As many of you already know, the Tank Museum at Bovington Camp features one of the largest tank collections in both Europe and the world. It hosts big events like the yearly Tankfest with a huge selection of vehicles on live display, as well as their bi-annual Tiger Days, dedicated to their Tiger 131.
Of course, the Tank Museum also has a lot to offer outside of those events, thanks to their massive collection of military vehicles from all around the world. Check out more below and book yourself some time off for a weekend of tanks!
What to discover at the Tank Museum
Plenty of vehicles can be found here, yet there are a couple of tanks the Tank Museum is particularly proud of having in their repertoire:
The Tank Museum’s most famous exhibit, the Tiger 131 is the only running example of a Tiger I in the world. The Tiger I was designed by the Germans during the Second World War and is one of the most fearsome tanks of all time.
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Little Willie is the world’s first tank ever, dating from 1915. Little Willie was designed and built in an attempt to break the stalemate on the Western Front in the First World War. Although it never saw action, the lessons learnt from Little Willie went into future tank designs.
The only one built of its kind, this early Second World War design is the heaviest tank in the Museum. It was designed by the same group of men who had been influential in the design of the First World War tanks, “The Old Gang”.
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The most-produced tank of the Second World War, the Soviet T-34 was both rugged and highly capable. In spite of its comparatively rudimentary nature, the T-34 partly owed its success to the sheer numbers which could be deployed in battle. It had a profound and lasting impact on tank design.
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The Challenger 2 is the Main Battle Tank of the British Army and represents a significant development from its predecessor, the Challenger 1. In service since 1998, it is protected by classified armour and has proven an extremely capable vehicle in several operational environments including Kosovo, Bosnia and Iraq.
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Summer Holiday, 20 July – 1 September:Every weekday of these school holidays, the Tank Museum visitors can see tanks roll into action at the Museum’s arena. Each week will feature a different theme, from WW2 to the Gulf War, starring tanks like the Sherman Fury, T-72 and Challenger 1.
Tiger Day, 14 September: See the Tiger 131 - the world’s only running Tiger I - in action in The Tank Museum’s arena. In a 45-minute display, visitors can see this fearsome German tank alongside its Axis and Allied contemporaries, as well as its modern successors. For a limited time, visitors can enter a raffle for a chance to win a ride on the Tiger 131 on Tiger Day 12. Visit the Tiger Day event page.
South West Model Show, 28-29 September: Surrounded by real tanks and armoured vehicles, scale modellers will be showcasing their creations and sharing their hints and tips to create the perfect models. Visitors will have the chance to see models from across the spectrum, including boats, planes, cars, and of course, tanks! Annual passes are valid for the Model Show.
What are the prices?
2 Adults & 2 Children
1 Adult & 2 Children
1 Adults & 3 Children
Children (Under 5)
The converted prices above correspond to the GBP to EUR exchange rate from 25/07/19 and may be different at this point.
Have a look at the website of the Tank Museum to book your tickets online. There, you'll also find more information on group tickets, Tank Museum memberships, and special conditions.
Take a souvenir with you
The Tank Museum gift shop holds a wealth of tank related merchandise including models, books, games and even tank-themed beer! Visit The Tank Museum shop during your visit or online for all of your tank needs.
How to find a place to stay and get to the Tank Museum
First, check your favourite hotel booking website to find accommodation or look for BnBs around Dorset county, namely Bournemouth (recommended), Poole, Weymouth, and Christchurch. If you are from the UK, check how to get to those cities by train or plane on National Rail.
If you are coming from abroad, it may seem a little tricky at first - don't worry though, we've got you. The ideal situation for you would be to arrive to Southampton airport, which is the closest one to Bovington. From there, you can take a train from Southampton Airport Parkway to the larger cities in Dorset county (see the marked ones above). Getting a train from London City Airport or the London Waterloo train station works fine too, but it will take a little longer.
The Tank Museum is at walking distance from Wool Station, which is on the mainline between London Waterloo and Weymouth. Find out more information on the South West Trains website. There are 3 bus services calling at Wool Station in the 2019 summer season – visit the First Group website for details –, taxis are available too.
Otherwise, you can walk to the Tank Museum and take about 20 minutes to reach it, or take a bike to get there - the Tank Museum has suitable facilities for locking up bicycles. There is a safe and convenient cycle route of approximately 1.5 miles (~2.4 km) from Wool Station.
What else can you do in the area?
Visiting the Tank Museum takes about a day, so you might want to fill out your schedule with other things you would like to do. Check out the official website of Dorset, which includes the special events planned for the towns in the area, and you might find something you're interested in.