London – Royal Air Force Museum

Although many nations are inclined towards diplomacy and use war only as a last resort, wars have definitely changed the face of our modern planet. While we do not seek to laud militaristic acts which start wars, we do want to honor those whose heroism and sacrifice led to the freedom we enjoy.

In that spirit, London visitors and those who live in this great city, can pay homage to the quiet heroes who saved this nation during the Battle of Britain, and who helped to secure Allied victory, for the world.

Take your imagination into the skies at the R.A.F. Museum. Once there, you’ll see more than 100 aircraft displayed in a large hangar venue, together with uniforms, weapons, photographs and more.

Unique in aviation museums, this one emphasizes the specific battles which saved Britain. Be sure to attend the Battle of Britain sound and light show, “Our Finest Hour”, and see the famous Spitfires and Lancashire Bombers which beat Germany.

After that, you can go to the helipad, and even a Red Arrows jet flight simulator, (that’s if your nerves can handle it!).

The Royal Air Force Museum is near Colindale tube station, Hendon, 30 minutes north from London’s center. Once there, navigate your way through the history of aviation from the earliest balloon flight to the latest Eurofighter.

This is a great place if your kids have cabin-fever or if the London weather isn’t good. The Royal Air Force Museum opened in 1972, and the site it occupies goes back much longer than that, as it’s one of the places where flying started in Great Britain.

There’s a large, varied collection of aircraft — some from the very earliest days of flying all the way through to a full sized replica of the Eurofighter Typhoon. The Sunderland flying boat (in the back of the Britain Hall), is a huge aircraft, and it’s rigged so people can experience what it was like to fly inside a craft of that era.

This museum requires more than one visit. It’s a very exciting place as the airplanes themselves are dramatic, but you are likely to become immersed in a big interactive area where you can touch and try 40 exhibits to learn the science behind flight.

It won’t be unusual for you to find a fellow tourist who served in the RAF, and for you to learn more first-hand then. Now the Royal Air Force is getting smaller, so it’s good to make sure the public understands its history and its current role.

There may be a charge for special exhibitions, but they are optional.

You and your family can see other films: the famous  “Dambusters” documentary in Bomber Hall and “Milestones of Flight”. The RAF Museum is open 10 – 6 Monday to Sunday.

More about the Royal Air Force Museum
Address: Grahame Park Way, Hendon, London, NW9 5LL
Phone: +44 (0)20 8205 2266 The museum is handicap accessible and has several food options.

At the exit of Colindale Tube Station, take the # 303 bus, which stops directly in front of the station, and it will drop you directly opposite the Museum, or get directions for the 7 minute walk.

By road: It’s 6 miles. Follow the brown and white tourist signs from M25, M1 (Junction 4 Southbound), A41, A5 and North Circular (A406) roads. The Museum also has a large free car / coach parking lot.

©2009 Mystic at Travel Vacation Review