East Essex Aviation Museum
East Essex Aviation Museum
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles17 reviews
Excellent
13
Very good
2
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
2

John H
Chatham, UK3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Family
Great Little museum staffed by volunteers and packed with WW2 memorabile.
It is only open on some days so please check.
Written 12 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

k900ren
Hertford, UK18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Friends
We had a lovely time looking around this amazing and historic venue. The volunteer ex servicemen that were there were so knowledgable and gave us so much information about all the things in the museum. The kids and adults loved trying on all the old uniforms and trying out the old guns.
I would highly recommend this place after a lovely walk along the beach front.
Written 29 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Petra798
Rushden, UK48 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
Tried to visit based on the good reviews but ended up driving through a caravan/shanty town with a road full of massive potholes to find it was closed!
Written 29 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Team JMT
Essex, UK4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
Fabulous and knowledgeable volunteers in their Napoleonic Tardis...it’s definitely bigger on the inside. Hats off to Justin, Mike & Nigel for their passion and enthusiasm. Sadly closed to the public this year; 2020, due to Covid-19. Hoping 2021 allows this fascinating Heritage venue to re-open.
Written 17 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sian1293
Hatfield, UK3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020 • Couples
Went to visit on Wednesday 30th September and it was closed. According to advertised opening hours it should have been open from 10am to 2pm
Written 2 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steve M
5 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
Being able to visit the inside of a Martello Tower, in a sound structural condition, seeing that they were part of the English coast defensive structure for over 200 years, and remained so up to and just beyond World War 2.
The contents were really interesting and concentrated on the narrow field of mainly WW2 Aviation in this immediate area.
Many exhibits were incorrectly labelled and misleading.
Others were poorly displayed and in poor, and sadly deteriorating condition.
Nevertheless, if like me, you are a local history buff with a love of aviation, then is a real but dusty jewel and certainly worth a visit.
Take a camera!
Written 25 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter S
Rome, Italy3,958 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
Review of the East Essex Aviation Museum, Point Clear Martello Tower, St Osyth, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex

Gorgeous weather mid-September and it was surprising just how empty Holiday Land was that morning. The bright sunshine reflected in the closed-up windows of the rows of holiday homes that backed on to the North Sea and the estuary of the Colne. Of course, the schools had re-opened for the academic year and the families had gone for the year.
You approach the Martello Tower through St Osyth along a winding road through flat country with scattered blocks of houses/gardens and then into through a sprawling holiday village alongside Point Clear Bay. The Martello Tower housing the East Essex Aviation Museum is at the point of the promontory over-looking Brightlingsea and, across the Colne, new blocks of apartments on Mersey Island.
The tower is one side of an open patch of tarseal, next door to the Ferry Boat Inn and opposite a burger bar – so, convenient for parking (and eating/drinking). Parked adjacent to the tower behind a temporary steel mesh fence was an enormous heritage tank. So, you ask yourself, where’s the obvious association – WW2 aviation and the WW1 tank? But that became clearer once inside.
The entrance to the museum and the tower was just a few steps around to one side of the tower; outside there was a row of chairs – mostly occupied that morning - leading into the entrance. People and place looked exactly as you expected - an enthusiastic bunch of mates/ladies held together by shared interest in this niche of the classic aviation industry that started 35 years ago following the recovery of an American P51 Mustang off the coast at Clacton. We paid our £10 shared entrance fee – courtesy of a donation box – said ‘Hello’ to a couple of the friendly, if rather distant, chair wallahs and walked inside.
First images? Grandad’s shed at the bottom of the garden with a lifetime’s collection of cherished bric-a-brac crammed into every possible nook … fascinating for those who follow the minutiae of wars and for those of us with an interest in military aviation history. You really need to go back a second time (or more) having made that preliminary appraisal, to follow through with the information on display.
The museum covers the entire building - ground floor, first floor and then, up a narrow staircase that follows the curve of the wall, to the open roof. So, there’s two real points of focus – the museum itself and the building in which it is housed – both equally interesting.
Start with the tower then … a small defence fort based on an original design that dates back to the mid-16th century and the Genoa Republic (once an independent city-state in NW Italy). Tower #1 was built in Corsica to counter attacks from North African pirates. The tower eventually fell to British naval forces during a blockade of the coast in the period leading up to the Napoleonic Wars; the tower was eventually forced by land having successfully out-fought a couple of formidable war ships. Design and performance of the tower had so impressed the British that they adopted them to defend the home islands (building 165) and the empire worldwide (140) during the early 19th century - there is even one in Australia.
Simplicity is all – circular structure 12 m high with walls 2.5 m thick. Single flight steps/ladder entry 3 m above ground; two inside levels – living quarters above stores and open roof offering 360 deg clear fire from one or more rotating cannons. Garrisoned with 15-25 men and one officer. Formidable 250-year design.
Climb the tower, run your hands over the brickwork when climbing the stairs, lean on the parapet and look out over the water and land below: appreciate that original heritage of naval military design and, equally, the changes in warfare practices/hardware during the following 200 years. Appreciate the fine quality and excellent condition of the Point Clear structure.
Then climb down into the museum proper and explore some of those mainly 20th century developments in military hardware that feature in the stand-along aircraft/racks parts, glass-cabinets and wall boards describing/showing all kinds of artifacts, stories, photos of the people who fought (and were frequently lost/killed) during those wars … the poignancy of the exhibits and the memories that they evoke.
The first floor contains equipment, uniforms and memorabilia from WW1 & WW2, with the latter covering Allied military and British civil forces. On the ground floor is the wreck of the P51 Mustang that Raymond E King ditched and in which he died 500 m off Clacton13 January 1945 – less than four months before Victory in Europe Day. What a tragic waste.
Stand alongside the fuselage and peer into the narrow cockpit, note the small windows on the sky and the view along the engine cowling to the bent propeller. This was a robust and highly-successful fighter-bomber, providing escort to long-distance bombers. Post WW2 the Mustang later served with UN forces in the Korean War and with >25 national air forces worldwide. They can still be found flying at the occasional air displays/shows.
Next to the Mustang was a mock-up of an Anderson Shelter – protection in the garden for Mum, Dad & the kids living in British industrial cities during WW2 - bunk beds, torch and chamber pot on hand.
As you look out over the Essex coast, wander the museum and explore the workshop where the many exhibits are cleaned and prepared for display - pause, reflect and give more than a passing thought to all the millions of people involved in the stories of the museum.

Peter Steele
24 June 2020
Written 26 June 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JAMES K
Colchester, UK292 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
well this museum is FREE! we were guided round by a lovely chap who gave us a better insight into what the tower done in its hay day. the tower is actually very large and you can get on to the rood which gives you a great perspective of the area. lots of great pieces to look at as well.
Written 30 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

whitbyabi
United Kingdom790 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
We visited this excellent museum because of my interest in Martello Towers, and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Apart from it being a fantastic use of a Martello Tower the museum itself is brilliant, so many artefacts and displays!! The chaps running it were very friendly and you can tell they love what they do here. We also got 2 interesting tower books in the little shop inside. Entry is free but I suggest that visitors fill their donations boxes as much as they can afford to preserve both the tower and this fascinating museum. We got the bus from Clacton to Point Clear to visit here and then walked through the caravan park, the tower is at the end of Point Clear near a pub & shop. Visiting hours are limited as they're volunteers so check before you travel, I think they open every Sunday 10-2pm
Written 28 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maxwell M
Colchester, UK41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Friends
Visited with my local history group. Very surprised by the sheer number of artifacts in the museum. Not all are directly linked to aviation but a great attempt has been made to put it all in context. The staff were very knowledgeable, extremely helpful and very friendly. The fact that it is housed in a Martello Tower was just a bonus.
Written 22 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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EAST ESSEX AVIATION MUSEUM: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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