British Cars and the Goodwood Revival

Experience the rush of the world of motor sports on this in-depth look at English autoracing from past to present

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 The start of a race, Goodwood Revival.  Credit: Motoring Picture Library/Alamy  An old D-type Jaguar at Goodwood. Credit: Goodwood  Activities at the Goodwood Revival. Credit: Goodwood  A Morgan Roadster, in the process of of being built. Credit: NDP/Alamy  A McLaren Gullwing

From the modern factory floors of Jaguar and Aston Martin to historic racing circuits and passionate fans, the love of the motorcar is deeply rooted in English culture. On this grand tour of British automotive history, trace the development of the English motorcar from its earliest roots to today’s most innovative forms. Walk the factory floors of the country’s most famous car manufacturers and explore some of the world’s finest automobile collections such as the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Collection.

England is home to luxury autos and screaming-fast sports cars, as well as some of racing’s most famous names such as Stirling Moss and Graham Hill. A highlight of this unique tour will be celebrating the glory days of motor sport at the Goodwood Revival, an event that captures all the magic and exhilaration of racing at its best. Enjoy grandstand seats as legendary vehicles take the stage on the classic track, which hosted many of the most famous motoring events in the world during its heyday in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. Our newest tour for automobile enthusiasts is sure to fill quickly, so book early!


September 7-8 — Depart U.S., Arrival in London, Cirencester, Stratford

Depart the U.S. for London Heathrow. Upon arrival in London, travel northwest through the English countryside towards Stratford-upon-Avon, your home for the next three nights. This evening, join your fellow travelers and Smithsonian expert for a festive welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. Macdonald Alveston Manor (R,D)

September 9 — Gaydon, Aston Martin

Begin the day with a journey through British car history at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, home to the largest collection of classic and vintage British cars in the world. The more than 200 vehicles on display present a timeline of the British motor industry from the turn of the century to the present, while other exhibits explore the mechanical and technical intricacies of the automobile. After lunch at the museum, continue to the Aston Martin headquarters for an exclusive tour. The Gaydon facility opened in 2003 as Aston Martin’s first purpose-built manufacturing plant since the company’s founding in 1913. Step out onto the factory floor and see some of the world’s most famous and exotic cars being built. Macdonald Alveston Manor (B,L)

September 10 — Malvern, Coventry

Today, head west from Stratford to Malvern for a visit to the Morgan Motor Company, which has been producing cars for over a century and remains a family-owned, independent operation. One of the most beautiful, hand-finished automobiles in the world, the Morgan features an ash frame, signature long hood, and cowled radiator that have changed little in design since the 1950s. Beneath the classic styling, however, new models such as the Aero Coupe boast state-of-the-art engineering. After a guided tour of the factory and a preview of the latest models, continue to the Jaguar manufacturing facility at Castle Bromwich, where you’ll enjoy a guided tour, followed by a light lunch at the visitor center. Conclude the day’s touring with a visit to the Jaguar Heritage Gallery, opened in 2013 at the Coventry Transport Museum and celebrating more than 80 years of Jaguar innovation in design and technology. Macdonald Alveston Manor (B, L)

September 11 — Surrey, Winchester 

Check out of the hotel in Stratford and travel to Brooklands in Surrey, where the world’s first purpose-built motor racing track was constructed in 1907. The heart of the British motoring and aviation world, the restored racing circuit and associated buildings now form the famous Brooklands Motor and Aviation Museum, one of the best museums of its kind in the country. Enjoy a tour of the motoring exhibits and lunch at the museum. Visit R.S. Williams Ltd, an Aston Martin Heritage specialist. The group is named after its founder Richard Williams, who started the company in 1968 following an apprenticeship at Aston Martin. It has since become known for selling, servicing, and racing classic cars. Later today, drive to the historic city of Winchester and check into the Winchester Hotel for the next three nights. The Winchester Hotel (B,L,D)

September 12 — Goodwood, Beaulieu

Begin the day with a special visit to the Rolls-Royce factory at Goodwood in West Sussex. The Goodwood Plant is not only the iconic car’s manufacturing headquarters, but its leadership and design center as well. Continue to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu for a guided tour, in the heart of the New Forest National Park. The more than 250 automobiles on display tell the story of British motoring history from its earliest days to the present, including everything from land speed record-breakers to movie stars like the magical flying car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The Winchester Hotel (B)

September 13 — Goodwood Revival

Savor the glamour of bygone racing days in this highlight of your British car adventure. Step back in time to the glory days of motoring at the Goodwood Revival, the world’s largest and most popular historic motoring event. Enjoy grandstand seats as legendary vehicles take the stage on the classic track, which hosted many of the most famous motoring events in the world during its heyday in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. The Winchester Hotel (B)

September 14 — Childrey, Cowley, Windsor

Enjoy a guided tour of the MINI Factory in Cowley. This location is the heart of MINI manufacturing, capable of producing up to 900 vehicles per day. Observe the production line in action, from steel welding to interior work. Stay the night at the luxurious MacDonald Berystede Hotel in Windsor. This evening, celebrate your journey with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant in the Windsor area. MacDonald Berystede Hotel (B, D)

September 15 — Depart

Check out of the hotel and transfer to London Heathrow airport for individual flights back to the US. (B)