We didn’t take public transport there so I can’t comment on how easy that would have been. We choose to take the 40 mins drive on the A406 always a delight to see those gorgeous well kept houses at the road side especially before and after the Green Lanes junction ;) Tomorrow for the Disney on Ice I will taking the tube rather than driving though, for a change of scene. Arrived just as they opened at 10am and we managed to get ahead of the 17th Herts Beaver pack that must have scoffed bag fulls of jumping beans on their way down. Our party, 10 and 8 year old, the mum and dad and the grandad.
It’s very hard not to keep comparing this museum with Duxford as both do have different pros and con’s. Duxford is massive and of course has a great collection too of tanks etc, RAF basically has 5 hangers/halls and obviously focuses on the aviation, Duxford can be costly depending on when you go, RAF museum is free, and if you buy both gudie books together a good price of £5. Duxford requires a good pair of walking shoes, RAF is nicely compact, and not tiring. Duxford the hangers are bare stone floors and you face the elements of the weather in between walking from on hanger to the other, here nice modern halls/hangers, carpeted and bar two they contect or have covered walk ways and the lay out was good..
So, the first hall, “Milestones of Flight”, we skipped the 3d cinema to get ahead of the beavers (automatic DisneyPark crowd avoidance kicked in there) Contained Mosquito, nice shiny Mustang, a Harrier, Me262, Kawasaki, Gipsy Moth , Messerschmittand a typhoon.. A few hanging up like a Tempest and a Bleriot. Lots of interactive flat screens stationed around so you can touch screen and read up info. The simulator ride was out of order in this hanger. On to the “Bomber Hall”, quite dark in here, pictures refused to come out nicely. Lancaster, mean looking Vulcan, Buccaneer, Be2c, Liberator, Halifax and a Focke. Nice displays of artefacts also.
The “Historic Hanger” had a good old mixture of new and old planes and helicopters , Hawker Typhoon, Merlin, Rota, Spitfires, Phantom, Buaefighter , Southampton, Thunderbolt, Canberra and a Hunter. Here you can have a pit stop and have a coffee and a muffin and use of toilets. We then went through the Interactive centre. Went on the simulator here £2.50 each, your flying in a plane chasing the Red Baron, good for the money but I don’t know why they place it so near to after the refreshment place, I came off it feeling a bit green LOL…..the other activies were great for the kids they really enjoyed, all sort of science and flying related doing things. The Hang gliding ride was also closed that day, probably a good thing anyway after been thrown around and devilish sharp turns and steep dives in the simulator.
“Battle of Britain Hall”, think this was our favourite. It opened at 12.00 and on each hour they present a cinema style show. You sit in bank seating and the story and visual effects tell of the Blitz and landings etc, very well presented don‘t skip. Dotted around are very lifelike models, thier eyes were so real looking the kids had to poke to make sure they weren’t squashy, they though they had been taken from….well, I think you can guess. So, also were Junkers, Hurricane, spitfire, Messerchmitt, Bf109e, Heinkel, nice big V1’s and you could actually go in and walk the length of a Sunderland, again good models and audio. Next door to this Hanger was a restaurant you could get fish and chips, chilli con etc for £6.00, they even had bottles of the Neame “spitfire” bitter and their “Smooth” that you could wash it down with.
After 4 hours we decided to miss out the last hall the “Grahame-White factory” place. There was a nice big shop everything from clothing, books, videos, corgi/airfix models to other gifts and nik naks.