Below are details of our aviation heritage sites in the South East. The air defence of this region was assigned to the first RAF Fighter Command 11 Group from 1936. Please note full details for each site are listed below the map, in alphabetical order.

Due to COVID 19 not all sites are open, and some sites open seasonally. Please check their websites for the latest visiting information.

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Visitors to Bawdsey Radar Transmitter Block can discover the story of the men and women and the work they did, in top secret conditions, to develop radar. Operational radar was born at Bawdsey and contributed very significantly to the successful outcome of the Battle of Britain.Read more

Address: Bawdsey Radar Transmitter Block, Bawdsey, Suffolk IP12 3BA

Phone: 07821 162879

Email: info@bawdseyradar.org.uk

bawdseyradar.org.uk

As Headquarters Fighter Command, Bentley Priory played an incredibly important role in one of the most pivotal moments in modern world history, the Battle of Britain. Now a Museum, visit Bentley Priory and discover how the Battle of Britain was won. An award winning audio visual film highlights the incredible leadership of Air Chief Marshal Dowding and engaging displays tell the courageous stories of the ‘The Few’, the aircrew. Displays include a recreation of the Filter Room, which explains the work of those involved in the ‘Dowding System’ – the first large-scale centralised air defence command and control system. During your visit, you’ll also learn about Bentley Priory’s wider history, from its origins as a priory, to being the home of the 1st Marquess of Abercorn and the Royal residence of Queen Adelaide. As a spectacularly restored Grade II* listed mansion house, Bentley Priory’s architecture is as inspiring as its history and you can explore the role of renowned architect, Sir John Soane, on the development of Bentley Priory.Read more

Address: Mansion House Drive, Stanmore, London HA7 3FB

Phone: 020 8950 5526

Email: enquiries@bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk

bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk

The Museum tells the story of Britain’s most famous fighter station through the personal experiences of those who served there, and the community that supported them. Sir Winston Churchill called RAF Biggin Hill ‘the strongest link’ in a chain of fighter stations that defended the capital during the Battle of Britain. The museum is situated on the same site as St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance, built in 1951 after a fundraising campaign led by Churchill to remember those who served and died at Biggin Hill during the Second World War. The museum safeguards the future of this important building, which is open to the public and features twelve specially commissioned stained-glass windows designed by Hugh Easton. The Museum has a shop, café and walking/driving trails of related sites of historic interest are available. Read more

Address: Main Road, Biggin Hill, Kent TN16 3EJ

Phone: 01959 422 414

Email: k.edwards@bhmm.org.uk

www.bhmm.org.uk

The Museum tells the story of the Airfield from 1942 until 1965 and how it affected a small village.

Address: Langham lane, Langham, Near Colchester, Essex, CO4 5NW

Email: bahg2000@gmail.com

www.boxted-airfield.com

Eastchuch Aerodrome, situated on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, was first used by the Aero Club of Great Britain in 1909 and became a base for experimental flights, pilot training and an airfield for wealthy flying enthusiasts. It contained numerous hangers, the Short Brothers aeroplane factory and a repair shop. The airfield was soon also used for military purposes as the home of the Naval Flying School from 1912 and a base for squadrons from both the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps. It became one of the earliest RAF stations (1918-47) and was in continuous service through the First and Second World Wars. The museum explores the history of the site, buildings, machines and people who worked and served there. Currently there are plans to preserve hangers on the site dating from 1912. It is on the site of an open prison and prisoners often work in the adjacent cafe.Read more

Address: Wright's Way, off Brabazon Road, HMP Standford Hill, Eastchurch, Kent ME12 4AA

Phone: 07450 621 217

Email: see website for form

eastchurchaviationmuseum.org.uk

No other single location in the world has contributed so much to progressing aeronautical science over more than a century as the former Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough. Since 1993, the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust, a registered charity and an Arts Council Accredited Museum, has campaigned as an all-volunteer organisation, to safeguard and celebrate the site’s unique aviation legacy that stretches from the earliest Army ballooning activity, and Cody’s first successful aeroplane flight in the country, to the headquarters (now the museum) of the Royal Flying Corps and its first squadrons, through both World Wars and into the research, development and testing of jets and supersonic aircraft, missiles and space vehicles, up to the digital era. The FAST Museum tells this story and its collections and archive include hundreds of thousands of historical photographs, films, records, reports and artefacts, including hundreds of unique examples of pioneering prototype equipment, devices and systems, with a vast computer-based database used by students, film-makers, researchers and others on a global basis. The FAST collection also includes hundreds of wind tunnel models and many full-size military aircraft and helicopters formerly based at the RAE and familiar in Farnborough skies. The museum also has an extensive library, shop and five working flight simulators. Its prize exhibit is a full size highly authentic replica of S. F. Cody’s British Army Aeroplane No 1A in the condition it first flew in 1908, just yards from the FAST museum site. This was built by FAST volunteers in 2008 to celebrate the Centenary of British powered flight and is displayed in a specially built pavilion that now also houses many other exhibits as well as the Cody story.Read more

Address: Trenchard House, 85 Farnborough Road, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 6TL

Phone: 01252 375050 (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sat and Sun only)

Email: manager@airsciences.org.uk

www.airsciences.org.uk

The Gatwick Aviation Museum has a unique collection of British aircraft from the "golden age" of British aircraft manufacture. From the end of WWII until the 1970's British aircraft designers produced some of the most innovative and advanced aircraft of the day. From post war to cold war, this museum clearly shows that timeline in aviation terms. Come and discover the fascinating history of Gatwick Airport and the airlines that defined a generation of travel and learn the key role Gatwick played in the Second World War and how it helped aviation around the world. Discover how the power of flight has changed via our extensive range of engines from piston through to modern turbo fan.The museum includes a café and a nature trail from which you can view the airport in action. Read more

Address: Gatwick Aviation Museum, Vallance By-Ways, Lowfield Heath Road, Surrey RH6 0BT

Phone: 01293 862 417

Email: office@gatwick-aviation-museum.co.uk

gatwick-aviation-museum.co.uk/

The Croydon Airport Visitor Centre is a volunteer led micro-museum. Opened in 2000, it was the winner of a British Tourism Award. Exhibition space includes displays located in the world’s oldest Air Traffic Control Tower, in Airport House. Interactive displays, exhibits and visual images chart the history of Croydon Airport including its role in World War I, London’s international airport, the Battle of Britain in the Second World War and its closure in 1959. Read more

Address: Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, London CR0 0XZ

Phone: 0208 680 5878

Email: info@historiccroydonairport.org.uk

www.historiccroydonairport.org.uk/

RAF Hornchurch played a major role in the defence of London in the Second World War as the base of three squadrons of Spitfires. The former airfield has since become a country park and two former RAF administration buildings have been converted into RAF Hornchuch Heritage Centre which is due to open in 2021. A ‘Battle of Britain’ room features British and German artefacts, uniforms, photographs and models to tell the Hornchurch story and a replicated Officers Mess includes the original Oak fireplace from the former Officers Mess in Astra Close. Displays also cover the First World War when the airfield operated as RFC Suttons Farm, the interwar and Post war years, Bomber Command and a ‘Home Front’ room telling the story of civilian life during World War ll. The Heritage Centre includes a Remembrance room, vintage tea room and garden.Read more

Address: 119-121 Suttons Ln, Hornchurch, Essex RM12 6RU

www.facebook.com/hornchurchaerodrome

Discover the most intact fighter airfield associated with the Battle of Britain, the wildflower-rich meadows and ancient woodland of Kenley Common. There are still a significant number of structures remaining from WW2, which have become some of the youngest scheduled ancient monuments in the country. A new heritage trail tells the story of RAF Kenley and the men and women who served there. Kenley Common is open and free all year round.Read more

Address: Kenley Common, Hayes Lane, Croydon, London CR8

Email: kenleyrevival@cityoflondon.gov.uk

www.kenleyrevival.org

Visit the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust on the site of RAF Hawkinge and walk in the footsteps of the greatest-ever air battle. The museum has the world’s largest collection of Battle of Britain artefacts recovered from over 700 Battle of Britain aircraft crash-sites. Get up close to the iconic Battle of Britain fighter planes - the Hurricane, Spitfire, Boulton-Paul Defiant, Messerschmitt Bf 109E and the Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV, together with our recently acquired Heinkel He 111H-16. Discover the stories of the brave airmen, the planes they flew, the uniforms they wore, the medals won and so much more - all in some of the original 1940’s buildings, still bearing the scars of war. Then stop for refreshments at our café, browse the shop and meet Scramble the cat.Read more

Address: Aerodrome Road, Hawkinge, Folkestone, Kent CT18 7AG

Phone: 01303 893 140

Email: info@kbobm.org

www.kbobm.org

The Lashenden Air Warfare Museum is located on Headcorn Airfield and is one of the oldest established aviation museums in the country, having been formed in 1970. The Museum's collection was started by members of the Maidstone branch of the Royal Air Forces Association in the late 1960's. The Museum opened to the public Easter 1970 taking on the name of Lashenden Air Warfare Museum (Lashenden being the wartime name of the airfield). The Museum houses a very rare Fieseler Fi 103R-4 Reichenberg, a piloted V1 flying bomb and its collection consists of artefacts from World War I through to the Iraqi War.Read more

Address: Lashenden Air Warfare Museum. Headcorn Aerodrome, Headcorn, Ashford, Kent TN27 9HX

Phone: Telephone: 01622 891810 (during Museum opening hours) 01622 631799 (out of hours)

Email: lashendenairwar@gmail.com

www.lashendenairwarfaremuseum.co.uk

Parham Airfield Museum is situated on an old World War II USAAF Station. The museum consists of two parts, The 390th Bomb Group Memorial Air Museum which pays tribute to the 743 American servicemen killed or ‘missing in action’ from this airfield and the further 754 who were taken as Prisoners of War. The Museum of the British Resistance Organisation provides an insight into ‘Britain’s Secret Army’ with a unique replica secret underground bunker.Read more

Address: Parham Airfield, Parham, Framlingham, Suffolk IP13 9AF

Phone: 01728 621373 (answerphone)

Email: parhamairfield@yahoo.co.uk

www.parhamairfieldmuseum.co.uk

Bradwell started off as a small grass aerodrome serving the firing range on the Dengie Peninsula, in the late 1930’s. In 1942 the aerodrome was expanded and became a large bases for 2,500 personnel who were to fly intruder missions to the continent and provide refuge for bombers returning with damage, casualties and short of fuel. To enable this level of activity there were many career opportunities for both men and women. This included aircraft maintenance, radio control, catering, motor transport and may more. Women were to fill all roles, apart from combat. Today the RAF is fully inclusive. RAF Bradwell Bay was host to many different squadrons up to the end of the war, with a variety aircraft types including Boston Havocs’, Mosquito’s, Spitfire’s, Tempest’s, Blenheim’s and Beaufighter’s. Other aircraft were based there for training and administrative purposes such as Miles Magisters, De-Haviland Dominies, Tiger Moths. At sometimes Bradwell Bay would have been an aeroplane spotter’s paradise. At least 25 squadrons are known to have been based there at different times. Some parts of the airfield survive including the runways and control tower. However, the site is under threat of being demolished to make way for a second nuclear power station. As a group we are working to preserve as much as is possible, including building an archive to preserve memories and stories. We have an unusual memorial and now are building an exhibition in the, nearby, Othona Centre. We are hoping to staff the exhibition at weekends or by appointment.Read more

Email: info@rafbradwellbay.co.uk

www.rafbradwellbay.co.uk

The RAF Manston History Museum explores the history of this famous airfield from 1916 to the present day. Manston started its Aviation days as a Royal Naval Station in 1916, with a base at Westgate Bay for seaplanes. By 1917 the airfield had grown to include four underground hangars, its own railway line, power station and barracks for 3,000 men and even an indoor swimming pool. After WW1, training in aircraft maintenance and engine repairs was taught in the School of Technical Training. Barnes Wallis arrived in 1943 to test his bouncing bomb at nearby Reculver, before the Dam busters carried out their famous raid. Displays include numerous aircraft and artefacts illustrating various aspects of the airfield, squadrons and personnel from WWI to modern search and rescue operations and the airfield’s move into Civil Aviation up until the closure of Kent International Airport in 2014.Read more

Address: Manston Road, Ramsgate, Kent CT12 5DF

Phone: 01843 825 224

Email: info@rafmanston.co.uk

www.rafmanston.co.uk

RAF Northolt was established in 1915 and remains an active RAF airfield. The base was involved in the development of the Dowding system of integrated air defence and subsequently in the Battle of Britain, including hosting 303 Squadron Polish Air Force. Northolt also served as London Airport from 1945-55 while Heathrow was being developed. The site underwent major redevelopment in the mid-2000s as part of the consolidation of Ministry of Defence estates, but a limited number of older buildings remain, including four Grade 2 listed buildings. These include a C Type Hangar used to house Churchill's aircraft during WW2; a 1918 built squadron watch office and pilot crew room; an officers mess dating from 1917, remodelled in the 1920s and again in the mid-2000s; and a Z Sector operations room used in the development of Dowding system. The latter has been renovated over the last 12 years and the restoration work is still in progress.Read more

Address: RAF Northolt, West End Road, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 6NG

Phone: Please call the Station Visits Officer on 0208 833 8974. Note: no visits until further notice due to Covid Restrictions.

The Romney Marsh Wartime Collection is a unique collection of wartime equipment, remains recovered from aircraft crash sites and memorabilia collected and donated to the Museum since its formation in 1972. The Benzett ALG airstrip was established in 1943 and first used by Spitfire IX's of No.122 Squadron followed by squadrons to combat flying bombs, 129 Squadron and two Polish Squadrons 306 and 315. Displays include bomb disposal equipment and a Barnes Wallis ‘dambuster’ bomb. The museum is an Independent Charitable Trust dedicated to the memory of those living or dead, friend or foe, who served their country during wartime. The Exhibition is located within the original buildings used as a Hostel for the Women's Land Army during the war, and part of the Exhibition is devoted to them - some of their graffiti is still evident today!Read more

Address: Ivychurch Road, Brenzett, Romney Marsh, Kent TN29 OEE

Phone: 01797 344 747

Email: k.plum@btinternet.com

rmwcollection.co.uk

The Royal Air Force Museum London is located on the former Hendon Aerodrome. It includes five hangars showing the history of the Royal Air Force. Innovative galleries explore the first 100 years of the RAF and its roles today and invite you to imagine its future contribution and technology. Displays include numerous aircraft, interactive displays and flight simulators. A new open, grassed landscape which is perfect for picnics, reflects the heritage of our site as The London Aerodrome and RAF Hendon. The Museum was shortlisted for the Permanent Exhibition of the Year in the Museum and Heritage Awards 2019. There is also a restaurant, themed outdoor play area for under 11’s and a packed programme of family activities and events for all ages.Read more

Address: Grahame Park Way, London, NW9 5LL

Phone: 0208 205 2266

Email: london@rafmuseum.org

www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/

The Shoreham Aircraft Museum was founded in 1978 by local enthusiasts, whose passion for the Battle of Britain period resulted in the establishment of a permanent display in 1988. The Museum houses hundreds of aviation relics excavated by the group over many years from crashed British and German aircraft, as well as items which have been kindly donated. In addition, there is a fine collection of flying helmets, uniforms and insignia. This, along with a comprehensive display of Home Front memorabilia, ensures a visit to the museum is both enjoyable and educational. Artefacts are carefully arranged to support items recovered from local 'digs' and displays are changed regularly. The Museum has a charming tea room, serving home-made cakes and refreshments that can be enjoyed in the large tea garden. There is also a gallery displaying a range of prints by renowned aviation artist Geoff Nutkins, one of the Museum's founders.Read more

Address: 13 High St, Shoreham, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 7TB

Phone: 01959 524 416

Email: geoff@aviartnutkins.com

www.shoreham-aircraft-museum.co.uk

The museum is situated on one of the very few surviving airfields which participated in the Battle of Britain. During the Second World War RAF Manston was only 10 minutes flying time from Occupied France and bore the brunt of the early Luftwaffe attacks in 1940. RAF Manston was at the forefront of major aerial campaigns, a recovery airfield for stricken allied bombers and a base for fighters involved in Operation Crossbow (defence against V weapons). It was used for bouncing bomb trials and hosted the first ever jet squadron of the RAF. The Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum honours the brave men and women who served in defence of our country through displaying the aircraft and objects they used, as well as telling their stories. Displays include the iconic Spitfire Mk XVI, a 1944 built "LF" clipped-wing model, which means she is a fighter/bomber, and to our knowledge the only Spitfire displayed as a bomber. A Hurricane Mk IIc is painted to be the RAF Memorial to the Raid on Dieppe - Operation Jubilee. She represents the 1st aircraft to fly over the beach at dawn on August 19th 1942 from 43 Sqn. RAF. She is actually a 1944 built cannon tank buster. You can also try the Spitfire Simulator, in which you can experience what it is like to fly high powered WWII fighters. The museum also hosts the allied aircrew memorial garden which has regular services.Read more

Address: The Airfield, Manston Road, Ramsgate, Kent CT12 5DF

Phone: 01843 821 940

Email: enquiries@spitfiremuseum.org.uk

www.spitfiremuseum.org.uk

Stow Maries is the most intact WW1 aerodrome in the UK, with 22 surviving buildings from the period. The aim of the Trust is to restore the site to the 1918 period and re-create the sight and sounds of an operational airfield in WW1, which was part of the defence of the South-East of England. The site currently offers four main exhibitions and two hangars containing several replica aircraft from 1909 -1918. It is also a general aviation aerodrome with some resident aircraft, plus attracting many visiting aircraft during the summer months. This offer is also complimented by our Mess, which is housed in the original 'Other Ranks' Mess, and offers a wide range of snacks and beverages as well as an on-site shop selling a great range of items. We hold several major events throughout the spring/summer, including regular flying displays.Read more

Address: Hackman’s Lane, Purleigh, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 6RN

Phone: 01245 322644 (week days) 01245 429134 (weekends)

Email: info@stowmaries.org.uk

www.stowmaries.org.uk

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum is located in a corner of the old RAF Tangmere airfield in West Sussex, famed as an RAF fighter station in world war 2. In 1918 Tangmere became an RAF airfield. In 1926 43 Squadron arrived and were joined by 1 Squadron in 1927 and thereafter was to become a very active Fighter Command station until 1958 when Fighter Command left and Signals took over until 1970 when in October it ceased to be an RAF station. Thereafter it was only used for gliding until 1975. The Museum was opened by a group of aviation enthusiasts in 1982 to promote public awareness of the United Kingdom’s military aviation heritage. Since that time it has been managed and run entirely by volunteers and in 2017 was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Now one of the UK’s leading aviation museums, it is home to an impressive display of historic aircraft and has a unique collection of aviation memorabilia stretching from the First World War through to the Cold War. Amongst the many attractions, there are numerous interactive displays, aircraft cockpits and simulators for visitors to experience. Light refreshments may be purchased in the Museum’s acclaimed NAAFI Tea Room.Read more

Address: Tangmere Nr Chichester, West Sussex PO20 2ES

Phone: 01243 790 090

Email: info@tangmere-museum.org.uk

www.tangmere-museum.org.uk

The bunker housed RAF Fighter Command’s No.11 Group Operations Room throughout the Second World War, the room from which the RAF co-ordinated most of the Battle of Britain, presented as Winston Churchill saw it on 15 September 1940. As well as visiting the bunker visitors can see our state-of-the-art exhibition detailing the development of the UK’s air defence system from the First World War to the end of the Second World War. You can listen to first-hand accounts from people that worked in the bunker during its finest hour in 1940 and see aircraft wreckage, uniforms and telecommunications equipment used by the RAF to defend the nation.Read more

Address: Wren Ave, Uxbridge, London UB10 0GG

Phone: 01895 238 154

Email: bunker@hilllingdon.gov.uk

battleofbritainbunker.co.uk

The clifftop home of the National Memorial to the Few - a figure of a seated airman looking out over the Channel - is a quiet place of contemplation and reflection which is also home to the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall, which lists the names of the aircrew known to have taken part in the Battle of Britain, and a replica Hurricane and Spitfire. It is temporarily also home to a stainless steel artwork featuring a crashed Stuka, loaned by German artist Hex. The idea for a national memorial came from Wing Commander Geoffrey Page who had been a 20-year-old Hurricane pilot with 56 Squadron in the Battle of Britain. The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust was established, and fundraising began for the memorial which opened in 1993. In 2005, HM The Queen opened The Wing, an eye-catching building designed in the shape of a Spitfire wing, complete with its famous uplift. The Wing houses The Scramble Experience, a hands-on attraction that uses audio-visual effects, a video wall and other special techniques to show something of what it was like for the Few in the summer and early autumn of 1940. As well as the visitor experience, the Wing includes a classroom area to help fulfil the Trust’s aim to educate young people, in particular, about the heroism and sacrifice made by those who took to the skies. It is called the Geoffrey Page Centre in honour of the man who inspired the building of the Memorial. A central ‘cockpit’ area with an open balcony offers superb views across the Channel to France, from where the Luftwaffe would have appeared in 1940. The site is fully accessible.Read more

Address: New Dover Rd, Capel-le-Ferne, Folkestone CT18 7JJ

Phone: 01303 249 292

Email: enquiries@battleofbritainmemorial.org

www.battleofbritainmemorial.org

The Gliding Heritage Centre (GHC) was founded in March of 2012. It’s based on the south side of Lasham airfield, Hampshire, which originated as a WW2 airfield in 1942 and became famous for its Mosquito wing, it’s now the largest gliding site in the world. The GHC is effectively the UK’s gliding museum and houses a large collection of vintage gliders in its two 30m x 30m hangars, the earliest dating back to 1911, together with many artefacts. Many of its gliders still fly. It also has a large modern workshop where the general public can see the restoration work being undertaken. The normal time for site tours is 14:00 on a Sunday, but please check the website for latest information. Specific tours can be arranged outside this which includes those by large groups.Read more

Address: Lasham Airfield Alton, Hampshire GU34 5SS

Email: visits@glidingheritage.org.uk

www.glidingheritage.org.uk/visits.htm

The Vulcan Restoration Trust owns Avro Vulcan B2 XL426, one of only three examples remaining in ‘live’ condition. The Trust holds Open Days and other special events throughout the year, including engine runs and taxi demonstrations. Please refer to our website for details. XL426 is located airside at a working airport and is, therefore, only accessible during these events or by special arrangement. Built in 1962, XL426 has been at Southend since her retirement from the Royal Air Force in 1986. Today she is maintained in taxiable condition by an entirely volunteer team. Read more

Address: Hangar 5, London Southend Airport, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS2 6YF

Email: info@avrovulcan.com

www.avrovulcan.com

The Wings Museum is entirely volunteer run and housed in a large "hangar" style building located near to Gatwick Airport. We display an abundance of original memorabilia representing a wealth of themes including: The Home Front, RAF Fighter Command, The Blitz, Battle of Britain, Bomb Disposal, Home Guard, Air raid shelters, Aircraft Turrets, RAF Bomber Command, US 8th Air Force, Luftwaffe, Russian Front and D-Day and Beyond. Items on display include aero engines, airframes displayed in dioramas representing actual crash sites, cockpits, aircraft gun turrets, uniforms, medals, flying equipment, a unique collection of photographs illustrating the history of Redhill Aerodrome and hundreds of personal stories of war, sacrifice and courage.Read more

Address: Unit 1, Bucklands Farm, Brantridge Lane, Near Balcombe, West Sussex RH17 6JT

Phone: 07769 688 064

Email: info@wingsmuseum.co.uk

www.wingsmuseum.co.uk