I recently wrote a blog about the importance of having reasons to go flying so that you keep the momentum up and keep the love of flying alive. One of the most important aspects is to have somewhere to go, if you have a great destination that the whole family will enjoy, chances are eveyone will have a great time and want to go again.
“Build traditions of family vacations and trips and outings. These memories will never be forgotten by your children.” Ezra Taft Benson
As a Mother in a very Aviation based family, I know how important flying is, but also that the days out must be fun for everyone including the kids, or heels start to be dragged as we head for the airfield again! We want flying to be fun and memorable, not a chore!
We have put together a list of our favourite places to fly, (and a couple which are on the wish list) that have something for all the family.
1. Old Warden, the Shuttleworth Museum.
This place is utterly fabulous with a real old romance in the air, or it might just be the smell of engine oil! It is home to one of the most prestigious aircraft collections in the world, due to the variety of such old and well preserved aircraft which are some of the last remaining airworthy aircraft of their type remaining in the world! Some date back to 1909! The flying displays of such rare aircraft draw crowds from all over the world!
It is the unique aircraft here, and being able to walk the gardens and have afternoon tea in the 1875 Victorian Manor, which makes it such a winner all round. www.shuttleworth.org
Also, on your way home, it is worth flying past the Cardington hangars where they used to build the airships, they are enormous and a bonus of the day out!
2. Duxford Imperial War Museum
No UK Airfield list would be right without having the Duxford on it of course. It is huge and there is so much to see and do for all members of the family who love aircraft. It’s a big windy place and there is a lot of walking, but it is well worth it and always goes down with the family! The airshows are fantastic and the only way to really get into the spirit of the place is to fly in. We drove last time and swore never to do that again! www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford/flying/information-for-pilots
3. Goodwood Airfield
You cant beat a good day out at the races, and Glorious Goodwood of course can offer both horse racing and car racing. The day is made more special by flying in. We recently went to the Festival of Speed and flew into Goodwood Airfield. We flew in over the traffic jam and were driven to the festival through the back roads by private car and found ourselves coming in through the VIP gate feeling very special. I felt a little guilty not queueing for anything, for about a millisecond! There is the Horse racing there too, and the Goodwood Revival to get dressed up in vintage clothes for too of course!
Goodwood is still glorious on days when there are no events on of course, there something special in the air there, with the old aircraft coming in and out, race cars zooming round the track, all topped off by a great lunch in the sunshine (hopefully). www.goodwood.com
4. Badminton Airfield
You will win any horsey family membersover by flying them into Badminton Airfield in early May! The 3 Day Badminton Horse trials are a must every year. Wave to the long traffic jams as you come in to land and then get a lift to the gates of Badminton horse trials for a day (or 3) of watching the country’s best horsemen and women ride, great food and fantastic shopping (be warned about the shopping!) its a great day out for everyone www.ukga.com/airfield/badminton
5. The Isles of Scilly
White Sandy Beaches and Turquoise waters await you, but it’s not the Caribbean! This is firmly on my wish list. The Isles of Scilly off of the Cornish coast are set to be a fabulous weekend away, best travelled to by air. A lovely get away for the adventurers, unspoilt and uncrowded with lots to offer. In 2015 Scilly won the trophy for the Best UK destination for Families. With lots to explore, castles, beaches, vinyards, and lighthouses, I dont know why we havent already been! www.visitislesofscilly.com
6. Bolt Head Airstrip, Salcombe
Salcombe in South Devon has been described as the French Riviera of England! This might be going a tad far, but that said, it is jolly lovely down there! Located at the most southerly tip of Devon, surrounded by picturesque villages, magnificent coastal scenery and stunning beaches It is well worth a visit, for a day by the sea, the fish restaurants, coastal walks or the sailing! Bolt Airfield is on top of the cliffs near Salcombe, a 620m of very well kept grass. www.salcombeinformation.co.uk and www.boltheadairfield.co.uk
7. Oxford Airport and Blenhiem Palace
Oxford Airport is a great day out for the family! Fly in over the dreaming spires of Oxford which is just gorgeous from the air and then land in the super lovely Oxford Airport which has had a update inside and is looking super swanky these days. From here go into Oxford for the shopping or an open air bus round the sights, but i would really reccomend going to the awe-inspiring Blenhiem Palace, it is only a 10 minutes taxi drive away.
This is a World Heritage site, the birthplace of Winston Churchill and recently part of James Bond ‘Spectre’ was filmed here too. It’s a stunning place with formal gardens, 150 acres of park land to run the kids round, a maze to lose them in, adventure play grounds and a few lovely cafes to have a very special high tea in too! Something for everyone! Then there is also the horse trials, Christmas specials, picnic concerts and country shows to visit throughout the year www.oxfordairport.co.uk and www.blenheimpalace.com
I hope you will enjoy some of these destination this year! Did I miss anywhere out? Comment below!
I have worked in aviation for 12 years now, selling light aircraft and my Husband Russ is a corporate Jet pilot flying a Falcon 900LX, so we are very much a flying family! We are dedicated to enriching and growing the flying comunity, bringing a safe place to buy aircraft in Absolute Aviation (www.absolute-aviation.co.uk ) and by selling the Breezer Light Sport Aircraft in the UK since 2009 (www.breezeraircraft.co.uk )
My other related blog: 3 Tips to Keep Your Love Of Flying Light Aircraft Alive -Long Term