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“Wot no land train”

Imperial War Museum
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Duxford
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: IWM Duxford tells the story of the impact of aviation on the nature of war and on people's lives. Set within Britain's best-preserved Second World War fighter station, seven impressive hangars filled with extraordinary collections and state-of-the-art exhibitions take you on an unforgettable journey through times of war and peace.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wot no land train”
Reviewed 19 July 2014

We spent 5 hours looking around and were exhausted with the walking but certainly felt we had value for money at the end of the day - am glad we didn't take small children as not sure their little legs could cope with all the walking involved ; for a museum that involves various forms of transport and charges a Premium entrance fee it is a surprise there is not some sort of land train to take you between the various hangers - all in all is a good day out

Visited July 2014
1 Thank Alan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Very expensive considering Lottery funding - take your own food!!”
Reviewed 19 July 2014

First of all I must say that I have visited Duxford before a couple of years ago and paid the (then) admission price of around £14.00. The static displays inside the hangers consisted of RAF and the USAF building further along the runway.
A colleague and I visited Duxford again yesterday ((July 18th) and found the admission price had risen to £17.20 - Wow!! Why I ask?
Duxford is an Imperial War Museum site and it is my understanding that the Imperial War Museum sites (such as the Imperial War Museum itself in London and the Wonderful RAF Museum at Hendon) are free admission - the two I have just mention are - why isn't Duxford because it's not anywhere near as interesting as those two museums?
The civil airliners which form part of the static display on the side of the main runway are staring to look very 'tired' and apart from the RAF static display in the hangers on the left as you enter the site and the USAF museum there is really nothing else to see flight wise.
There is a 'Land warfare' museum at the far end of the site (when it's open that is) but this IS after all a former Battle of Britain airfield so one could expect more in the way of 'flight'.

After paying the ridiculously high entrance fee (£17.20 each adult!) you would expect to walk through the 'gift shop' which follows and see the items reasonably priced - they're not.
Don't buy any books from here but wait until you get home and then buy them for a third or a quarter of the price from Amazon - same for the DVDs.

It was the 'Flying Legends' airshow last weekend and programmes for this event were still on show at the entrance pay point (where we paid £17.20 each to get in - yes, that one!) and when I enquired regarding the price of a programme (for an event which was now over and a week old I was surprised to find that they were still being sold at the full price of £6 - why? understandably no one bought one...............just lowering the price by a couple of pounds to reflect that this event was now history and thereby the programme of little use apart for a few photographs would seem like common sense to me and probably would shift loads.

After paying the £17.20 entrance fee I was asked by the sales member if I wanted to contribute the Value added tax I had paid as part of my £17.20 entrance fee to a 'gift aid' scheme for the airfield. I initially replied 'yes' but after giving my home address and then finding that my colleague hadn't been asked this question by the other sales member I then declined.

When we both arrived at Duxford yesterday (at 10.35am) there was a lengthy queue to pay the £17.20 entrance fee - about 14 adults were ahead of us in this queue - there were only 2 sales members and a third was sat behind a desk marked 'special events' doing nothing - why?

Eventually we both paid our £17.20 entrance fee and entered the site. Thankfully we had both brought our own pre-prepared sandwiches to eat for lunch so we didn't have to be further 'stung' by paying for the cooked food - mind you only one café was open on the whole site at that time so it was just as well.

The only bright part of the day for us was the fact that the 'Grace' Spitfire was out and about in the air (for fee paying guests who were flying in another aircraft taking photos of it in flight - yes, not airborne for the 'normal' customers who had paid £17.20 to get in the site!).

We won't be visiting Duxford again - my friend has two small boys and unless he takes out a second mortgage he wouldn't be able to afford to come back again anyway.

Questions to Duxford:-
1)How can you justify charging £17.20 for each adult to enter the site?
2)Why do you offer programmes for sale for events that have already taken place and still charge the full amount?
3)Why isn't there more flying activity for the customers who have been 'stung' £17.20 to get in to the site
4)Why is only one of the cafes open on the whole site at 10.45am in the morning - meaning we had to walk all the way back to the 'open' one to get a coffee (which was cold and had to be sent back!)
5)Why is there a queue (yes, a queue!) to get in here and pay £17.20 at 10.30am in the morning on a weekday.
6)Why are your 2 staff members choosy who they ask about the 'Gift Aid' scheme?
7)Why do you employ a 3rd member of staff to sit behind a desk marked 'special events' and sit there and do nothing but look at all the potential customers waiting to pay £17.20 to get in?
8)Why isn't the shop inside the USAF museum 'closed' at 10.50am in the morning with a sign on it saying 'all items are available in the gift shop in the entrance area - what's the point of this shop inside the USAF museum if you're selling the same items in the entrance gift shop and what's the point of the gift shop inside the USAF museum if you're not going to open it to customers?
9)Poor on-site toilet facilities - why?

Advice to potential visitors:-
First bit of advice is simple really - just don't go!! really! here's why:-

!)Simple question really - Why go here and pay £17.20 each to get in when you can go to the RAF Museum in Hendon, North London and/or the main Imperial War Museum in Elephant and Castle, London (just re-opened yesterday after refurbishment) for free - this is because it's funded by the National Lottery.

Also, both those sites are far, far better that what you will see for your money at Duxford.

2)Take your own sandwiches and coffee/drinks. Why? because they are expensive and the coffee is not value for money - cold and sent back - why I ask?

To sum up - waste of £17.20, go to two museums I mention above and NOT this one - you will get far better value for your hard earned money - we didn't yesterday but it won't happen again.

Best regards................................

Visited July 2014
6 Thank Saturn853
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
111 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Superb day out”
Reviewed 19 July 2014

We went to the Duxford Air Show 14 July and although the weather was quite inclement, everyone attending seemed to have a great day. The War Museum and all the displays are outstanding. How they get some of the planes into the hangar displays defies gravity. They even had a Concorde displayed plus a TSR2. Despite the weather (dark clouds and rain) the air show went ahead and it was superb. You can walk around all the various tents, shop, eat and drink and stop along the way to watch the display. A great day out.

Visited July 2014
Thank Patch007London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
56 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Take a gourmet picnic and chairs”
Reviewed 17 July 2014 via mobile

We paid quite a lot to see the Flying Legends Air Show which started at 2 pm but it included parking outside in a field and entry to all the different hangar museums. My husband and his son were very excited . I was surprised how much I enjoyed it as there was an excellent commentary by an Australian and some moving music at certain points.
We needed more time to see all the planes in the museum but did walk through the Concord which was a highlight.
There are lots of stalls with aircraft related things to buy. The food was over priced but overall a great day.

Thank Gerri S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malvern, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
171 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2014

Flying Legends 2014, went as we do every year to the Saturday show, glorious weather and glorious piston engine aircraft. Great to walk the flight line and get up close to those classic aircraft. Great and informative museums and helpful staff.

Visited July 2014
Thank Mark C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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