Aviation

Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritage
Find places to visit in Britain by name, location, type of attraction, or other keyword.

This listings directory of over 950 entries is being phased out.
It now excludes places and things of interest in North East  and North West England.
These can be found in ABAB’s Places.
Places to visit in Yorkshire  are currently being moved to ABAB’s Places.

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BATTLE OF BRITAIN MEMORIAL FLIGHT

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) is an aerial display team flying historic aircraft. They appear at shows throughout the country, on state occasions and at events commemorating the Second World War.  The aircraft normally flown are an Avro Lancaster, a Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane and they are all veterans of the Second World War.  The Lancaster is one of only two in the world that are still flying - the other is in Canada.  The Spitfire collection includes an original Mark 2 version that flew in the Battle of Britain as well as later models, such as the high-flying high-speed reconnaissance versions.  The collection also includes a Douglas C-47 Dakota that ferried wounded soldiers from Normandy after D-Day.   The flight is administratively part of No. 1 Group RAF, flying out of RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire - which is an operational base on the front line of Britain's defences. The Battle of Britain Flight aircraft can be visited at Coningsby, where expert guides will give you details of their history and tales of the men that flew them.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
RAF BBMF Visitors Centre
Dogdyke Road
Coningsby
County
Lincolnshire
Post Code
LN4 4SY
Main Historic Period
Modern
Link to featured article
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Tattershall Castle, Woodhall Spa, Lincoln
Primary Management
Military
Battle of Britain Monument

London's monument to the Battle of Britain is on Victoria Embankment, between Westminster Bridge and the RAF Memorial. It was unveiled by Prince Charles in 2005, cost £1.65 million and was funded entirely by public subscription. Among the donors was the Czech Republic. The monument is more than 80 feet (25 metres) long and was the brainchild of the late Bill Bond MBE, founder of the Battle of Britain Historical Society. It honours ‘the Few’, the RAF pilots who were outnumbered and who saved Britain from invasion in 1940. At its centre is a near life-size sculpture depicting airmen scrambling – running to their aircraft in order to intercept the enemy. Around the monument are the names of the Few – 2,936 airmen from fifteen nations who took part in the battle on the Allied side. Other panels show some of the other participants and contributors to the Battle of Britain and ultimate victory – including civilians.

Do not confuse this monument with the Battle of Britain Memorial in Kent. The post code is approximate.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Victoria Embankment
Westminster
County
London
Post Code
SW1A 2JL
Main Historic Period
Modern
Link to featured article
Tip/Nearby
Houses of Parliament, New Scotland Yard, RAF Memorial, Cleopatra's Needle
Primary Management
Local Authority
Spitfires of 611 Squadron, Biggin Hill

Opened in January 2019, the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum tells the story of the famous RAF airfield, the people who served there, the local community and its residents from 1916 to 1951. The collection has a particular focus on the Battle of Britain, in which RAF Biggin Hill played a pivotal role. Many of the objects in the museum's collection are personal and have been donated by people who served or lived at Biggin Hill, or their relatives.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
St George's RAF Chapel of Remembrance
Main Road
Biggin Hill
County
Kent
Post Code
TN16 3EJ
Main Historic Period
Modern
Tip/Nearby
Biggin Hill Heritage Hanger, Chartwell
Primary Management
Other
DUXFORD IWM

IWM Duxford is a historic RAF airfield also used by the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War. It houses the Imperial War Museum's huge collection of historic aircraft and other large vehicles like tanks. Permanent exhibitions include the American Air Museum, Battle of Britain, Land Warfare and Historic Duxford (many of the buildings are original). You can get up close and personal with some of the most famous aircraft ever, including the Spitfire, Lancaster, Concorde and Vulcan. It's probably the best aviation collection and museum in the country, and enormous, so allow enough time. Air Shows are a regular feature and Duxford is also home to the Airborne Assault and Royal Anglian Museums.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Imperial War Museum
Duxford
County
Cambridgeshire
Post Code
CB22 4QR
Main Historic Period
Modern
Link to featured article
Tip/Nearby
Just off J10 of the M11
Primary Management
Imperial War Museum
FLEET AIR ARM MUSEUM

The Fleet Air Arm Museum is Europe's largest naval aviation Museum and tells the story of the Royal Navy in the air. There are over 90 aircraft, from biplanes to supersonic jets, plus thousands of other artefacts, on show in four exhibition halls. In addition, it houses the first British Concorde, which you can go on board, and the 'Aircraft Carrier Experience', a fascinating tour round a realistic mocked-up carrier. The museum is exceptionally well laid out - one of the best.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Royal Naval Air Station
Yeovilton
County
Somerset
Post Code
BA22 8HW
Main Historic Period
Modern
Link to featured article
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Lytes Cary Manor, Glastonbury
Primary Management
Military
ORFORD NESS

Orford Ness is Europe's largest shingle spit, approximately 10 miles long running between the River Alde and the North Sea in Suffolk. It is an internationally important area of shingle habitat, home to a huge variety of wildlife, much of it fragile and precious. It was also used for secret military testing and experimentation, including for aircraft, radio, radar, ballistics and atomic weapons, since the First World War until after the Cold War. Limited access is available via National Trust Ferry from Orford.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Orford Quay
Orford
County
Suffolk
Post Code
IP12 2NU
Main Historic Period
Modern
Link to featured article
Tip/Nearby
Orford Castle, Havergate Island (RSPB)
Primary Management
National Trust
RAF MUSEUM, Cosford

One of two RAF museums in Britain (the other one is in Hendon, north London), RAF Cosford displays 70+ aircraft, including the world's oldest Spitfire, with exhibits shown in three historic hangers. On site is the National Cold War Exhibition, which tells the story of this uncertain period in our history and where you can see all three of Britain's V-Bombers - the Vulcan, Victor and Valiant.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Shifnal
County
Shropshire
Post Code
TF11 8UP
Main Historic Period
Modern
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Ironbridge, Boscobel House
Primary Management
Military
RAF MUSEUM, London

The Royal Air Force Museum is on the site of the historic Hendon aerodrome, just over 30 minutes from central London. If you like aircraft, you will love it.  There are entire hangers dedicated to WW1 aircraft, bombers of all sorts and the Battle of Britain, plus a lot more besides - including flight simulators. Be awed by the Avro Vulcan or Lancaster, or wonder how the flimsy aircraft of the early days managed to stay up.

There is a sister museum in Cosford, Shropshire.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Grahame Park Way
Colindale
County
London
Post Code
NW9 5LL
Main Historic Period
Modern
Link to featured article
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
J4 of the M1 or reasonable walk from Colindale tube (Northern line).
Primary Management
Military
RAF WADDINGTON

RAF Waddington is the RAF's ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition & Reconnaissance) centre, supporting British and NATO operations.  It has been in almost continuous use since 1916.  There is a viewing area with a car park and mobile café opposite the airfield on the south-bound side of the A15.  Opposite is parked a Vulcan bomber.  There are information boards explaining the history and some of the aircraft you might see flying, but it’s obviously a matter of pot luck whether you spot anything at all.  A good camera is essential and a set of stepladders might be useful.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Viewing Area
A15 Sleaford Road
County
Lincolnshire
Post Code
LN5 9FG
Main Historic Period
Modern
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
A few miles south of Lincoln
Primary Management
Military
RUNNYMEDE AIR FORCES MEMORIAL

The air forces memorial at Runnymede commemorates by name over 20,000 airmen who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe, and who have no known graves. They served in Bomber, Fighter, Coastal, Transport, Flying Training and Maintenance Commands, and came from all parts of the Commonwealth. Some were from countries in continental Europe which had been overrun but whose airmen continued to fight in the ranks of the Royal Air Force.

The memorial is managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), from whose website the above information has been taken.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Cooper's Hill Lane
Englefield Green
County
Surrey
Post Code
TW20 0LB
Main Historic Period
Modern
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Magna Carta and JFK memorials
Primary Management
Commonwealth War Graves Commission

If your favourite attraction is not listed yet, and you have a good quality digital photograph of it that you are able to freely send, please get in touch

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