The Tank Museum

Tanks in Action at The Tank Museum
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The Tank Museum in Dorset holds the world’s largest collection of tanks and armoured fighting vehicles.

From the first tank ever built to the modern Challenger II, the Museum houses examples from 28 different countries; Our definitive collection comprises over 250 vehicles dating back to 1909.

In our bursting programme of live action displays, you can witness the awesome power of tanks in action. See our website or call for more information.

The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Daily 10.00-17.00

Closed: Limited opening at Christmas. Please see website for this and details of other closures.

Admission charges

Adults: £13.00
Children (5-16): £7.50
2 Adults and 2 Children : £ 33.00
1 Adult and 3 Children : £28.00
Please see website for group rates

Additional info

Guided tours for groups need to be pre-booked.
Library access by appointment only.
Booking information for Conference facilities can be found on website.
Programme of special events and lectures can be found on website.

The entire collection of the Tank Museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

This museum houses the world’s finest and most historically significant collection of tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles, and charts the history and development of one of the 20th century’s most important weapons. There are around 150 vehicle exhibits which cover an unparalleled historical and geographical span.

The collection is particularly strong on the origins of the tank and its use in the First World War. There is a large landscape exhibition about the first tank attack in 1916 which illustrates both British and German trenches. British vehicles are supported by vehicles captured from enemies and donated by allies the world over since the birth of armoured warfare.

More recent exhibits cover several theatres of the Second World War, Korea and the Gulf War, as well as illustrating types from at least 25 different nations. Supporting collections include uniforms, medals, artwork, weapons along with thousands of documents and photographs relating to the history of armoured warfare. Visitors are provided with a free audio tour in a choice of three languages.

Collection details

Weapons and War, Social History, Science and Technology, Photography, Personalities, Land Transport, Fine Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Tiger Tank
  • Sherman Tank
  • Challenger Tank
  • Little Willie
  • Panzer
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Warhorse trapped in Mud

Warhorse to Horsepower

  • 3 April 2014 — 16 May 2019 *on now

In the year that marks the anniversary of the start of the First World War, this new exhibition will form the cornerstone of The Tank Museum's commemorations of the conflict that changed the world.

With the original vehicles and model horses, host of interactive displays and dramatic imagery; it is hoped 'Warhorse to Horsepower' will have a multi-generational appeal and do justice to the experience of both men and horses 1914-1939.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Normal museum admission charges apply.
Adults: £12.50
Children: £7.50
Concessions: £9.00
Family (2 adults and 2 children): £33.00
Family (1 adult and 3 children): £28.00


Tank Men

Tank Men: The Story of the First Crews

  • 25 March 2016 — 26 March 2021 *on now

The Tank Museum’s landmark First World War Centenary exhibition, Tank Men: The Story of the First Crews, focuses on the stories of eight men who crewed the first tanks, 1916-1918.

The new exhibition tells the stories of eight First World War British tank soldiers who were among the pioneers of armoured warfare. These individuals were carefully chosen following extensive research in the Museums archives, drawing upon previously unseen materials – documents, images and supporting collections - to assemble their service histories.

Elliot Hotblack, Cyril Coles, Sydney Hadley, Archie Smith, Basil Henriques, Walter Ratcliffe, Charles Baker and Clement Arnold were chosen to feature in the exhibition because they stood out. Each man’s involvement with First World War tanks resulted in remarkable experiences – dramatic and moving stories that have stood the test of time and have an emotional impact that still resonates today.

Alongside the personal stories are of course the tanks themselves. The Museum boasts the finest collection of First World War tanks in the world including the only Mark 1 tank in existence. This new exhibition will serve to illustrate the link between the tanks, the people who served in them and their extraordinary stories.


Admission to this exhibition is included in the Museum Admission fee.


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Summer holidays

Summer Holidays

  • 21 July — 4 September 2016 *on now

Imagine the awesome power of tanks brought to life, in front of your very eyes...

Don’t miss the explosive Tanks in Action Displays, every weekday during the May Half Term holiday. Watch in awe as armoured vehicles and a Main Battle Tank roll into action with thundering engines and life-like explosions!

Complete with expert commentary, you will discover how tanks work, how they developed and how they are used on the battlefield.

The display takes place in the Kuwait Arena, outside the Museum, and is included in the price of your admission ticket.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Normal admission fees apply


Tank Story hall

Wheels of Steel

  • 4 September 2016 10am-5pm

Dorset's Finest Ride In Event!

For the second time The Tank Museum is hosting the Wheels of Steel ride in event, to end off the season. This fundraising ride in provides a great social atmosphere with proceeds going to The Tank Museum and other local charities.

Tigers Children Motorcycle Display Team
We will also be having a childrens motorcycle display team at the Museum producing exciting displays for you to watch and enjoy! The performance will last approximately 45 minutes. Please click here to find out more about the display team.

Trade Stands, Exhibitors and Classic Bikes
Catering Facilities
Tanks in Action Display
Close to Dorset's stunning 95 mile stretch of Jurassic Coastline
Live Entertainment

Our last Tanks in Action Display of the summer holidays will take place in our Kuwait Arena with life like explosions, thundering engines and expert commentary. Not to be missed!

Suitable for

  • Any age


Normal admission fees apply


First World War Tank Conference

  • 10 September 2016 9am-5:30pm

This conference will showcase the latest historical research on the emergence and the part played by the tank in the First World War, with leading experts from Britain, Germany and the United States outlining some of the most interesting and lesser known aspects of the history of this new weapon of war.

The symposium will feature six speakers:
Dr Brian Hall (Lecturer in Contemporary Military History, University of Salford)
Lecture Title - Communications and British Tank Operations on the Western Front, 1916-1918

Dr Bryn Hammond (Imperial War Museums London; and, author, Cambrai 1917: The Myth of the First Great Tank Battle)
Lecture Title - The British Tank Arm in 1918

Dr Markus Poehlmann (Senior Researcher, Centre for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr, Potsdam;and, author, Der Panzer und die Mechanisierung des Krieges)
Lecture Title - The German Army and the Challenge of Allied Tanks, 1916-1918

Dr James Corum, Lt.-Col. US Army (ret.) (Lecturer in Terrorism and Security Studies, University of Salford)
Lecture Title - The American Expeditionary Force and the Tank, 1917-18

Dr Tim Gale (British Comission for Military History; and, author, The French Army's Tank Force and Armoured Warfare in the Great War: The Artillerie Spéciale)
Lecture Title - The French Tank Force in the Great War

Prof Alaric Searle (Professor of Modern European History, University of Salford)
Lecture Title - Beyond the Mud and Barbed Wire: British Tanks in Palestine and Russia, 1916-1921


Standard Day Rate - £60
Student Rate - £50 (a valid NUS or Student card must be produced on the day)

Tickets include an annual pass, which gives you admission to the Museum for one year (excluding Special Events).

Click here to buy your tickets now.

Or call 01929 405096 ext 212

Seating in the Lecture Hall is based on a first come, first served basis.


9:30 – Museum Opens for Symposium Guests
10:00 – Symposium Commences
13:30 – Lunch
14:15 – Symposium Re-commences
16:00 – Opportunity to look around the Museum – Extended opening hours for Symposium guests only.
17:30 – Museum and Shop Closes


Standard Day Rate - £60
Student Rate - £50 (a valid NUS or Student card must be produced on the day)

Tickets include an annual pass, which gives you admission to the Museum for one year (excluding Special Events).


Mark IV

Tank 100

  • 17 September 2016 10am-5pm

On 15th September 1916, at Flers on the Somme, tanks were used in battle for the first time. Shortly afterwards, on 27th October, Bovington became the Tank headquarters.

The Tank 100 event will be commemorating the centenary of the tank, the sacrifice of Britain's tank soldiers and Bovington's role in armoured warfare.

Please note: Tank 100 is a Special Event Day so pre-existing Annual Passes will NOT be valid. Special event prices apply, tickets are available now! Click here to buy.

On the day there will be a commemoration led by the Royal Tank Regiment involving The Tank Museum's Mark IV, there will be a British Army display and also a Tank Museum historic display of British vehicles.

At the event there will be a WW1 Battle inclusive of smoke, pyrotechnics, infantry and also an aircraft display from the Great War Display Team.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Special event prices - Annual Passes not valid


Tank Mod

Tank Mod

  • 8 October 2016 10am-5pm

The Tank Museum will be inviting exhibitors from across the country to take part in its model exhibition for the third time.

View a large selection of modelling exhibitors from across the modelling spectrum - boats, planes, motor racing cars and of course military models. If you are inspired by the model collections, The Tank Museum's own volunteer modellers will also be in attendance and will be available to give advice in creating your own scale model. Get inspired and discover the hints and tricks behind making your own miniature.
Museum tours and talks will be taking place throughout the day.

Traders and Exhibitors
For trader application forms please click here and for exhibitor application forms please click here
Alternatively, contact Oliver Bitten on 01929 405096 ext 212 or email

Model groups attending who have completed an application form, will be eligible for six complimentary passes. Additional passes will be charged at group rate (please contact the events team in advance).

Annual Passes ARE valid for this event.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Normal admission fees apply


remembrance wall

Remembrance Sunday

  • 13 November 2016 10am-5pm

This service will be attended by serving soldiers, veterans and their families, but visitors are also very welcome to join in the service.

This well attended service will take place in the Cold War Hall. After this, a wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Royal Armoured Corps Memorial, outside the Museum.

All visitors will be asked to respect the 2 minutes silence that occurs at 11.00.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Normal admission fees apply.


The Tank Museum
BH20 6JG




Event Manager

Marketing and Communications


Education Officer


General & Customer Enquiries

01929 405096

Events Manager

01929 405096 ext 238

Marketing and Communications Manager

01929 405096 ext 234


01929 405096 ext 230

Education Officer

01929 405096 ext 204



01929 405360

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.