I’m going to be spending more time in England and Wales over the summer. I’m looking forward to it: I tend to commute back and forth which means I tend to only see places where I have a meeting. I haven’t had much chance to wander around and see things just because I want to see them.

So I’ve been thinking about how to spend my time. One thing I’d really like to get the chance to do is visit some smaller and specialist museums. Here’s my starting list of aviation related locations that I’d like to
see:

RAF Museum Hendon

Our North London Museum is the only London attraction to house over 100 aircraft from around the world including some very early aircraft designs through to the latest modern day jets and military aircraft.

Welsh Spitfire Museum

The Welsh Spitfire Museum has now opened its doors at Withybush (Haverfordwest) Airport following a grand opening last week.

Imperial War Museum Duxford

1940 Operations Room is a reconstruction of the place where Duxford’s fighter aircraft were directed into combat during the Battle of Britain.

National Space Centre Online

Space Now brings you all the latest in news from space using the latest technology to present the new discoveries being made across the globe, and the work being done right here in the UK.

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum

Here you can see priceless historic aircraft such as Neville Duke’s world record breaking Hawker Hunter, actual equipment used by the brave SOE agents who were carried into occupied France on ‘black Lysander’ flights from Tangmere, flight simulators where you can try your hand at flying, a full sized replica of the very first Spitfire prototype and more. Much more.

Bletchley Park

Pigeons at War tells the heroic role that pigeons played during periods of war.

Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground

Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome is home to the Cold War jet collection including a Victor, Hunter, Canberra, Comet, Lightning, Starfighter, Mystere, Sea Vixen, Buccaneer, Jet Provost, Super Guppy, Iskra and Jaguar. The latest aircraft to join the museum fleet is a Nimrod MR2 which joined us in April 2010 straight from the RAF.

Shuttleworth Old Warden Park July Evening Airshow

Prior to the display, visitors have the opportunity to take to the air in a real vintage aircraft – choose from a Tiger Moth flight, or sightseeing trip in a 1930s Dragon Rapide airliner, and at some of the shows we may have the T6 Harvard available.

South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

Military Aircraft collection from propeller training aircraft to Mach 2 Jet fighters. Historic 60 year old RAF buildings including Bellman aircraft hangar and authentic wooden RAF huts. Commercial Light Aircraft Collection.

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight operates a Lancaster, five Spitfires, two Hurricanes, two Chipmunks, and a Dakota. A partnership between Lincolnshire County Council and the Royal Air Force makes it possible to view these historic aircraft at their base at RAF Coningsby.

Brookman's Park VORCan you help me decide where to go?

I’m sure there’s lots of interesting places to go but it is hard to find out about them! One of the best days out I’ve had was at the Secret Nuclear Bunker and I only found that because I happened to walk past a sign for it.

I also enjoyed getting a peek at Brookman’s Park VOR (BPK) but I’d prefer to see one legally, really. Without being chased off by cows.

I’m pretty open-minded about what’s a good day out but it’s so hard to tell from guide books and websites. If you have any experience of the places on my list, can you let me know what you think. I would really like some personal recommendations to help me prioritise.

Also, please, if you know an interesting location to visit, preferably easily accessible by public transport as I am planeless at the moment, please drop me a line or leave me a note in the comments. Off the beaten track is just fine!

I promise to submit a full report after I visit!