Off-Track Activities – 2018 British Grand Prix

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The best things to do away from Silverstone this year. The British Grand Prix takes place on July 6-8, 2018.

The English summer is a busy time of festivals and major events, many of which coincide with the British Grand Prix in early July. Why not extend your itinerary to include Wimbledon and/or the Goodwood Festival of Speed?  We have also highlighted the best motorsport-related attractions in the UK, plus the best attractions, food and drink close to Silverstone.

Thanks to Jonny Henchman for the local tips on Silverstone. Goodwood Festival of Speed photos © Lou Johnson.

Wimbledon: July 2-15, 2018

Why not spend a day or two at the most famous tennis tournament in the world? The Championships at Wimbledon are held this year between July 2-15, so there’s ample opportunity to catch the world’s best in action on the famous grass courts in South West London as part of your British GP holiday. Ground admission costs less than £20 each day and is cheaper after 5pm. Learn more and buy tickets on the Wimbledon website.

Goodwood Festival of Speed: July 12-15, 2018

A quintessential English garden party with all the high-octane motorsport you could wish for in a weekend, the Goodwood Festival of Speed sits high on the must-do lists for motor racing fans all over the world. Forward planning is essential if you want to go; tickets do sell out in advance as the festival seems to increase in popularity each year! This year’s festival took place one weeks after the British Grand Prix, so you can make a holiday of it. The format includes the Moving Motor Show on Thursday and the festival proper over 3 days from Friday to Sunday. Learn more on the Goodwood website. You can also check our archives for other articles related to Goodwood FOS.

MOTORSPORT ATTRACTIONS IN ENGLAND

  • Williams Grand Prix Collection: Williams HQ in Oxfordshire is also home to the Williams Grand Prix Collection (pictured below), the largest exhibition of F1 cars in the world. Doors only open to the public for guided tours on specific days throughout the year. Priced at £60 per person, the tour commences with refreshments before personal introductions and a guided wander through the extensive collection. There’s video footage to watch that covers the history of the team before a walk through the Williams trophy rooms and a buffet lunch. Read about our tour of the Williams Grand Prix Collection.
  • British Motor Museum: less than 30 miles from Silverstone, the British Motor Museum is a great day out. It houses the world’s largest collection of historic British cars (currently around 300 of them), including marques such as Austin, Morris, Jaguar, Ford, Morgan and more. The museum is open 7 days a week from 10:00-17:00; adult tickets £14, children £9.
  • National Motor Museum: about 2 hours drive from Silverstone (and a similar distance from London), Beaulieu is a stunning stately home in the New Forest, and the location of the National Motor Museum. Admission is £20 for adults and £12 for children. The McLaren Mercedes MP4/21 is here, as is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Delorean, and plenty of Astons and Bentleys.
  • Jaguar Factory Tour: one of Britain’s most beloved marques is produced at Castle Bromwich in Birmingham, 60 miles from Silverstone. Find out how modern Jaguars are assembled by taking a tour of the state-of-the-art factory. Tickets cost £49 for adults and £39 for children.
  • Drive an Aston Martin: Aston Martin runs a regular one-day performance driving course at Millbrook Proving Ground, just 35 miles from Silverstone. It’s not cheap at £1500, but surely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You’ll get the choice of driving a Vanquish, Vantage V12 or DB9 and benefit from expert tuition.

PLACES TO VISIT NEAR SILVERSTONE

  • Blenheim Palace: One of the UK’s finest stately homes (pictured above) with an impressive 2000 acres of parks and gardens, Blenheim Palace is just 25 miles from Silverstone and is well worth a visit when you are in the area. Tickets to see the Palace, Park and Gardens cost 21.50 GBP for adults, 11.80 GBP for children and 57 GBP for a family . If you only visit the Park and Gardens, entry is discounted by around 40%.
  • Go shopping at Bicester Village: Fancy a bit of retail therapy? One of the UK’s best known designer retail shopping centres is located in Bicester, just 15 miles from Silverstone. With more than 130 outlets and a range of products available, Bicester Village is open seven days a week.

EAT & DRINK NEAR SILVERSTONE

If you’re not camping trackside, you’ll still be spoilt for choice with places to eat, drink and pass the time, especially if you decide to stay in one of the larger centres nearby such as London, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Northampton or Oxford. Get hold of a good city guide and check out websites like Time Out for worthwhile places to head for during your time here. Check out our recommendations for the best places to eat and drink near Silverstone!

Best pub near Silverstone?

The Navigation is an unpretentious English country pub in Towcester that does proper pub grub and a whole host of hearty grilled food in a pretty canalside setting just six miles from the racetrack. Perfect for whiling away a summer’s evening after a long day at the track! Our resident Silverstone expert Jonny Henchman also recommends The White Horse in Silverstone village, The Mill and The Saracens Head in Towcester, The Butchers Arms in Greens Norton and The Fox & Hounds in Whittlebury.

  • Towcester: has restaurants and eateries in close proximity to Silverstone (5 miles) if you get tired of the burger vans. fish & chips, Chinese, Indian, Kebabs, Italian, Gourmet Burgers, McDonald’s, Domino’s Pizza and numerous pubs are all to be found here.  (A little further afield, Brackley has numerous pubs and a good choice of fast food.)
  • Milton Keynes: if you’re staying in or near Milton Keynes, The Hub is a purpose-built gastronomy district made up entirely of bars, cafes and restaurants. Ideal for a post-quali burger or an all-out Indian feast to celebrate the end of the big weekend. You’ll find plenty of big names here, from Jamie’s Italian to Caribbean eatery Turtle Bay, plus Strada, Pizza Express, Brown’s, Loch Fyne and Café Rouge. Milton Keynes also has a few big nightclubs if you fancy making a night of it. Head for the Xscape complex and grab a drink at SnoBar or go dancing at Revolution. The futuristic looking complex also boasts a casino, cinema complex, tenpin bowling, indoor snow slope and lots of pubs, bars and restaurants.
  • The Lamplighter, Northampton: a friendly pub with a great bar menu and a program of weekly events like open mic and quiz night. The Lamplighter does a mean Sunday roast, and they put on either live music or a DJ at the weekend if you fancy a bit of a post-race boogie.
  • Villiers Restaurant, Buckingham: one of the smartest places to eat in the area, Villiers Restaurant is part of the hotel where the McLaren team have been known to stay. Who knows, you could be rubbing shoulders with Fernando Alonso at the salad bar. Service is traditional and they do a reasonable set menu for lunches and dinners

Stocking up on supplies near Silverstone

Camping near the track? The closest supermarkets to Silverstone can be found in Towcester, about 5 miles (or 10-minutes drive) away. Towcester also has a Tesco, Aldi, Waitrose and a small Co-Op, all with good parking. A little further afield, Brackley has a larger Tesco. The closest camera stores for amateur photographers are in Northampton (Skears Photographic) or Milton Keynes (Jessops).

What are your British GP holiday tips? Leave a comment below!

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

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