explore on foot or on vintage transport. There are old trams and buses that move visitors around the site and you can also ride on locomotives too.
The museum opened its doors in 1972 and is a real family favourite in the region and hosts special snowy Christmas experiences too.
- Location: Beamish, Stanley, Country Durham, England
- Details: Open 10 am until 5 pm each day.
Bus museums in North West England
North West Museum of Road Transport
The North West Museum of Road Transport is home to lots of buses that belonged to local municipal bus companies including Chester, Warrington, Widnes, Southport, Liverpool and St Helens. The majority of the displayed vehicles are buses but the museum also has fire engines, trucks and classic cars.
- Location: The Old Bus Depot, Hall Street, St Helens, Merseyside
- Details: Open on weekends.
Manchester Museum of Transport
The Manchester Museum of Transport was opened in 1979 and is run entirely by volunteers. The building that houses the museum was a former bus depot for Manchester Corporation Transport. This museum has one of the largest bus collections in the UK with over 80 buses.
- Location: Cheetham Hill, Manchester
- Details: The museum has a shop and a tea room. It is open daily in August and Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays 10 am until 4:30 pm all year round.
Museums in Yorkshire & Lincolnshire
South Yorkshire Transport Museum
Formerly called the Sheffield Bus Museum, the South Yorkshire Transport Museum guides visitors through South Yorkshire’s transport history. As well as being home to many buses, in has other vintage vehicles including a tramcar, a lorry, a tractor, a milk float and some bicycles.
- Location: Aldwarke, Rotherham
- Details: The museum is only open for ‘open days’. These happen on one Sunday per month between 10:30 am and 4pm.
Museums in Southern England
London Bus Museum
Bus lovers visiting the capital will have a great time at the London Bus Museum. This is a purpose-built museum that is open to the public every day. Entry to the museum is joint with Brooklands Museum too.
The London Bus Museum displays its vehicles in chronological order starting with horse-buses from the end of the 19th century through to buses from the 1970s.
- Location: Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey
- Details: Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am until 5 pm.
Isle of Wight Bus and Coach Museum
The Isle of Wight Bus and Coach Museum was opened in 1997 and is completely run by volunteers. The collection of vehicles is located in Ryde, in a former bus depot. Visiting the museum is like a trip back in time on the buses.
- Location: Park Road, Ryde, Isle of Wight
- Details: Open Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 am until 4 pm.