When it comes to meeting other enthusiasts at a car-friendly venue we’re spoilt for choice so here’s our pick of the best motoring hangouts in the UK.
Start your engines as we bring you the best motoring hangouts in the UK to get you back on the social scene. After months/years of lockdown, we’re all craving a good natter with some likeminded petrolheads over the bonnet of some amazing cars. And we know just where you can find both…
Caffeine and Machine, Warwickshire
Since it opened in 2015, this has become a firm favourite with enthusiasts. In fact, it’s hugely popular with a relaxed vibe and a car park that’s often filled with stunning motors, from classics to supercars. It’s also a favourite with motoring celebrities, with our own Mike Brewer a regular visitor, and whether it’s one of their regular events or just dropping by for a great burger you’ll love it. Booking is wise, and note that car parking charges and tickets apply on some days.
Postcode: CV37 7NS
Classic Motor Hub, Gloucestershire
Based at RAF Bibury, a former RAF Fighter Command base during WW2, this is a superbly historic location. The business offers the likes of car sales, storage and workshop facilities but you can also just drop by for a coffee and a snack – the coffee house and shop is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00am-3.00pm, and on some Sundays. They also run regular Coffee & Classics meets, with the next one on 1 August.
Postcode: GL7 5FF
Podium Place, Berkshire
This is a relatively new addition to the uk’s motoring hangouts. Located close to Newbury town centre, if you enjoy admiring stunning cars then the ones for sale here are certainly special. But if the bank balance won’t quite stretch to one of those then why not drop by their café instead? Its open seven days a week and a great place to grab excellent coffee that’s roasted on-site, enjoy the fine motoring art on the walls, and have a go on their excellent racing simulator.
Postcode: RG14 5SH
The Motorist, Yorkshire
Situated near Leeds, you’ll find classic cars and bikes for sale and there’s also a workshop. But we’d also suggest dropping by to visit the ‘Blue Train Café’ that’s open from Wednesday to Saturday – The Mechanics Breakfast Sandwich is particularly tempting! And on Sundays you can enjoy their relaxed and sociable Coffee & Cars events, although you’ll need to pre-book a ticket. Wings & Wheels on Wednesday evenings are fun, too.
Postcode: LS25 6JE
Gilks Garage, Warwickshire
This family-run business has a great history that goes all the way back to 1904, and for fans of British classics it also used to be a Rootes showroom in the 1950s and ‘60s. It’s a great place to stop for a brew and a bite to eat, and there’s some interesting items on display, too. And if you’re dropping by in your electric vehicle you can plug in for a quick recharge while you relax.
Postcode: CV35 0JZ
Bicester Heritage, Oxfordshire
Founded in 2013 and located on a former RAF Bomber base, this really is a superb destination for car enthusiasts and fans of historic motoring. It’s packed with more than forty specialist businesses, covering everything from car restoration to sales, whilst their ‘Sunday Scramble’ events are hugely popular. You can even stay the night in their lovely ‘Crew Rooms’. If you’ve not been before we can highly recommend paying it a visit.
Postcode: OX26 5HA
Ace Café, London
The original of all the motoring hangouts! Since re-opening in 2001 – its history dates back to 1938 – this has become a must-visit for car enthusiasts of all ages. Open all week from 8.30am-10.30pm, it holds a vast range of meets that cater for all manner of cars and bikes, and if you remember the Chevrolet Camaro episode from Season 11 it’s featured on Wheeler Dealers, too. And if its food you’re after you’ll definitely find something to enjoy on the menu. Well worth dropping by to soak up the automotive atmosphere.
Postcode: NW10 7UD
Duke of London, Brentford
Opened six years ago, this is a great place that offers sales, restoration and servicing in a cool, relaxed setting. There’s Classics & Cake monthly classic and supercar meets, or perhaps you’d prefer to drop by their Brewery Tap pub? Mind you, we’re tempted by the Santa Maria Pizzeria that’s located inside the showroom, plus there’s a coffee shop with a wine bar and shop opening in June. Whatever you fancy you’ll enjoy paying them a visit.
Postcode: TW8 8AT
The Carding Shed, West Yorkshire
Yorkshire has plenty of great driving roads, and if you’ve enjoyed exercising your treasured motor it’s nice to have somewhere to grab a breather. And if you find yourself near Holmfirth, we suggest this place which is home to the IK Classics workshop and a classic car display, and there’s also the Oil Can Café which is open from Tuesday to Sunday. It’s ideal for car club meets, and the vintage theme is fun, too.
Postcode: HD9 2RD
Winchester Auto Barn, Hampshire
With interesting cars for sale, along with automobilia, this makes an excellent pit-stop if you’ve been enjoying the Hampshire countryside in your classic. And you can grab some refreshment from the vintage catering van that serves from 8.00-2.00 Tuesday to Saturday. The Breakfast & Lunch Club meets are popular, too, with the next one taking place on 26 June; pre-registration is required and you can expect plenty of great cars and enthusiastic owners.
Postcode: SO21 3NS
Haynes Breakfast Clubs, Somerset
Held at the famous Haynes International Motoring Museum, we’re glad the Breakfast Club meets are back on the menu after the enforced break. They’re on the first Sunday of the month between June and December, and you’ll get to admire an interesting and eclectic selection of cars and socialise with other enthusiasts. The breakfast snacks are pretty good, too! Gates open at 8am and you’ll need to pre-book with tickets costing just a fiver.
Postcode: BA22 7LH
Gaydon Gathering, Warwickshire
Prefer an evening meet? Then the second Tuesday of the month sees these excellent gatherings take place at the British Motor Museum – they start around 5.00pm – and you should definitely head along. Free to attend, they draw plenty of enthusiasts and great motors, plus the museum brings out a car from its collection so it’s a chance to admire something a bit special. Always a popular event, pre-booking is required.
Postcode: CV35 0BJ