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11
Bovington Tank Museum

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I would suspect that most armor modelers have a bucket list of museums that they hope to someday visit. I certainly do and have had the good fortune to visit several in the USA; the Patton Museum before most of the collection got shipped to Fort Benning, Aberdeen to see an impressive collection rusting away outside, and so forth. However, the Bovington Tank Museum has always been the big one for me and after several years of planning I was finally able to make it there back in March.

First off, getting there from London is pretty easy. Pay your 44 pounds roundtrip to take the train from Waterloo Station to Wool station and sit in a comfortable seat for 2 hours while looking at the English countryside and some cities along the way. One handy tip, in the UK and most of Europe, is that trains leave on time and arrive on time. If the ticket shows the train leaving at 8:58 AM it will be pulling out of the station at 8:59 AM. Don’t be late.

Wool station itself is in the small and pleasant town of Wool, strangely enough. Taxis are available at the station but I elected to walk to the museum to stretch my legs a bit and am glad I did. The forty minute walk is quite pretty, especially if you cut along the bike path and cross the river. The old sprawling farm house you’ll pass is worth the walk all by itself. In addition, the route could not be more straightforward and the signage is excellent so you’d have to work awfully hard to get lost.

As you get to the museum you pass the equestrian center, which seems quite appropriate based on the tank-cavalry connection. There is a weathered T-55 to your right and a shot up Matilda to your left and then you’ve hit the parking lot where the museum awaits!
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About the Author

About Matt Flegal (ninjrk)
FROM: ALABAMA, UNITED STATES


Comments

Darren congratulations!!! I visited the Bovington Museum at last August and I love it. You described very well the trip from Waterloo Station to Woll. Unfortunately, I had only one day and I must return to London at same day. My advice is: If you want to visit the enormous collection of this Museum with calm, spend two day in Woll and don't forget more than one battery for camera. About others military museums,if anyone visit Rio de Janeiro you must visit a small armour museum called Museu Conde de Linhares. In this museum you will find all tanks and vehicles used by Brazilian Army and some of Nazi stuffs captured in IIWW like Flak 88 mm. I recommend and I will try to do a location scouting of this Museum.
MAY 04, 2014 - 11:25 AM
What a great museum that is, I visisted it a few weeks ago and I was stunned by the collection. However, the Tiger I was gone. The official told us it was in the workshop to get prepped for a special tank day. Luckily they decided to give me and a few other people a chance to take a look in the workshop were they were restauring all their vehicles and we had a very nice chat with the man leading the restauration of the Tiger I, who gave us some detailed info about the origin of the Bovington vehicle, and the few remaining other ones in the world. It was a great day! cheers, Mat
MAY 04, 2014 - 05:57 PM
Hi Matt, I haven't been down since it got it's make over, but the two visits I had were excellent even then. TH Lawrence's cottage is not far away either. I hope to get down for a couple of days next time, so much to see. Cheers and glad you enjoyed the visit. Al
MAY 05, 2014 - 01:52 AM
Def on my "must do" modeling bucket list. Duxford last Fall was another one, and the musée des blindés in Saumur is the third.
MAY 05, 2014 - 02:07 AM
To anyone coming any distance (e.g. from the U.S.), I would recommend timing your visit to a "Tankfest" weekend, where you will see numerous tanks of all ages, including the Tiger, in action. The ticket also includes entrance to the museum, and there are usually re-enactors and model stands as well. This year's is the 28th and 29th June.
MAY 05, 2014 - 10:13 AM
Ah, what memories. I spent two happy years stationed at Bovington, in fact the hangars where we stored our Land Rovers were right behind the museum so it was very accessible for me. I guess Wool has changed a lot since then (1972) but I see from google maps that the Ship Inn still exists. I had lunch there one day shortly before I moved to the US in 2003
MAY 07, 2014 - 07:28 AM
I just loved Bovington when i went there in december but I was also unlucky with the Tiger being away to shoot a new Brad Pitt movie. If someone should be interested in "odd" armour I could really recommend our national armour museum here in Sweden, called "Arsenalen". A pretty nice collection and they are right now restoring one of only two or three surviving German LKII tanks from WW1 to running condition and the aim is to have the first official, in public, drive at the "real" centenary, 2016
MAY 10, 2014 - 10:42 AM
You guys making me so jealous! I never been there, may be one day I could make a trip...
MAY 21, 2014 - 03:07 PM