With hundreds of military museums in the UK alone, how do you know which one will best suit your interests? Here, MHM has picked some of the best museums and exhibitions to visit, from hidden gems to long-established sites.


Tangmere Military Aviation Museum

The museum has been located on the edge of the former RAF airfield since 1982. Between 1918 and 1970 RAF Tangmere was an operational airfield, known particularly for the pivotal role it played during the Battle of Britain.

The museum contains many fascinating artefacts and exhibits from this period in Tangmere’s history, including an excavated Hurricane shot down during the Battle. It is also home to two world record-breaking aircraft as well as other aircraft of WWII and the Cold War Era. Exhibits and displays recall WWI, Bomber Command, and the SOE operations carried out from Tangmere. Also available are simulators, including our Lightning Simulator (adults only), our Combat Simulator for the kids, and so much more!

Events for 2014 include ‘Classic Wheels’ on 8 June (classic cars and military vehicles) and ‘Tangmere’s Tribute to The Great War – August 1914’ on 3 August.

WHERE: Tangmere, West Sussex, PO20 2ES
OPENING TIMES: 10am – 5.30pm
CONTACT: 01243 790090
www.tangmere-museum.org.uk


Royal Air Force Museum London

PILOTS OF THE CARIBBEAN: VOLUNTEERS OF AFRICAN HERITAGE IN THE ROYAL AIR FORCE

In two World Wars black people from the Caribbean, Africa, and from Britain volunteered to serve in the Royal Air Force. These volunteers fought and died for the Mother Country and for freedom,and thereby helped to preserve the values and the heritage they shared with their white comrades. The tradition of service to the Crown continues today, and the RAF is proud to welcome new generations of black volunteers into its ranks.

In a brand new exhibition, curated in partnership with the Black Cultural Archives, the Royal Air Force Museum will tell the inspirational story of these volunteers.

WHERE: RAF Museum London-Grahame Park Way, London, NW9 5LL
OPENING TIMES: Open Daily 10am – 6pm
CONTACT: 020 8205 2266
london@rafmuseum.org
www.rafmuseum.org.uk


In Flanders Fields Museum

The exhibition tells the story of the First World War in the West Flemish Front. It narrates the invasion of Belgium, the first months of the war of movements, and the subsequent four years of trench warfare in Westhoek, from the beach of Nieuwpoort to the Lys in Armentières. The museum chronicles the war right up to its end in 1918, detailing the commemorations which have continued for nearly 100 years.

Since 1999, the museum has organised its layout to emphasise the importance of the human experience of war–the personal testimonials with which visitors are able to connect. The Belgian backdrop provides a touch of authenticity to visitors’ journeys through the museum. From the Belfry, visitors are able to survey the blasted landscapes that bore witness to 1914 conflict.

WHERE: Lakenhalle, Grote Markt, B8900 leper, Belgium
OPENING TIMES: 1 April-15 Nov 10am – 6pm, 16 Nov-31 March 10am – 5pm
CONTACT: +32(0)57 239 220
flandersfields@ieper.be
www.flandersfields.be


To view this feature as it appeared in issue 39 of Military History Monthly, click here.