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RAF Museum in London

The museum that every young boy should go to at least twice.

Say the words "museum visit" to any child and nine times out of ten they will protest about the experience being only boring, unengaging or otherwise incorporating a large amount of endurance on their part. In light of this we would highlight this museum as being one they will not want to leave. The RAF museum of Barnet. Not exactly local at over 45 mins drive but for a cheap (it's free) day out that's indoors and away from the chilly elements it ranks as one of the best day trips you could do this time of year.
Housed in two principle buildings the museum really is more a show room for the oldest and most modern fighter jets, bombers and rescue helicopters than a museum in the traditional sense. As you pull up to the complex you are treated to several display planes set up on stilts and even an old 1960s War boat, it's quite modest compared to what's housed inside.
There is very little by way of display cases and old artefacts here, this museum knows why you are here and straight away hits you with the big hardware. In the first building you are confronted by a sizable hanger containing the very latest Euro fighter, a 1980s Harrier, a spitfire, and many other combat planes that look as if they've landed that morning. Here there is also a rather brilliant wall display charting the entire history of aviation in relation to invention and major aviation achievements (thought there is a curious absence of any mention of Howard Hughes who was for a short time the fastest aviator in history). After this you make your way via a short domed corridor to the next building. As you enter here you quickly realise that the first hanger was just a limbering up exercise. The second hanger is easily the size of a football pitch and contains all the planes you could ever imagine seeing under one roof. Here you have the latest and less recent fighter jets, fighters from the first and Second World War, every type of bomber, planes from the cold war and even rescue helicopters as flow by Prince William. Some you can sit it, some merely peer in but it's difficult not to be amongst this much aviation history and not feel a pang of regret that you didn't join or try and get a pilots licence.
In amongst all this there is also a 4D cinema experience (£4 each) as well as movable flight simulator (£3 each) not exactly cheap but you got in for free don't forget. There is the most amazing play area for children with mock-up helicopter, planes, hang-gliders and other amusements, so much so that they could easily pass a day in on its own.
If you've never been here then you're missing out. Its 45 mins drive which in this weather makes it a must.

Postcode: NW9 5LL
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