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“definitely worth a visit”
Review of Solent Sky Museum

Solent Sky Museum
Ranked #1 of 133 things to do in Southampton
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Solent Sky Museum showcases the history of aviation in Southampton - Spitfire City - and the surrounding Solent area.Geographically this was the most important area in the country, perhaps the world, for aircraft experimental and development work between 1908 and the late 1960s. 26 aircraft companies set up shop in the area, and many of the world’s greatest aircraft, including the legendary Spitfire, first took to the air in the skies over Southampton.We have 18 complete airframes, including a Supermarine Spitfire and Supermarine S6a (N248), and also 4 cockpit sections. We also have a comprehensive collection of aero-engines.Our mighty Sandringham Flying Boat was originally built as a Short Sunderland in 1943, and converted to a passenger aircraft after the war. Visitors are welcome to board the aircraft to sample the luxury of air travel in the romantic era of the great flying boats, and guided tours of the flight deck are also available.Kids (and big kids) can also imagine what it would be like to fly a jet fighter while sat in the cockpits of our Supermarine Swift and Harrier Jump Jet. Our new Schneider Trophy Exhibition is now open, with its record-breaking centrepiece the S6a. Video stock footage of these legendary races and artefacts from the time illustrate the drama and romance of the fastest race in history.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

After reading the reviews here, I decided to make a visit. It was a great decision! The map was a bit hard to follow since you enter opposite the starting point, but I learned a lot about Southampton and the area's role in aviation history and WWII. I really enjoyed the display about the Spitfire and the the Beachcomber. Sitting in the cockpits was also very neat. Apparently, they hope to expand the museum and add an exhibit on the blitz, which I think would be absolutely fantastic. It would fill a big hole in the local history/museum offerings, since to my knowledge there isn't a local exhibit on the city during the war.

Thank maxthrax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, Manager at Solent Sky Museum, responded to this reviewResponded August 7, 2013

The guide is due to be redesigned once we have finished a small 'revamp', but your point is well noted - I got lost last week myself!

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459 - 463 of 556 reviews

Reviewed June 6, 2013

Sweet musuem, bigger than expected. Staff go the extra mile, teaching the children enthusiatically. We were lucky enough to win free tickets, well worth a visit. Shame no free parking nearby.

2  Thank sasha L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, Manager at Solent Sky Museum, responded to this reviewResponded August 7, 2013

Thank you. Yes, our location is a problem where parking is concerned - had we been permitted to move 18 months ago, that would have been addressed at the new Museum. Our visitors sadly have to park on the street outside the Museum and pay via meters.

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Reviewed June 3, 2013

great way to kill a few hours, so much history to read and planes to look at. friendly local staff. fantastic trip

1  Thank Ben P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

Why does Southampton hide this gem in a backwater? The museum houses a wonderful range of planes and other aviation history. Southampton was at the centre of aviation development and produced the Spitfire. Don't ignore this wonderful museum just because Southampton does!!

Thank milesg5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, Manager at Solent Sky Museum, responded to this reviewResponded August 7, 2013

Thank you for your kind words. With very limited funds, we do try to ensure that our visitors have a good, and informative visit, and one of our main assets are our passionate and friendly staff.

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Reviewed May 30, 2013

I actually like the aircraft in this Museum a lot - I have visited on several occasions with my young Nephew.

However, I am always disapointed by the terrible lighting - far too dull and dim. No waffle about carbon footprints and reducing your eco stamp, please - I pay to see the aircraft, not join you in some politically-correct eco-drive. It's an excuse, and you know it !

Also, several display boards cannot be read, because they are behind an obstruction, and the roped-off area does not allow you to get close enough to see them. A basic mistake repeated in a couple of places.

The 1-inch maps on the rear wall have lots of photos pinned to them. This would be great, except that nothing is pinned on the maps to show where the photos were taken ! No point in having the maps at all....

There is a nice replica of the Schnieder Trophy. However, 2 paces away is a wood and glass display cabinet with what looks like the original ! It's smaller, with several shields attached to the small wooden base. The trouble is, there is NO information atached to this case. Nobody has any idea what it is - another replica? A pointless, poor display.

I love walking inside the flying boat - it's a huge attraction. That applies to the kids too - my nephew and his friends all loved it. More photos inside it would really bring it to life, and the rest of the museum needs a bit of sharpening up to match this attraction, I think.

£6.50 is too expensive really, compared to other museums. I understand the problems of funding for small museums, but you have to be realistic - improve the displays and tidy up, and people will not begrudge the £6.50.

Finally, the much-photocopied hand-out given to visitors at reception is terrible. Very poor quality printing, which looks as if it is a 5th generation copy of a copy of a copy...

The layout shown in the handout is also incorrect, with the new door not shown - very confusing for new visitors. A much better one could be designed at minimal cost, giving more information, on any home PC, and the quality of the actual reproduction should be improved.

Overall, you come away feeling a bit let down, as if everything is done in a rather half-hearted way, even though the flying boat sticks in your mind as being very impressive.

I hope this helps.

Thank CharlieJoanase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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