The RAF Manston History Museum

The RAF Manston History Museum

The RAF Manston History Museum
4.5
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
A museum based on the history of this famous airfield from 1916 to the present day. On show are aircraft and artifacts illustrating various aspects of the airfield, squadrons and personnel from World War 1 up to modern search and rescue operations and its move into Civil Aviation BAC Canberra B(I)6 (cockpit) Canadair CT-133 Silver Star de Havilland Chipmunk T.10 Gloster Meteor TT.20 Handley Page Victor K.2 (cockpit) Hawker Hunter F.6A (cockpit) Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S.2B (cockpit) Huntair Pathdfinder Panavia Tornado GR.1 (cockpit) PZL TS-11 Iskra Nieuport 17 (repro) SEPECAT Jaguar GR.3A Slingsby Cadet TX.3 Slingsby Grasshopper TX.1 Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter Westland Wessex HU.5 Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR2 Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S.B2 Pitt’s Special S1 We also have a large selection of military vehicles including a FV432 armoured personal carrier, a WW1 truck used in the film Warhorse and Wonder Women & RAF Mk10 fire engine.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • S6243PPrichardg
    Hornchurch, United Kingdom167 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting Manston history.
    A very interesting museum with some good exhibits. History of Manston aerodrome from 1919 onwards with some very good displays. Never realised how big a Sea King helicopter was. Great to actually get inside a cockpit, wait till you get there to see which one. The whole museum including the washrooms are immaculate, as you would expect from one of our military services. There is an admission charge and discount for seniors.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 16, 2023
  • Amy M
    Wye, United Kingdom5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    5 star Naffy Cafe
    We stopped by today to try out the cafe, we were so pleasantly surprised with how lovely inside the venue is, it's clean and has lots of character. The staff were so friendly and the menu was fantastic. Best thing for me being celiac is there were so many options. I was blown away. The menu was very clear and the food was cooked beautifully. We will absolutely be back, especially as there is so much variety for Gluten Free. The Gluten Free sausages are a must try!! My whole breakfast was gluten free and was beautiful. (Pic inc).
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 12, 2023
  • Brian L
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic museum
    We weren't planning to visit the museum but found it by accident passing through. Lots to see with amazing stories and technical detail backed up by some fantastic aircraft and artefacts. Very knowledgeable staff and we'll worth a visit.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written September 15, 2023
  • PETER T
    Margate, United Kingdom993 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Attraction
    Being a local person and having served in my local Air Training Corps if know a lot about RAF Manston . I used to fly gliders from here and Chipmunk air craft and also used to fly in 22 Squadron Air Sea Rescue when they were stationed here too. I prefer to visit this museum as it give you more insight to RAF Manston than The Spitfire Hurricane museum. This museum is packed with a lot of local history and my grandson loves coming up here too. The Naffi Cafe attached to this museum is very good for food and well priced .
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 29, 2023
  • Marc W
    Bracknell, United Kingdom138 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of those museums that seems much bigger once you're inside. An impressive collection of aircraft in a small area.
    I didn't know much about this museum prior to visiting but it's situated next to the Spitfire and Hurricane Museum as Manston so they seemed like the perfect duo to make a day of it. Incidentally despite being neighbours, both museums have their own car parks so be sure to use the correct car park for the museum you are visiting. Manston's is set slightly further away from the museum. The car park just behind belongs to the Spitfire museum. I had a pleasant surprise when I entered the museum as it's very much a "tardis" in that it feels far bigger inside than it looks from the outside. At the start you are directed upstairs and through an exhibition of Manston's history. I did wonder if the photos displays had been removed and then replaced out of order at some point as it wasn't fully chronological. That said it was extremely interesting. Whilst you're upstairs you get glimpses of the aircraft below as you pass over the hanger area. As you go downstairs there are some other interesting displays and exhibits including some room recreations with mannequins. Then it's down into the hanger areas and some interesting aircraft including a Victor cockpit section and an entire Wessex helicopter in excellent condition. There's also some WW1 era biplane replicas, various post war jet cockpit sections, a Pitts Special and a great condition T38. Outside are several more jets, some other military vehicles and a front section of a Nimrod. This really added to my experience as one of the volunteers at the museum spent ages showing me around and not only told me about the aircraft but also stories about the museum. It made an already excellent visit into something special. This museum also has an excellent cafe for refreshments and light meals. Overall it's an excellent museum and far bigger than you would ever guess from passing the outside.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written April 7, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles331 reviews
Excellent
238
Very good
77
Average
9
Poor
1
Terrible
6

Lindsay T
Ramsgate, UK24 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
We took our great grandchildren for the Lego event. They loved looking for the figures in the museum and although it was very busy, there was a really nice friendly atmosphere. The staff were cheerful and helpful and the Naafi cafe was great. The staff were calm and efficient at a really busy time. The food was really fresh and arrived very quickly. The children said the Chips were yummy. We will definitely go again. All at a very reasonable cost.
Written February 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marc W
Bracknell, UK138 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
I didn't know much about this museum prior to visiting but it's situated next to the Spitfire and Hurricane Museum as Manston so they seemed like the perfect duo to make a day of it. Incidentally despite being neighbours, both museums have their own car parks so be sure to use the correct car park for the museum you are visiting. Manston's is set slightly further away from the museum. The car park just behind belongs to the Spitfire museum.

I had a pleasant surprise when I entered the museum as it's very much a "tardis" in that it feels far bigger inside than it looks from the outside. At the start you are directed upstairs and through an exhibition of Manston's history. I did wonder if the photos displays had been removed and then replaced out of order at some point as it wasn't fully chronological. That said it was extremely interesting. Whilst you're upstairs you get glimpses of the aircraft below as you pass over the hanger area. As you go downstairs there are some other interesting displays and exhibits including some room recreations with mannequins.

Then it's down into the hanger areas and some interesting aircraft including a Victor cockpit section and an entire Wessex helicopter in excellent condition. There's also some WW1 era biplane replicas, various post war jet cockpit sections, a Pitts Special and a great condition T38.

Outside are several more jets, some other military vehicles and a front section of a Nimrod. This really added to my experience as one of the volunteers at the museum spent ages showing me around and not only told me about the aircraft but also stories about the museum. It made an already excellent visit into something special.

This museum also has an excellent cafe for refreshments and light meals.

Overall it's an excellent museum and far bigger than you would ever guess from passing the outside.
Written April 7, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brett B
14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Friends
An absolute must visit. Friendly, welcoming and informative. Thanets premiere museum has everything for the young and mature visitor. Along with the newly built Naafi Cafe, this really is a wonderful day out!!
Written September 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

reedy10006
Kent, UK27 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Family
Dissapointed. Used to be a nice visit but it's changed so much now. Been knocked about, items missing and generally a mess. Constant building work, missing display items and the same old items on display. Go across the road for a better hands on experience.
Written March 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TootlesLondon
Newton Abbot, UK153 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Solo

Had a great Sunday morning looking round both the Spitfire museum and the little RAF, Manston, museum. Really amazing to see all the planes and memorabilia. The thing that got me the most were the photos of young men ready to do their duty many not coming home. Poignant especially when we know they were fighting extremism and racism, many things we are fighting again today.
Written November 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

angelamusic1
Bedfordshire, UK159 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
At only £3 entrance a great museum packed with information and lots of planes. A lovely place to keep dry. It can get a bit chilly in there but adds to the authenticity. Also visit the hurricane & spitfire museum which shares the carpark.
Written March 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

winchcombe1_13
Cheltenham, UK191 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
Superb display of flying memorabilia.
Well worth a visit and good value.
I didn’t know that Concorde had landed here!
From Jaguar and lightning aircraft that my father flew in whilst senior photographer at BAE Wharton to photos of the pilot of the Messerschmitt 109 who accidently landed here, thinking he was in France… fascinating.
Written December 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amy M
Wye, UK5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Couples
We stopped by today to try out the cafe, we were so pleasantly surprised with how lovely inside the venue is, it's clean and has lots of character.

The staff were so friendly and the menu was fantastic.

Best thing for me being celiac is there were so many options. I was blown away.

The menu was very clear and the food was cooked beautifully.

We will absolutely be back, especially as there is so much variety for Gluten Free.

The Gluten Free sausages are a must try!!

My whole breakfast was gluten free and was beautiful. (Pic inc).
Written September 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sassa78
London, UK37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
What a gem of a place. I have been to the spitfire museum before. But saw this and thought why not superb.

£2.50 adult entry bargain. Would definitely pay more. Why has excellent access for wheelchair users such as my dad. Ok no lift to first floor but a ramp allowing lots of display space.

Great access to some cockits and fuselage.

Very friendly staff

I will return

Will definitely return
Written February 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael B
Royal Tunbridge Wells, UK106 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
A great depicyion of what it must have been like on a front-line airfield during wartime (and you can't get more front-line than Manston!). Also of the many efforts over the years to convert it into a civil airport. It is particularly evocative as one of the family was a Wing Commander flying Typhoons out of Manston and was shot down in 1943 over occupied France - and survived as a POW.
Written September 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The RAF Manston History Museum

Frequently Asked Questions about The RAF Manston History Museum

The RAF Manston History Museum is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM


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