The Tank Museum – Bovington- Dorset

tank museum bovington 1Watch out – Papa Joe takes command of a Chieftain Tank!

We then watched the Tanks In Action Display which was takes place at in the outdoor arena. It was thrilling watching the tanks speed around the arena. You can also pay for a ride around the arena in tracked vehicles.tank museum bovington ride

The Tank Museum, which has been greatly enlarged since we first went over 25 years ago, has lots of excellent things to do which will appeal to all the family.

As you enter look at the daily events board with list of free guided tours. We were visiting during the school holidays and saw that there was a special guided tour suitable for children. Nearby is a rack of worksheets which were just right for the Mayhems.. 

Suitable for 7+

Where: The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset, BH20 6JG
Admission: Under 5 Free. Concessions and Family tickets. Admission includes a free annual pass for return visits
Additional charge for some activities
Website: www.tankmuseum.org

The museum is divided into several sections. The main exhibition hall charts how tanks have developed and shows how tanks have been used over the last 100 years. You can see inside some of the tanks and there is a table where you can try your hand at war gaming.tank museum bovington 5

tank museum bovington 5aOther areas in the museum focus on particular events. We really enjoy
ed exploring the brand new ‘Trench Experience’.with its mock ups of WWI trenches.

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At one point, we found ourselves in a German trench with a tank towering above us. It brought home how scared the soldiers must have been when these machines appeared.

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A British Tank Towering Over A German Trench

The children got a feeling of the size of the tanks by clambering through scaled down trenches.

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In complete contrast, the museum has created ‘Fort Afghanistan’, a mock up of a modern ‘Forward Operating Base’. The children loved trying on full battledress and seeing the mess tent and living quarters that our modern army use in Afghanistan.

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Just outside Fort Afghanistan, we were very lucky to be able to go inside a modern Chieftain Tank. I think this was the highlight of our visit.

Going inside the tank is limited by the availability of the volunteer guides; our tip is to ask when the Chieftain Tank is open as soon as you arrive at the museum. There is a minimum height and you may have to wait as only 4 people can enter at a time.

We spent about 10 minutes in the tank being shown how it works, which was more than enough for me. I would hate to spend the 72 hours that some crews had to endure in such cramped conditions.

Papa Joe acted as Tank Commander and I loaded the ammunition and most importantly was in charge of the water heater to make the tea! 

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Sometimes, it is possible to talk to modellers who are working on intricate models of tanks – and always happy to pass on tips about model making.

We loved our visit to the Tank Museum and would like to thank all the knowledgeable staff we encountered who shared their knowledge with us.

Getting There The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset, BH20 6JG
The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset, BH20 6JG 
Google see map or get directions

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