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Museum recommendations

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Hi, we all know or at least know of Bovington, hoping to go again just after Easter.  However can anyone recommend anywhere else to go?

 

Traveling from sunny Lancashire, whilst happy making a weekend of it I don't get many opportunities to get away. Therefore ideally somewhere large (ish), even I couldn't justify a weekend away to see a handful of afvs in a dusty shed. Or an area that might have a number of smaller museums/collections that could be visited over the same weekend?

 

Thanks in advance.

Darryl

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As you will be visiting the South West area, why not visit the Helicopter Museum at Weston Super Mare?  No tanks but a few tank-busters to see.

In North Devon, there is the Cobbaton Combat museum.

Not AFV related but a very impressive museum is the Fleet Air Arm museum at Yeovilton.  It is situated adjacent the Naval Air Base so if you go on a weekday you are likely to see a fair bit of flying, mostly Merlins and Wildcats.

 

Mike

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Hi Mike, thanks.

 

Done FAA museum fairly recently but Cobbaton I'd forgotten about, went 20 odd years ago, might have to pencil that down as a possibility.

 

Cheers

Darryl 

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There's Armourgeddon in Leicestershire https://www.armourgeddon.co.uk/, but it has limited hours in the winter months, and this http://www.wmahm.org.uk/ on the Isle of Wight. Then there's this https://www.muckleburgh.co.uk/ located in Weybourne on the coast north of Norwich. I know these are not "down south", but maybe worth a trip. 

Edited by gamevender

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Bovington isn't a handful of AFVs in a dusty shed any more - it's changed a lot since those days. It's about 5 hangars' worth now for the main displays! Even has demonstration tank drives in the arena during some normal days - it was a Sherman and Leopard we saw when dropping in en route from the airport  last year. 

 

Royal Signals at Blandford Camp worth considering?

 

Army Air Corps Museum at Middle Wallop in Hants?

 

REME Museum was at Arborfield near Reading but has moved to Lyneham in Wiltshire - have not seen it in this new incarnation. 

 

At Wroughton in Wiltshire is the outstation/outsize store for the Science and Industry Museum in London - check that out.  (And the GWR Railway Centre is at Didcot if you like that sort of thing, and the Pendon Museum nearby if you like scenic modelling.)

 

Also check current status of the Royal Artillery Museum which was cleared out of Woolwich quite briskly a couple of years back. The stuff is in store at Larkhill I think - check if it has reopened. 

 

Bootneck's recommendation of the Helicopter Museum is well worth considering - some very interesting stuff there. There is a Mi-24 (last time I was there at least).

 

There's also a museum at Bristol (Filton) re aircraft, though I haven't been recently to the city centre museums such as the Industrial Museum which used to be near to the SS Great Britain in the docks.

 

All/some are on possible routes south to Bovington whichever way you go from Lancs. 

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20 hours ago, gamevender said:

There's Armourgeddon in Leicestershire https://www.armourgeddon.co.uk/, but it has limited hours in the winter months, and this http://www.wmahm.org.uk/ on the Isle of Wight. Then there's this https://www.muckleburgh.co.uk/ located in Weybourne on the coast north of Norwich. I know these are not "down south", but maybe worth a trip. 

Hi, thanks for that, Muckleburgh and Armourgeddon might be worth looking up, I of W is a bit out on a limb for what I want but I'll have a nosey on line.

 

Cheers 

Darryl 

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19 hours ago, Lothian man said:

Bovington isn't a handful of AFVs in a dusty shed any more - it's changed a lot since those days. It's about 5 hangars' worth now for the main displays! Even has demonstration tank drives in the arena during some normal days - it was a Sherman and Leopard we saw when dropping in en route from the airport  last year. 

 

Royal Signals at Blandford Camp worth considering?

 

Army Air Corps Museum at Middle Wallop in Hants?

 

REME Museum was at Arborfield near Reading but has moved to Lyneham in Wiltshire - have not seen it in this new incarnation. 

 

At Wroughton in Wiltshire is the outstation/outsize store for the Science and Industry Museum in London - check that out.  (And the GWR Railway Centre is at Didcot if you like that sort of thing, and the Pendon Museum nearby if you like scenic modelling.)

 

Also check current status of the Royal Artillery Museum which was cleared out of Woolwich quite briskly a couple of years back. The stuff is in store at Larkhill I think - check if it has reopened. 

 

Bootneck's recommendation of the Helicopter Museum is well worth considering - some very interesting stuff there. There is a Mi-24 (last time I was there at least).

 

There's also a museum at Bristol (Filton) re aircraft, though I haven't been recently to the city centre museums such as the Industrial Museum which used to be near to the SS Great Britain in the docks.

 

All/some are on possible routes south to Bovington whichever way you go from Lancs. 

Hi, thanks for your reply!👍

 

Love Bove, try to get as often as poss, we did Royal Signals on way home last year, fascinating, not really my thing but interesting never the less. 

 

I'd had the REME one in mind for a year or two so think that's a possibility, as does Wroughton, who doesn't like Trains?

 

The Royal Artillery would be interesting too.

 

Good suggestions, thanks again, much appreciated. 

 

Darryl

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I think a lot of what was in Fire Power wound up at Ft. Nelson, just north of Portsmouth. It's well worth a visit and on a nice day has a very good view of the harbor. 

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That's actually a branch of the Royal Armouries - different operation from the Royal Artillery Museum. But it's a very good idea too, with really interesting stuff, and also 'cause it is in one of the Victorian Palmerston Forts which is quite something in its own right. 

 

As is the naval artillery museum at Gosport at Priddy's Hard, come to think of it, as well as rthe more obvious preserved ships and museums of the National Museum of the Royal Navy. 

 

Possible snag with Fort Nelson - most of the modern artillery collection  is in a shed in the main parade ground. It's one of those modern frame and skin buildings. Double check that that is open before you go as I remember they were having trouble with storm damage or something of the sort. The website doesn't seem to have any warning so maybe it is all OK. 

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I don't think that Wroughton is normally open to the public.  It certainly wasn't except on special days.  Do check before trying it.

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23 hours ago, Pauly Block said:

The last time we were in Dorset we paid a visit to the Keep Military Museum in Dorchester https://www.keepmilitarymuseum.org/ it's not a million miles away from Bovington and well worth a couple of hours of your time IMHO.

Thanks, been to the Shire Hall Court House museum down the rd from there, very good btw! (

I'll add that to the list though, thank you very much.

 

Cheers

Darryl

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The helicopter museum is well worth a visit and the RAF Cosford museum would break the journey down as well. As a bonus the Cold War hall has AFVs! Very good museum cafe too, then there's the Midland Air Museum at Baginton which has an even better cafe and an amazing selection of second hand books. The staff at both are very good indeed.

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3 hours ago, SleeperService said:

The helicopter museum is well worth a visit and the RAF Cosford museum would break the journey down as well. As a bonus the Cold War hall has AFVs! Very good museum cafe too, then there's the Midland Air Museum at Baginton which has an even better cafe and an amazing selection of second hand books. The staff at both are very good indeed.

Thanks, I can do Cosford in the day from home, just have to put up the M6 but well worth a visit. However you have absolutely hit the nail on the head and of vital importance..

A good cafe. ☕🍔

 

Cheers Darryl 

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Thanks everyone for your kind recommendations, is there anywhere perhaps in a easterly or south easterly direction, or even northwards?

 

I remember the old museum of army transport, Beverley, sadly gone I believe. There used to be a few afvs at Duxford but I understand that might not last. We've done Elvington a few times, not much vehicle wise (at least last time we visited) but worth a visit, same for Newark. 

 

(Please no one suggest IWM north!).

 

Thanks again

Darryl 

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How about Hartlepool? Not just the Trincomalee (real Nelson-era RN frigate of solid teak, real Hornblower stuff) but - on the headland to the north - the Heugh Battery museum. Primarily for the gun emplacements that fought the German High Seas Fleet in WW1 (the original guns have long gone, IIRC) but it also has quite a few vehicles and guns from WW2 on - including (when I was there) the occasional experimental gun barrel from ?the Royal Armouries. (Not much on the website, so you might want to double check.)

 

Great sea views too.

 

The local museum is next to the Trincomalee and has interesting stuff from all periods - such as a shell from one of the Kaiser's battlecruisers. 

 

As always check the websites - I was there a few years back. The dockside is mostly modern makebelieve - like a film set - but that will keep the children happy and the Trincomalee is the real thing. They are here

 

http://www.heughbattery.co.uk/

https://www.nmrn.org.uk/our-museums/national-museum-royal-navy-hartlepool

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13 hours ago, Roger Newsome said:

I've never been myself but I've heard there is an interesting WWII museum on Portland.

Roger. 

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This one, the D-Day centre?

 

Unfortunately it was closed when I last visited Portland, possibly something to do with the fact it was 8pm. Some places have ridiculous opening hours...

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The D-Day centre is worth a visit if your visiting Dorset.  Took my 7 year old with me. Lots to see and the museum is very hands on. The boy loved it. 👍

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On 18/01/2020 at 13:14, Rangerboy83 said:

The D-Day centre is worth a visit if your visiting Dorset.  Took my 7 year old with me. Lots to see and the museum is very hands on. The boy loved it. 👍

Cheers, didn't even know it existed until I happened upon it one evening last time I was down there.

 

Next time I'm in Dorset I've pencilled it in for a look during opening hours.

 

Thanks

Darryl 

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Portland Castle has naval and WWII connections. You can also view the two Phoenix breakwaters in the harbour - easily visible from the castle. For something different, the Verne High Angle Battery is up on the top of Portland Bill. Not a lot to see except the old gun positions and assorted tunnels (it's freely accessible but just take a bit of care on the steep slopes and uneven ground).

 

Nothe Fort in Weymouth is also worth a visit.

 

For a bit of culture, TE Lawrence's place at Clouds Hill (close to the Tank Museum) is tiny but worth a visit. Corfe Castle isn't far away from Bovvy and of course you have Studland Bay (used for DD Tank training) and there's a large WWII bunker overlooking the bay at the south end (aka 'Fort Henry').

 

John

 

 

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On 20/01/2020 at 21:23, John Tapsell said:

Portland Castle has naval and WWII connections. You can also view the two Phoenix breakwaters in the harbour - easily visible from the castle. For something different, the Verne High Angle Battery is up on the top of Portland Bill. Not a lot to see except the old gun positions and assorted tunnels (it's freely accessible but just take a bit of care on the steep slopes and uneven ground).

 

Nothe Fort in Weymouth is also worth a visit.

 

For a bit of culture, TE Lawrence's place at Clouds Hill (close to the Tank Museum) is tiny but worth a visit. Corfe Castle isn't far away from Bovvy and of course you have Studland Bay (used for DD Tank training) and there's a large WWII bunker overlooking the bay at the south end (aka 'Fort Henry').

 

John

Ie

 

Hi John, couldn't agree more about Nothe, visited it for the first time in 30yrs last year. Its changed a bit over the intervening period (underground tunnels for one) but essentially it's as it was, tremendous. 

 

As for Clouds Hill, first time I went, early 80s,  you could recline on TE Lawrences day bed, I suspect that would be frowned upon now. To be honest the draw of Bovingtons track next door is usually to much of a distraction!

 

I think that's one of the reasons Dorset is a personal favourite, so much to see and do, no matter where you interests lie.

 

Thanks again John for your suggestions, much appreciated. 

Darryl 

 

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How about The Muckleborough collection in North Norfolk? Couple of display halls of AFVs plus loads of other interesting displays. Also worth a visit is Eden Camp near York...not many AFVs but a very comprehensive history of WW2 in over 20 nissen huts with various displays. You'll do well to cover it in a day fully. 

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18 hours ago, binbrook87 said:

How about The Muckleborough collection in North Norfolk? Couple of display halls of AFVs plus loads of other interesting displays. Also worth a visit is Eden Camp near York...not many AFVs but a very comprehensive history of WW2 in over 20 nissen huts with various displays. You'll do well to cover it in a day fully. 

Hi, I've been wondering about Muckleburgh, never been and the present Mrs M quite likes Norfolk too.....

 

Eden camp takes me back, last visited it late 80s  sure it must have changed a bit since then!

 

Thanks for the recommendations, Muckleburgh is on the list now for some point in time.

 

Cheers

Darryl 

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