It would be easy to dismiss the RAF Museum at Hendon as a site purely for the aviation fanatic. Of course, for aircraft enthusiasts there is much to love about the RAF Museum, but for the more casual visitor, it offers more than a full day's worth of excitement.
Built on the site of a former WW2 Battle of Britain fighter base, the museum traces the history of the Royal Air Force from its formation as the Royal Flying Corps in 1914 through to the modern day in a variety of different collections. The Grahame-White Factory hangar is Britain's first purpose-built aircraft factory, and now contains an extensive collection of First World War aircraft. The RAF museum is comprised of five cavernous hangars; all filled to the brim with hugely important aircraft types from the Second World War, as represented in the 'Battle of Britain' hangar, through to the cold war and the modern day, as represented in the 'Historic' and 'Milestones of Flight' hangars.
But if planes alone are not enough to prompt a trip outside of the hustle and bustle of central London there are a number of exhibits and hands-on interactive experiences for children to participate in. For example, running from now until the 22nd of September is a topical exhibition on the involvement of the RAF in the modern Olympics. For the kids, or big kids as the case may be, the 'Aeronauts' centre allows for a hands-on approach to flight and aviation, and visitors can see for themselves if they have what it takes to be a pilot.
Hendon Aerodrome was an integral part of British aviation history, and the museum that now stands there continues that legacy. The RAF Museum is a highly recommended must-see attraction and without doubt ranks as one of London's finest. Sure, it's out of the way of central London but its accessible via four underground and over-ground train stations, is open all year and is free.