Britain's best sports museums and tours, from Wimbledon to Silverstone

The kids will want extra time at these attractions: Britain’s best sports museums and tours offer behind-the-scenes access and fun activities, from Wimbledon to Silverstone

  • Have your photo taken on Centre Court at the All England Club in Wimbledon
  • Explore four floors of exhibitions at The National Football Museum, Manchester
  • Get behind the wheel of a race car at the Silverstone Interactive Museum

Every week, our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: sports museums and stadium tours.

Struggle to get children into a traditional museum on holiday? Try one of Britain’s world-beating sports museums instead.

Each offers a mix of behind-the-scenes access, photo-opportunities and fun activities.

Smashing: Visitors can see trophies and other memorabilia at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum

The National Football Museum in Manchester has four floors of exhibitions with regular guided tours. Have your photo taken with a replica of the Premier League trophy, or take penalties against a virtual goalie in the Play Gallery.

Adult tickets cost £10.50, children aged five to 15 cost £5.50 (nationalfootballmuseum.com).

Stay at: Motel One near Piccadilly Station from £84 per room per night (motel-one.com).

The 90-minute tour of the All England Club at Wimbledon lets you see spots normally off-limits to the public, such as the Players’ Entrance and Media Interview Suite. There’s also a stop for photos on No 1 or Centre Court.

Visitors can see trophies in the main museum, and fans can find out if they have the skills to be a ball boy or ball girl.

Adults tickets cost £25, children £15 (wimbledon.com).

Stay at: Connecting rooms for families at the Dog & Fox cost from £145 (dogandfoxwimbledon.co.uk).

At the National Horse Racing Museum in Newmarket, visitors can learn about the history of the sport before climbing on to a simulator to see how it feels to ride a winner. Then take a tour of the Retraining Of Racehorses stables to see real horses prepare for life beyond the track.

The museum takes in three sites across five acres, and Royal history abounds, with stories ranging from Charles II to the Queen – a massive horse-racing fan.

Adult tickets cost from £15, under-16s are free (nhrm.co.uk)

Rowing boats and kit from transatlantic expeditions are on display at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames

Stay at: Family rooms at Newmarket Premier Inn cost from £45 a night (premierinn.com).

See how tiny the cox’s seat is on boats as you imagine guiding a team to victory at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames. On display are Olympic torches and gold medals, as well as kit from transatlantic expeditions. There’s also a Wind In The Willows exhibition for the little ones to enjoy.

Tickets cost £9, and £6 for under-18s (rrm.co.uk).

Stay at: The riverside Hotel du Vin costs from £119 per night (hotelduvin.com).

At the Silverstone Interactive Museum you can get behind the wheel of your favourite race car in a high-tech simulator and take a 20-minute spin (possibly literally) on the Northamptonshire circuit revered as the home of British motor racing. And in the huge exhibition hangar, get close to famous cars and bikes from racing history.

Adult tickets are from £22.50, children from £13.50. A go in the simulator will cost you £25 (silverstonemuseum.co.uk).

Stay at: The trackside Hilton Garden Inn opens next month – prices to be confirmed (hilton.com).

At the Silverstone Interactive Museum you can get behind the wheel of your favourite race car in a high-tech simulator and take a spin on the Northamptonshire circuit (pictured)

Stadium tours at the World Rugby Museum in Twickenham take fans down to the pitch and up to the Royal Box, as well as heading into the Players’ Tunnel and the England Dressing Room. The museum has an Interactive Zone where you can test your skills in virtual matches, while fans can discover what it takes to become a coach, referee or physiotherapist.

Adult tickets cost £26.95, under-15s £16.50 (worldrugbymuseum.com).

Stay at: London Marriott Hotel Twickenham is part of the south stand and has pitch-view rooms. Costs from £94 per night (marriott.com).

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