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View Full Version : Aviation nerd in London, England. What to see?


oicur12.again
17th Dec 2022, 22:52
Greetings

My family and I will be arriving in London for a week over xmas thanks to staff travel.

I have picked up on some covert discussions between my wife and daughter that indicate they may spend considerable time shopping.

Which means I may sneak away for some aviation related entertainment.

The only museum I have seen is Hendon but I was wonder what else is to be seen around London or slightly further afield?

I would love to see an EE Lightning doing engine runs and taxi but not sure if thats a thing anymore?

cheers in advance and merry xmas.

Liffy 1M
17th Dec 2022, 23:17
Brooklands is worth a visit for the aviation and other content. https://www.brooklandsmuseum.com/

jolihokistix
17th Dec 2022, 23:42
Bentley Priory in Stanmore for a quiet afternoon of reflection in a lovely setting.
Battle of Britain | Bentley Priory Museum (https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/)

bentley priory museum - 検索 (bing.com) (https://www.bing.com/search?q=bentley+priory+museum&cvid=3814a19547144e2aacf3e6e14896c1d7&aqs=edge.1.0l9.6220j0j1&pglt=43&FORM=ANNTA1&PC=TBTS)

ZFT
17th Dec 2022, 23:44
The Flight section of the Science Museum is well worth a visit

jolihokistix
17th Dec 2022, 23:52
Imperial War Museums Duxford and London.
Imperial War Museums (iwm.org.uk) (https://www.iwm.org.uk/)

chevvron
18th Dec 2022, 00:36
Farnborough Museum at Farnborough listed as the FAST (Farnborough Aerospace Sciences Trust) Museum, various exhibits and right underneath final approach for.Farnborough Airport.
Reachable via train from Waterloo, just south of the River Thames to Farnborough. If you're a historian, you can also see the tomb of Emperor Napolean 3rd, along with Empress Eugenie and their son Prince Louis just north of the railway station..

Ironpot
18th Dec 2022, 00:51
Avro museum near Manchester is well worth a visit. I stumbled upon it last time I was there and the Vulcan exhibits are superb.

India Four Two
18th Dec 2022, 01:14
For museums in central London, I also recommend the Science Museum and the Imperial War Museum.

tdracer
18th Dec 2022, 01:40
Another vote for the Imperial War Museum.
I visited the Science Museum many years ago, but didn't have enough time to properly check it out. What I did see didn't thrill me, but as noted it was a seriously abbreviated visit (memory says it was closing early that day for some reason).
Duxford is on the short list of places I want to visit next time I'm over there.

Commander Taco
18th Dec 2022, 03:21
The de Havilland museum also worth a visit. They have the original Mosquito prototype in their collection. Directions both by car and public transport are on their website.
https://www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk/

Herod
18th Dec 2022, 07:04
I'll second the DH Museum. There is a good museum near Newark, which is probably reachable by train, but a bit far perhaps. Forget Everything I said about train. Over Christmas, you'd have a better chance of catching a passing Zeppelin.

Less Hair
18th Dec 2022, 07:09
How about Hendon?
https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/plan-your-day/map-and-directions/

treadigraph
18th Dec 2022, 08:02
Maybe not this trip but Shuttleworth at Old Warden (https://oldwardenaerodrome.co.uk/) is a must do when you can though you do really need a car. Biggleswade is the nearest railway station and it's a 3 mile walk or a trip in a taxi - trains take about a half hour from Kings Cross. Frequent afternoon and evening airshows between May and October which are a joy.

flying phil 2007
18th Dec 2022, 08:10
Have a ride on the London Cable Car over the river .. nice views, including London City Airport.. dump the girls at the O2 for shopping and go and see the planes landing on the steep approach .. all easily reachable by the Docklands Railway.

https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/london-cable-car/the-ifs-cloud-cable-car-experience?intcmp=1445

The Imperial War Museum London has some planes as well .. Spitfire, parts of a Lancaster and a Zero.. the other attractions noted are great, but some are quite a trek out of London.

Flugzeug A
18th Dec 2022, 08:24
I’d recommend the IWM in London & , reachable by train , ( if they’re running ) Duxford.
Duxford also has a great ‘Land warfare’ exhibit - it ain’t aviation but you’re there , it doesn’t cost any extra & it is fascinating.
Also in Cambridge , tho’ you may be pushed for time, the American cemetery

Beaker_
18th Dec 2022, 10:00
In addition to the museums recommended: If you're flying into Heathrow, try and get yourself a right-hand window seat. Assuming a westerly wind component, you'll get great views of Central London on your approach weather permitting. That being said, from Central London, you'll also get good views of stuff on the approach to Heathrow coming in at about 3000 ft AGL.

London helicopter tours are also available. Although I can't make any specific recommendations on any organisations, I'm sure they all do a fine job :)

PPRuNeUser0154
18th Dec 2022, 10:08
The Battle of Britain Memorial, Embankment near Cleopatra's Needle which also has WW1 bomb damage.
The RAF Bomber Command Memorial, Green Park.
Bomber Harris Statue.

nilocp
18th Dec 2022, 11:14
I dont have a problem with any of the recomendations but please check opening times before you travel.

It is Christmas and I guess many places will be shut. And we may have rail strikes!!

Enjoy your trip.

Captivep
18th Dec 2022, 11:18
The IWM at Duxford is a must: it's situated on an authentic Battle of Britain airfield (if you've seen the movie of the same name you will already have seen many of the buildings and airfield) and, as well as being the largest aviation museum in the UK, has a large purpose-built building devoted to American aviation.

https://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford/whats-here

And fairly easy to get to:

https://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford/getting-here

jolihokistix
18th Dec 2022, 12:00
St Clement Danes Church in the Strand. Battle of Britain memorial chapel in Westminster Abbey.

Brutha
18th Dec 2022, 12:22
Yes, to second other recommendations, the Science museum is worth a look. It's not the Smithsonian, but they have at least one really historic aircraft, the Vickers Vimy that Alcock and Brown crossed the Atlantic in:

https://collection.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/objects/co499537/alcock-and-browns-vickers-vimy-biplane-aircraft

pax britanica
18th Dec 2022, 13:04
As an American Duxford would be really good as it has a very very strong US content, partly because this area of UK (East Anglia , the area north and east of London) was home to the 8th AirForce in WW2 and there are still US bases in area today.

If you can make the trip out, fast trains to Cambridge from Kings Cross station take an hour and then a taxi is best but do check opening times. Christmas is a much bigger deal in Uk than the USA and lots of places close on additional days.

i wish you good luck with the weather too

PB

Planemike
18th Dec 2022, 13:21
All the above look like good suggestions. Would add https://www.solentsky.org in Southampton, quite "doable" in a day by train, if they are operating, from Waterloo Stn in London. Would echo the advice to check opening times over the Christmas / New year period.
Enjoy your trip what ever you choose to do. Oh, the "fired up" Lightning could be a challenge too far...Used to be done at Bruntingthorpe but now closed.....

Doors to Automatic
18th Dec 2022, 13:39
There is a brilliant spot to watch the short field landings at London City Airport - take the DLR to Cyprus station and walk south five minutes through the University campus until you get to the water front. The airport is immediately in front of you.

SpringHeeledJack
18th Dec 2022, 13:47
I dont have a problem with any of the recomendations but please check opening times before you travel.

It is Christmas and I guess many places will be shut. And we may have rail strikes!!

Enjoy your trip.

I was going to mention both these points, which tend to happen in the UK at this time of year. The tubes are working, so an Oystercard will get you here there and anywhere within a huge range of Central London, but outside zone 6 (Zones 1-6) you have to pay separately for transport. Depending on where you're staying in London might influence where you can get to outside the capital, as getting across the city can often take as long as getting to the outside the city destination due to various factors.

That said, all the suggestions are great, you'll be spoilt for choice!

DHfan
18th Dec 2022, 14:08
I suggest that as there will be limited time, the rest of the family to consider, Christmas closing times and potential rail strikes, it would be best to limit visits to within easy reach of the Underground network, however appealing other potential locations may seem.

Planemike
18th Dec 2022, 14:14
I suggest that as there will be limited time, the rest of the family to consider, Christmas closing times and potential rail strikes, it would be best to limit visits to within easy reach of the Underground network, however appealing other potential locations may seem.
Sound advice. May whet the OP's appetite for a longer return trip when the weather is also more clement....

meleagertoo
18th Dec 2022, 14:47
Hendon, Duxford and Old Warden would be my suggestions. Those three would cover 95% of the aviation interest in the entire S of UK imho.
If I were to miss one of those it would be Hendon as both Duxford and Old Warden are museums with active aircraft. Rent a car and do those two with an overnight stay in a pub in between...they're not far apart.
But for a visiting American and short of time I'd suggest Old Warden is the one with unique content unavailable in the USA. More or less all the rest can be seen back home.

Rallye Driver
18th Dec 2022, 14:55
If you go to Duxford, you may also wish to include a brief visit North Weald on the way. It defended Londoon against Zeppelins and Gothas in WW1 and was a key fighter station in WW2, also hosting two of the US Eagle squadrons, as well as Norwegians, Canadians Czechs and Poles. The Battle of Britain and Band of Brothers were both partly filmed there too. A nice English tea should be available at The Squadron.

Krystal n chips
18th Dec 2022, 15:44
For the OP, unfortunately, as others have said, you're arriving at a notoriously difficult time to travel any distance in the UK, plus, there's a bit of a travel hiccup or two at the moment.

However, Hendon will keep you occupied for a very long time....the Sunderland alone isn't something you will want to just give a quick glance around...fascinating aircraft

Midland 331
18th Dec 2022, 15:52
Depending on your level of nerdness, take the tube to Hatton Cross, and enjoy aeroplanes passing overhead every 90 seconds or so.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18817472

It's close to the threshold of 27L at Heathrow. I can't recall if/when they swap to 27R when on westerlies. It might be worth finding out.

DaveReidUK
18th Dec 2022, 16:09
It's close to the threshold of 27L at Heathrow. I can't recall if/when they swap to 27R when on westerlies. It might be worth finding out.

Yes, they swap from 27R to 27L (or vice versa) when on westerlies, as your linked article makes clear. That happens daily at 3 pm.

chevvron
18th Dec 2022, 16:27
Yes, they swap from 27R to 27L (or vice versa) when on westerlies, as your linked article makes clear. That happens daily at 3 pm.
You get a superb view from Craven Cottage (Hammersmith end)

POBJOY
18th Dec 2022, 17:10
The Flight section of the Science Museum is well worth a visit

The science museum has two very historic machines that can be viewed up close.
Both are genuine BoB veterans and in near original condition.
Hurricane KW-Z was a 615 machine that flew from Kenley, and P9444 flew with 72 Squadron.
In fact P9444 also 'visited' Kenley much later for the Film Reach for the Sky.
There is something significant with the London location as both machines flew within sight of the capital on ops and of course London itself became a main target that changed the course of the Battle.
615 (County of Surrey) squadron was a Kenley resident whilst, 72 Squadron was Biggin and Croydon based during that hectic time.
Of course if you are that close to Kenley which is the most original of the 11 group airfields left then a visit there really ticks all the boxes, and you can walk over the entire airfield area when gliding is over. (Croydon and Biggin only 15 mins away !!!)

Jhieminga
18th Dec 2022, 17:12
A lot is possible from London, but if you want to play it safe with travel times, stick to RAF Museum Hendon (Colindale tube station), The Science Museum (South Kensington) and the Imperial War Museum (Lambeth North). If you want some other non-aviation but military-themed options, consider HMS Belfast (opposite the Tower of London) and the Cabinet War Rooms (just off Whitehall). All within the London tube network. You can easily do the Brooklands Museum from central London as it is 30 mins away from Waterloo station, just jump on any train that stops at Weybridge, its a 25 min walk from that station. A lot of the other options are further afield and be sure to check opening times. I know I've been burned by that at one point when FAST turned out not to be open on weekdays (or something like that, I cannot remember exactly when I found myself nearby and tried to visit).
If you've got room in your suitcase and the ladies haven't maxed out your credit cards, the Aviation Retail Direct shop at Hillingdon is within the M25, so you could say it's within London.... see: https://www.aviationretaildirect.com/about-us-opening-hours/

DHfan
18th Dec 2022, 18:21
Yes, to second other recommendations, the Science museum is worth a look. It's not the Smithsonian, but they have at least one really historic aircraft, the Vickers Vimy that Alcock and Brown crossed the Atlantic in:

https://collection.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/objects/co499537/alcock-and-browns-vickers-vimy-biplane-aircraft

This would be a good idea as many of the OP's countrymen believe that Lindbergh was the first to cross the Atlantic by air.

meleagertoo
18th Dec 2022, 18:32
This would be a good idea as many of the OP's countrymen believe that Lindbergh was the first to cross the Atlantic by air.

They would be no better informed if they believed that Alcock and Brown were the first either...

Less Hair
18th Dec 2022, 18:43
Ask them who invented jet aircraft.

SpringHeeledJack
18th Dec 2022, 20:18
Ze Germans ? ;-)

radar101
18th Dec 2022, 20:47
you may also wish to include a brief visit North Weald

​​​​​​​Spiritual home of 56(F) Sqn

DHfan
18th Dec 2022, 21:09
He's coming for a week, including Christmas, not a month.

effortless
18th Dec 2022, 23:28
Is the collection just north of Gatwick still there? Fabulous visit if it is.

Sue VÍtements
19th Dec 2022, 00:01
I was also going to mention the Cabinet War Rooms. Also, before you go, take a look at www.bombsite.org (http://www.bombsite.org) - It's a website showing locations of bomb damage from WWII (though it looks like it's not working at the moment)

When you walk up Exhibition Row to see the Science Museum, look at the stone walls of the buildings around you and how there are big chunks missing from the stone in places ... then go and look up that location on bombsite.org

jolihokistix
19th Dec 2022, 01:29
Many are recommending Hendon but the OP has been there, done that, he says.

India Four Two
19th Dec 2022, 01:50
Yes, to second other recommendations, the Science museum is worth a look. It's not the Smithsonian, but they have at least one really historic aircraft, the Vickers Vimy that Alcock and Brown crossed the Atlantic in

Make that two - the Supermarine S.6B that won the Schneider Trophy in 1931. Also on display is the trophy itself - without doubt the ugliest trophy I've ever seen!

The Schneider Trophy is a sculpture of silver and bronze set on a marble base. It depicts a zephyr skimming the waves, and a nude winged figure is seen kissing a zephyr recumbent on a breaking wave. The heads of two other zephyrs and of Neptune (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neptune_(mythology)), the god of the Sea, can be seen surrounded by octopus and crabs. The symbolism represents speed conquering the elements of sea and air.

The description doesn't do it justice - you have to see it to appreciate it.

pmills575
19th Dec 2022, 06:08
Gatwick Aviation Museum is still there and thriving, sadly it's closed from 19 Dec to Jan 5.

Davef68
19th Dec 2022, 08:20
The Science Museum has so many historic aircraft - the S6B, the Vimy, the Spitfire/Hurricane pair, the P1127, the Gloster Whittle., the sole surviving Fokker monoplane The only downside is the presentation - so much packed into a relatively small area, and the ceiling/walls painted a really dark blue.

DHfan
19th Dec 2022, 08:38
Amy Johnson's DH60 "Jason" too, showing that Amelia Earhart wasn't the only daring aviatrix in the '30s.

ZFT
19th Dec 2022, 09:06
Apollo 10 is still there I believe

toratoratora
19th Dec 2022, 11:09
Has to be Duxford!
Both the amazing American museum and the British ‘superhangar’ are worth going for just by themselves. Also, as mentioned, the Land Warfare museum is excellent, as is the Airborne Forces museum.

Best way is from Liverpool St to Cambridge-probably quickest to get off at Whittlesford and pre-arrange a taxi.
You will need a whole day…..

You will not be disappointed!

Brutha
19th Dec 2022, 12:14
They would be no better informed if they believed that Alcock and Brown were the first either...

I always thought they did the first non-stop one; did I miss something?

DaveReidUK
19th Dec 2022, 15:37
I always thought they did the first non-stop one; did I miss something?

They did. You didn't.

DHfan
19th Dec 2022, 15:39
An RAF airship (L.34?) beat them by a few months, but they were the first non-stop in an aeroplane.

The US Navy beat them too but it took them three and a bit weeks, lots of stops and lots of aircraft.

I think I read once that far from being the first, as many Americans believe, Lindbergh was actually the 127th to cross the Atlantic by air.
It's a strange number to pull out of thin air so it could be right...

DHfan
19th Dec 2022, 15:42
All these recommendations for Duxford, Old Warden etc. assume that the trains are going to be running to get there, and even more importantly, get back again.
I wouldn't even consider anywhere reliant on mainline trains.

DaveReidUK
19th Dec 2022, 17:17
An RAF airship (L.34?) beat them by a few months, but they were the first non-stop in an aeroplane.

No, Alcock and Brown were the first non-stop, period.

They landed in Galway on 15th June 1919; L34's crossing (from east to west) took place on 2-6 July 1919.

The airship did, however make a return flight to the UK a few days after arriving in New York, so can claim to have made the first transatlantic return flight.

Tartiflette Fan
19th Dec 2022, 17:58
All these recommendations for Duxford, Old Warden etc. assume that the trains are going to be running to get there, and even more importantly, get back again.
I wouldn't even consider anywhere reliant on mainline trains.


They don't assume that, they all recommend to verify .

meleagertoo
19th Dec 2022, 19:05
This would be a good idea as many of the OP's countrymen believe that Lindbergh was the first to cross the Atlantic by air.

I always thought they did the first non-stop one; did I miss something?

So they were, but there's a critical difference between that and the post you were responding to which was re 'the first to cross by air'. No mention there of solo...

c52
19th Dec 2022, 19:45
Closed until Jan 7th, but maybe other interested people are reading:

https://www.wingsmuseum.co.uk/

punkalouver
20th Dec 2022, 03:52
What if it turns out to be a nice warm sunny day and you like general aviation. You could go to White Waltham. I flew a Slingsby and a PA-28 out of there with an instructor several times. Or you could just watch(and see if you can peek at the interesting aircraft in the hangars) and grab a snack at the flying club or...........

.....spend some real money on a Spitfire ride at Biggen Hill(or just take the very good tour of their facilities and watch other people paying for Spitfire rides).

DHfan
20th Dec 2022, 08:23
No, Alcock and Brown were the first non-stop, period.

They landed in Galway on 15th June 1919; L34's crossing (from east to west) took place on 2-6 July 1919.

The airship did, however make a return flight to the UK a few days after arriving in New York, so can claim to have made the first transatlantic return flight.

That will teach me to rely on memory - and I only looked it up a a couple of days ago...

jolihokistix
20th Dec 2022, 08:44
Remember that a 'day' in the UK in winter is about six hours long.

WB627
21st Dec 2022, 20:45
Gatwick is awesome. Had a wonderful day there with the 2 1/2 year old daughter of one of my sons friends who my wife & I child minded for.

When I announced my early retirement to my wife she said "well you know we will be childminding Phoebe" to which I replied "over my dead body". I conceded, apart from marrying my wife, that was one of my best decisions. I have four sons all older than Phoebe's mother, none of them have produced us a grand child yet. Phoebe was the light of my retirement until Covid hit. We used to take her to all sorts of places, she was a sponge for knowledge and I know not why, loved aircraft especially the Red Arrows. At Gatwick we went into the Shackleton, she was up and over the spars in the blink of an eye and took up residence in the Captains seat, looking like she belonged there and knew what she was doing.

Before she turned two, I taught her how to use my pressure washer to clean cars, she loved that and later how to use a cordless drill and my DSLR. Sadly the epidemic put an end to all that because my wife is clinically extremely vulnerable.

Although I know that my eldest two boys will probably never have children, I remain hopeful that the younger two will.

Genghis the Engineer
21st Dec 2022, 21:26
If you're limited to public transport, within London,

- RAF Museum, Hendon
- Imperial War Museum, London
- Cabinet War Rooms
- Science Museum, aviation parts.

First's free, second and third are the same organisation - take out a year's membership and it'll pay for itself quickly enough. Fourth is also free. On which point, if you are able to grab a car, go North a little and try to do one or both of...

- Imperial War Museum, Duxford
- Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden.

Think of Duxford as a British Chino, it's very much one of the world's greatest aviation museums. It also incorporates the American Aviation Museum, which is impressive, but a load of stuff most Americans haven't had a chance to see as well.

Shuttleworth has a mindblowing collection of early aeroplanes, cars and motorbikes, a very large proportion in flying condition. They also do open workshop days between Christmas and New Year - check their website. I can't think of anywhere in the world similar.

Duxford's a (very) full day, Shuttleworth maybe half a day when things aren't flying. They're not far from each other.

Heading West, just about do-able by public transport you might also consider if it's a nice day, West London Aero Club at White Waltham. Huge amounts of history, and one of the biggest flying clubs in the UK, with a selection of fun aeroplanes if you don't mind paying (or catch one of us members when we're around and free). Aeroplanes from Super Cubs to a 2-seat Hurricane are available, although the latter is understandably very expensive.

G

DHfan
22nd Dec 2022, 00:24
He's here for a week, from America, over Christmas, with his family.

Admirable though many suggestions have been, a good number have been completely pointless unless he was here for a month, in summer.

Science Museum. Free, accessible by Underground, bus - or even foot depending on where the hotel is.

tdracer
22nd Dec 2022, 18:03
For future reference - since having a car when in London is pretty close to pointless - is Duxford readily accessible via public transit? Or is Uber/Lyft a viable option?

DHfan
22nd Dec 2022, 18:17
Whittlesford Station is 20 - 30 minutes walk from Duxford, but I've no idea how many trains stop there. It's far from being a teeming metropolis.
I believe there used to be dedicated buses from Cambridge railway station on airshow days, which I imagine will have many more trains, but I only know that from seeing signs as I drove past.

Duxford is the thick end of 50 miles from London, which I know is just around the corner by North American standards, but is a long way here. The cost of a taxi, of any sort, I suspect would be astronomical.

treadigraph
22nd Dec 2022, 18:56
London Liverpool Street to Whittlesford takes about an hour and appears to be a half hourly weekday service. Various taxi firms in nearby Sawston.

Herod
22nd Dec 2022, 20:27
If it wasn't closed for the winter, I was going to suggest Morayvia. ;)

meleagertoo
22nd Dec 2022, 20:57
Public transport to Duxford is pie-in-the-sky even to us who understand the unusable volatility of our train 'system', leave alone an American visitor!
Car rental is the only practical way and is absolutely doable. 50 miles is a mere hop!
Duxford us the Jewel in the Crown exactly as Genghis said. A world class site all the better for hosting operational aircraft. For sheer concentration of interest I know no better, even Udvar Hazy which though stunning is simply too big and diverse to comprehend. Duxford is the distillation of all that to my mind.
The same is true for Old Warden, but in even more so for castor-oilers as it is a genuinely unique global asset. Old Rhinebeck is the only competitor and there are not many aviation sites I can think of (in fact this is the only one) that absolutely trumps (oops - sorry for cussin') anything Statside - and then by a country mile. OW stuffs the lot - it is a flying museum literally unique on a Global scale.
You'll see nothing much at Duxford that you can't see in the USA though it might take several thousad miles of travel to do so, but Old Warden? You'd scour the world and not see them all.
It all depends on what floats your boat, WW2 and swift metal or Bleriots, linen and castor oil up to the original Comet and Mew-Gull. They are really best done as a series.
Of the in-London museums only the Science Museum really scores, and despite many interesting exhibits the collection is necessarily small (as it is in cerntre-ville) but is appallingly badly captioned and described. If you don't already know what you are looking at you'll learn next to nothing from the briefest of banal and infantalised notes provided.

This is (unless it's much changed) along the lines of "This the Apollo 14 Space Capsule. It was called Kitty Hawk. It carried the third crew to land on the moon" and that's all you get!
A National Disgrace imho.

The Imperial War Museum is the other National Disgrace. 85% of the content is WW1 trench warfare, mayne 10% RAF with about three or four aircraft on display and 5% Northern Ireland and the Falklands. You could do that museum from end to end and apart from the (incongrouous under the circumstances) big rifles out front be quite literally unaware the UK ever had a Navy...

Do Duxford and Old Warden if there is time. They are our two finest and closest unless you go to Cosford to see how we whupped the USA (and how!) for 15 years or so in early experimental jets until we lost out cojones...
Look it up, eh?

DHfan
22nd Dec 2022, 23:19
Yet again... There's at best a couple of days, and it's winter.

India Four Two
23rd Dec 2022, 04:01
oicur12,

I hope you enjoy your trip to the UK. Please do tell us which location, from the plethora of advice offered, you selected and what you thought of it. :)

Krystal n chips
23rd Dec 2022, 04:35
Yet again... There's at best a couple of days, and it's winter.

Indeed.

With the very best will in the world, Duxford, outstanding though it is, really isn't feasible....let's be honest . Getting there in daylight, ok, not too bad, off peak...getting back, at night, on the M11 / rush hour then having to contend with the North Circular...no way, and certainly not for a visitor to the UK.

I've long thought Duxford's lack of public transport access is the downside to visiting an otherwise absorbing site.

Cosford ?....the same really, True, it is directly accessible by rail, however, as well as the usual chaos of travelling in the UK over the festive season, there's a few additional hiccups this year. The OP is here to enjoy himself, and take back some happy memories.....being stranded at say, Wolverhampton with the anything but scenic views from the station, or at the shopping mall that doubles as a railway station called Birmingham New Street wouldn't be a happy memory.

As others have said, he should stick to the London area only, use the Tube / walk / bus.....please, don't even think about driving or getting a taxi, the congestion and costs will empty his bank balance very rapidly.

We look forward however, to the OP's final choice for the day and how he found getting around.

Planemike
23rd Dec 2022, 08:40
We look forward however, to the OP's final choice for the day and how he found getting around.
Yes, do hope the OP reports back & tells us a little of his adventures.....!!

ZFT
23rd Dec 2022, 09:46
Having rented cars in the UK over these past few months by necessity, unless you have won the lottery recently I wouldn't consider this to be viable!!

Commander Taco
23rd Dec 2022, 15:40
This recommendation will be of little use to the OP, but I thought it worth the mention as a spot well worth the visit should one's travels take them near Cambridge. "The Eagle" in Cambridge is a very charming pub with some wonderful history. "During World War II, The Eagle was frequented by RAF and American airmen who, during their downtime in between airstrikes, drank and socialized here. At some point during the war, the military guests began using candles and petrol lighters to burn their names, squadron numbers and other doodles onto the ceiling."

There is, smudged onto the ceiling, the outline of a woman. The barmaid was purportedly very "friendly" with the aircrew that visited during the war. One night, she was hoisted up to the ceiling while her figure was smudged onto the ceiling.

Wikipedia - The Eagle Cambridge (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eagle,_Cambridge)

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oicur12.again
27th Dec 2022, 16:34
Greetings and thanks very much for the advice, it was very helpful.

We just arrived home after a busy week in London with amazing weather, cold but manageable and really only minor rain periods that didn't stop the tourist activities.

Like all short vacations, my intentions were way too ambitious considering a little jet lag for the first several days however I did manage to see the Churchill War Rooms and the aviation section of the Science Museum.

Both thoroughly enjoyable and I was really impressed with the Science Center.

It turns out a former colleague was in town for a 737 course and we decided to head up to Duxford on Saturday........however it was closed and the mission diverted to lunch and a bottle of Rioja.

Much time was spent enjoying the pub culture, interesting beers and awesome pies or bangers and mash. Delightful.

Some fancy tea and scones in Liberty and an amazing beef wellington at Fortnum and Mason.

I did manage a little aviation photography on the brief taxi out in Heathrow and I will attach some pics.



Cheers all, Im off to find an authentic English pub here in CA.

oicur12.again
27th Dec 2022, 16:37
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1919x1781/resized_f9186e9b_2354_4c37_a603_ff91af18e948_f2f2a68fee787d6 aefc032e7086ff2c5753fec95.jpg

oicur12.again
27th Dec 2022, 16:41
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oicur12.again
27th Dec 2022, 16:44
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1920x1536/resized_62fb35b3_c339_4b4d_84dc_3f72c2e6a348_d38065557ddcb6d ebf0215306a789b822447eb8f.jpg

SpringHeeledJack
28th Dec 2022, 09:40
Glad you enjoyed your trip to London and surrounds and managed to keep away from the shopping expeditions ;-) As always, plans and reality on the day can differ, but it sounds like you managed to do alright with what was available. Our pubs, especially the older traditional ones really are a treasure not often fully appreciated by the citizens, until they've been turned into a theme pub, or pulled down to make way for 'luxury flats'. Glad you were able to enjoy this somewhat unique British fixture and some traditional fare as well. You should come back in the summer!

Nice clear photos, even more impressive if shot from inside the cabin.

jolihokistix
28th Dec 2022, 10:41
Stunning shots!
Thanks for getting back to us here, and great to hear that your trip went pretty well, all things considered! Let us know if you find a decent pub in CA.