Lashenden Air Warfare Museum and Headcorn Aerodrome
As part of our exploring of the Wheels of Time via Roaming Rex series, we visited the Lashenden Air Warfare Museum. What a treat we had! It was lovely and sunny and before we had even parked up, the children were squealing in delight at the sight of little aeroplanes landing and taking off.
The museum is based on site at Headcorn Aerodrome, and the location dates back to World War II, when the landing ground was used the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943. It is the only landing ground still in operational use.
It has been a few years since I last visited the aerodrome (when I did a tandem skydive to raise funds for charity), and it has been nicely upgraded. There is ample free parking and as it was such a lovely day, there were lots of spectators enjoying the atmosphere and plane spotting.
It took some effort to find the museum, we had to pop into Wings Cafe to get directions and the youngest wasn’t too keen on the walk, however it was worth the effort. Pre-children, I most likely would not have visited the museum, so the Wheels of Time initiative has been a lovely way to get adults to visit places that may previously remained unknown. I was pleasantly surprised.
The children were delighted to see the large aeroplane cockpit outside the museum, my son reckoned it was a rocket and that set the tone of his expectations!
On arrival the museum, a gentleman kindly explained the set up and that the children were welcome to take a clipboard and do the aircraft quiz, along with an activity to make a glider and taking colouring in sheets home to complete at a later date. There were also free posters for the children to take home.
There was a large selection of various aeroplane items, some had been recovered from local Kent crash sites, so were buckled and bent. My daughter is fascinated with all things ‘olden days’, so she really enjoyed seeing the old uniforms and food rations display. Both children asked lots of questions about the gas masks and the bullets and bomb bits.
We collected our Roaming Rex badges and both children were impressed that the badges had aeroplanes on them! We then got our picnic rug from our car and sat alongside the grass runway and enjoyed watching numerous small aircraft taking off and landing. The highlight was most definitely the Spitfire, the noise was impressive and it was quite a sight to see it take off.
We were also fortunate that the weather was lovely and we got to watch a number of parachutes land too.
We had so much fun, and the best part is it only cost £2 for adult entry into the museum. As both children are under 5 years old, they were free and parking is free too. We are already planning to return for another wander around the museum and some more plane spotting and hopefully Dad can join us next time to appreciate it too.