De Havilland Aircraft Museum

De Havilland Aircraft Museum, London Colney: Hours, Address, De Havilland Aircraft Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

De Havilland Aircraft Museum

De Havilland Aircraft Museum
4.5
Speciality Museums
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10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Britain’s oldest aviation museum and much more besides Our fine collection of iconic de Havilland aircraft, including Mosquito, Sea Vixen and Comet, is just the start. The museum also includes • displays and exhibits of aviation technology: radar, piston and jet engines and missiles • films, exhibits and displays of wartime operations, weapons trials and military jet aircraft • interior access to the Comet, Trident and DH 146 demonstrating the evolution of modern jet air travel • the ongoing restoration to flying condition of a de Havilland Rapide • a bookshop with extensive stock of new and out of print material • an art exhibition of de Havilland aircraft • a café serving drinks and snacks that you can use without entering the museum. Normally open Tuesday to Sunday each week and bank holiday Mondays.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
455 reviews
Excellent
296
Very good
136
Average
16
Poor
5
Terrible
2

A C
Derbyshire, United Kingdom35 contributions
Sep 2021
This was a last minute addition to our itinerary, having only heard about the Museum through a social media post. We had never heard of it before, despite being avid fans and visitors of many of the larger aviation museums. What a hidden gem. As well as great exhibits and information panels - the volunteer staff were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. This Museum is clearly ran by people passionate about aviation and that passion and enthusiasm is evident throughout. A wonderful visit and a must see for any aviation enthusiast. The slightly high entry cost is negated when you see the excellent condition of the aircraft and the numerous restoration projects being undertaken - feels good to support such a great piece of British aviation history.
Written September 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Many thanks for your comments and rating. We are pleased you enjoyed your visit.
Written September 21, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ian B
Manchester, UK24 contributions
Aug 2021
I must say that this is one of the best museums I have visited.

Located a short way (2 mins) off the M25 junction 22 makes for very easy access. The entrance road is a little on the narrow side and it takes you past the original Hall and buildings which set the period for the museum nicely (Note, these are not part of the museum). The carpark is small, but well laid out with a good surface, Disabled parking is available near the buildings.

There is a small shop with some good books, clothing and model kits with toys for the kids as well. a cafe is also in the entrance which can provide simple foods. Our visit was at the start of restriction easing from Covid, and the site has done a good job of keeping visitors safe.

The first building entered contains three Mosquito aircraft, the Prototype, and a bomber and fighter bomber variant. This covers the two more well known variants, but the displays also include some of the lesser known roles of this truly remarkable aircraft.

The second building(new build) contains many aircraft from the DeHavilland stable including between the war biplanes, autogiros before moving to the post war trainers and early jets. Above this is a small art gallery with some very good paintings related to aviation.

There is a third building of a tented construction which contains many artefacts, parts under restoration and many interesting items which, are fascinating and may benefit from their own display, or notices, to explain their significance and use.
There is also a small building where there is a DeHavilland Rapide undergoing restoration.

There are some aircraft which are in the open, some of which are showing wear and tear, but they are still of significant interest. It would be good if they could gain funding to move them under even partial cover to protect them in the future.

Finally I would like to take time to mention the staff. This small group of people are passionate about the place, exhibits and what they represent. If you take the time to speak to them, say hello, ask questions they are the most friendly and helpful people I have come across in a museum. In other establishments, the staff seem to treat visitors as an annoyance, here they will speak at length on any subject. They fully understand their charges and the history of the place and you can spend a longtime learning from them. You will greet them as a visitor, but you will feel that you are leaving a friend when you go. I cannot thank them enough for their time during my visit.

If you want to go to a museum where the buildings are clinical, the exhibits difficult to see, the staff aloof this is not the place for you.
If you want to visit a place of raw learning, incredible access all around the exhibits and friendly staff, I could not recommend it any higher.
Written August 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Many thanks for your very detailed review and nice words about our volunteers and staff. We do enjoy showing people around and sharing our knowledge and the odd little gem of relevant information. We are glad you enjoyed your visit.
Written August 24, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rick W
Sevenoaks, UK1,880 contributions
Feb 2020
I have been meaning to visit this small museum just off the M25 near St Albans for years. Today there were more volunteer guides than visitors! Set down a short lane with aircraft outside and inside it made a great place to visit and spend a few hours. Inside they have three Mosquitos - including the prototype! They are well enough displayed and lovingly restored in great condition. In the new hangar, opened in 2019, they have a Comet 1 (with square windows, the first autogyro, a Fox Moth, Tiger Moth, a Chipmunk, and a beautifully restored De Havilland Vampire.. Outside is a Dove, a Heron, a HS125, a Comet nose, and the fuselage of a HS146. They also have the front section of a Trident fuselage outside which you can go into.
The museum sells a good guidebook at £5.95 and offers a simple range of sandwiches cakes and teas/coffees. There is a small gift shop selling models and books and also a second hand bookshop too. Entrance for Concessions is £12.00.
The guides were fantastic - Rick in particular spent about twenty minutes with me explaining things and sharing aviation stories, whilst another guide told me with sadness how he missed a flight in Concorde when it covered the Trident shuttle route from London to Edinburgh! Such personal stories and personal attention made an average museum delightful to visit. It needs all the support we can give and has really got some rare Mosquitos to view. Well worth seeing!
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for taking the time to write a TripAdvisor review and your support for our museum.We are indeed a small museum and we are the oldest aviation museum in the UK.and the only museum dedicated to preserving the de Havilland Heritage. As you would have seen we have just completed the building of a new hangar and other improvements to the the museum which have greatly improved the visitor experience.It has resulted in most of our collection being displayed undercover,particularly the unique Comet 1a which is now on display in the new hangar and visitors can enter the air frame and view the restoration of the cabin and cockpit undertaken by our volunteers. The week after the February school half term has usually relatively lower numbers of visitor but as you discovered it does provide a great opportunity to chat to our knowledgeable stewards.I hope that you'll pay us another visit?
Written February 28, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Robert Richardson
1 contribution
Dec 2020
Being a lifelong aviation enthusiast I have, on many occasions, visited the de Havilland museum at Salisbury Hall.
There exhibited, is a collection of some of the most important, and indeed beautiful, aircraft this country ever produced.
I have a particular interest in the de Havilland DH 104 Dove and decided to drive down to the museum to gather information on the
example residing there.
In light of currant restrictions I thought the wisest course of action would be to contact someone at the museum with a view to
taking photographs of the Dove interior, something that in the past would have been encouraged.
I telephoned the museum a number times to be greeted by the answer phone, I also emailed but received no reply.
I’ll take a chance thought I, long drive but it will be worth it.
I was surprised to find an upmarket lottery funded version of the old museum with a new upmarket entry fee to match.
I was bitterly disappointed to be told that, as it was undergoing restoration, looking inside the Dove would be a health and safety issue.
This I fully understand.
What I do not understand is why nobody had the courtesy to answer my calls or email thus making my long journey unnecessary.

Robert Richardson
5531
Written December 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We are sorry for the delay in responding to your comments. We apologise for the problems you have had organising your visit. During the time period you mention we had major phone problems which meant answerphone messages were inaudible. This took a number of weeks to get resolved. We apologise about the email problems, responses have been delayed due to staff being on furlough.
Written April 3, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CDM52
Rayleigh, UK100 contributions
Jul 2021
Interesting small museum with lots of examples of de Havilland aircraft well explained by notices next to the exhibits and friendly volunteer staff happy to share their interest and knowledge. Many unique exhibits including three mosquitos and other aircraft from the Tiger Moth to Comet. Most of the exhibits are inside the large hangers with a few outdoors.
We visited when the museum opened at 10:30 on a Saturday morning and the museum was quiet with only a small number of other visitors. We had booked our tickets and time slot online an hour earlier.
Having left the main road the museum is down a short narrow one track country road (hope you don't meet a car going the other way). The car park is small. Sensible COVID restrictions - contactless cards accepted in the small shop and cafe. At the moment you cannot go inside any of the fusilages and only look inside the cockpits from the steps outside.
Written July 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Many thanks for your rating and comments, We do hope to be able to open the other aircraft soon for everyone to visit.
Written August 21, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lucy B
Hatfield, UK4 contributions
Aug 2020 • Family
This is a place that must be visited, we have visited a lot of similar museums big and small but this is our favorite. The staff from the start to the end of our trip were all really happy, friendly and all had so much knowledge to pass on. With a lot of items in the museum we hadn't seen elsewhere we really felt the price you pay its worth every penny. We will definitely be back 👍
Written August 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your positive TripAdvisor review.Your support and comments are very much appreciated by all our staff and volunteer.A an independent Museum our ability to maintain the de Havilland Heritage is only possible by the generosity of our visitors.Thank You
Written August 11, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mark N
Broxbourne, UK336 contributions
Jan 2022 • Family
An excellent museum for anyone interested in aeroplanes and aircraft engineering. It has the world leading aircraft and engines developed by De Havilland which became Hawker Siddeley Aviation and then Airbus. Three complete Mosquito aircraft, a Vampire which was the first successful UK jet fighter, a Comet, the first jet airliner, a 146, a 125 ...There is also a room devoted to the De Haviland technical school which was located in Salisbury Hall, including the workpieces we had to make as apprentices, a trip down memory lane, thank you to the volunteers who spoke knowledgeably about the exhibits. There is also a cafe and a shop with a wide stock of books, models prints and memorabilia. Will come back for a second visit in the summer.
Written January 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Many thanks for your review and rating. We are glad you enjoyed your visit.
Written February 13, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

markcondron
41 contributions
Aug 2020 • Couples
I visited the De Havilland Museum in mid-August 2020; with COVID restrictions in place; to see the DH aircraft on display and their three mosquitoes in particular.
I have a preference for smaller, volunteer led museums, (compared to the larger more ‘corporate’ ones) and this is a fine example of the experience you get when you speak to passionate aviation enthusiasts about their work in restoring aircraft & in helping visitors get the most of their day.
On arrival we were briefed in a friendly & helpful manner - explaining what there was to see and what COVID rules were in place.
The entrance/shop manager was enthusiastic in answering my questions about the stock on offer and which items were good sellers.
The newly built & refurbished display area, restoration shed and the aircraft on outside display, were interesting and showed the variety of types built by De Havilland.
Undoubtedly the star exhibits were the three Mosquitoes in the main exhibition area, including the original prototype. There were plenty of information boards to describe the development of this wonderful aircraft. Though they are packed quite closely together, you can still get close enough to appreciate the beauty and power of the ‘wooden wonder’.
I spoke to two very knowledgeable volunteers who were very happy to share both interesting facts and also their experience in the restoration of one of the Mosquitoes. They made the visit even more memorable!
We spent three hours at the museum, which included a short break for a pre-packaged ‘cream tea’.
The only down side were the limited refreshment options available; which is to be expected for a museum of this size.
I’d happily return when I’d be able to visit the cockpits of the aircraft which were necessarily closed as part of the COVID restrictions.
Written August 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Mark Thank you for taking the time to write your review of the Museum.It is much appreciated by all the volunteers and staff who have worked tirelessly to make the Museum COVID safe for all. Please visit us again as we have a plan to allow our visitors to get closer to the cockpits of several aircraft and into the Comet 1a fuselage.
Written August 29, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Venusbeachreturners
Bedford, UK171 contributions
Sep 2020
A very interesting collection of De Havilland aircraft in a very informative setting. Close to each aircraft on display was a lot of information both technical and factual. The staff were very helpful and knowledgeable about the displays.
The COVID measures in place made one feel safe.
Not a large museum but one should still allow a minimum of 2 - 2 1/2 hours for a visit.
Written September 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your Tripadvisor review,Our volunteers and staff really appreciate your comments. We are the oldest independent aviation museum in the UK and depend on the public's support to enable us to continue our mission to preserve de Havilland Heritage.I hope that you'll make a return visit as we are constantly finding ways to create new exhibitions and open up more of our airframes.
Written September 12, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

William B
Portsmouth, UK1,443 contributions
Jun 2021
Really enjoyed our visit, the staff/volunteers were so inviting, helpful & informative that made the visit worthwhile. Not a cheap entrance but the money is needed to keep it going and enable them to complete their many short term and long-term projects. You will see 2 brown tourist information signs, turn immediately on sighting the second one as it does not look like the entrance at first as you approach on a single-track road through some houses before turning left into the museum. We spent nearly two hours, great exhibits, learned a lot and good to see where some of our aviation heritage came from, the pictures do the talking from here…
Written June 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
William, Many thanks for your rating and detailed comments. We are glad you enjoyed your visit.
Written August 21, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about De Havilland Aircraft Museum

De Havilland Aircraft Museum is open:
  • Tue - Sun 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM


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