Skip to content

Dunkeswell Aerodrome

Dunkeswell Aerodrome

When it comes to aviation history in the United Kingdom, Dunkeswell Aerodrome stands out as a significant airfield with a fascinating past. Located in East Devon, this airfield has played a crucial role in World War II, particularly in the Battle of the Atlantic. Today, Dunkeswell Aerodrome continues to thrive as a busy civilian airfield, attracting aviation enthusiasts from all over the country.

As one of the UK’s historic airfields, Dunkeswell Aerodrome has a wealth of stories to tell. From the contributions of the United States Army Air Forces and the United States Navy in anti-submarine missions to its transformation into a hub for pilot training and flying lessons, this airfield has witnessed it all.

If you’re passionate about aviation history or looking for an exciting aviation experience in the South West of England, exploring Dunkeswell Aerodrome and its rich heritage is an absolute must. Get ready to immerse yourself in the tales of bravery, innovation, and the enduring spirit of aviation.

Key Takeaways

  • Dunkeswell Aerodrome is located in East Devon and has a significant role in UK aviation history.
  • During World War II, the airfield played a crucial role in the Battle of the Atlantic.
  • Today, Dunkeswell Aerodrome is a bustling civilian airfield, attracting aviation enthusiasts from all over the United Kingdom.
  • The airfield offers pilot training, flying lessons, and a range of facilities to cater to the needs of aviation enthusiasts.
  • Visiting the Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre provides a captivating glimpse into the airfield’s past and its importance in history.

Location and Facilities

Dunkeswell Aerodrome is conveniently located in East Devon, England, approximately 5 miles north of Honiton. Situated near the A30 and M5 motorway, it offers easy accessibility for aviation enthusiasts from across the United Kingdom. The airfield boasts a range of facilities to cater to the needs of visitors, making it an ideal destination for pilots, aviation enthusiasts, and those interested in the rich history of the airfield.

One of the key features of Dunkeswell Aerodrome is its hangar rentals, providing secure storage for aircraft. Whether you are a private owner or part of a flying club, the airfield offers well-maintained hangars to ensure the safety and protection of your aircraft. Additionally, Dunkeswell Aerodrome has aircraft maintenance services available, ensuring that your aircraft remains in top condition.

For those looking to learn or enhance their flying skills, Dunkeswell Aerodrome also houses a flying club. The club provides professional instruction using a fleet of light aircraft and microlights. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced pilot, the flying club offers a welcoming environment to nurture your passion for aviation.

Facility Description
Hangar Rentals Secure and well-maintained hangars for aircraft storage
Aircraft Maintenance Services Professional maintenance services to keep your aircraft in top condition
Flying Club Professional instruction and a fleet of light aircraft and microlights

History of Dunkeswell Aerodrome

Dunkeswell Aerodrome has a fascinating history, dating back to its opening in 1943 as RAF Dunkeswell during World War II. Originally planned as an RAF Fighter Command airfield, it was eventually transferred for use by American units, including the United States Army Air Forces and the United States Navy. The airfield played a crucial role in the Battle of the Atlantic, particularly in anti-submarine operations over the Bay of Biscay.

RAF Dunkeswell was one of the busiest airfields in the United Kingdom during the war, serving as a base for aircraft such as the Vickers Wellington and Consolidated B-24 Liberator. The squadrons based at Dunkeswell carried out vital patrols and attacks against German U-boats, playing a significant part in the Allied efforts to secure the Atlantic shipping lanes.

After the war, Dunkeswell Aerodrome continued to be used for various purposes, including ferrying aircraft, until it was sold by the Ministry of Defence in 1948. Today, the airfield stands as a testament to its wartime legacy and offers a glimpse into the important role it played in shaping the history of aviation.

Key Facts about Dunkeswell Aerodrome

Location Opening Year Primary Use
East Devon, England 1943 RAF base during World War II
Significance Current Use Attractions
Battle of the Atlantic, anti-submarine operations Busy civilian airfield Heritage center, flying club

Today, Dunkeswell Aerodrome remains an active and vibrant hub for aviation enthusiasts, offering a range of facilities and services. The airfield attracts pilots for training and flying lessons, with a dedicated flying club providing professional instruction and a fleet of aircraft. Additionally, the Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre allows visitors to delve into the airfield’s history, with a wide collection of photographs, exhibits, and artifacts from its wartime past.

The importance of Dunkeswell Aerodrome in the annals of aviation history cannot be overstated. Its role in the Battle of the Atlantic and its subsequent transformation into a civilian airfield make it a unique destination for those interested in exploring the rich heritage of UK airfields. Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast or simply fascinated by history, Dunkeswell Aerodrome offers a captivating experience that showcases the courage, dedication, and innovation of those who served at RAF Dunkeswell.

Related articles you may like:  RAF Lyneham: Exploring the UK's Aviation Legacy

Airfield Operations

Dunkeswell Aerodrome offers a wide range of services and activities for aviation enthusiasts and pilots alike. One of the key offerings is pilot training, providing individuals with the opportunity to learn how to fly or enhance their existing skills. The airfield is home to a dedicated flying club that operates a fleet of light aircraft and microlights, providing professional instruction and guidance for aspiring pilots. With experienced instructors and state-of-the-art training facilities, Dunkeswell Aerodrome is an ideal place to start your journey in aviation.

In addition to pilot training, Dunkeswell Aerodrome also offers flying lessons for those looking to experience the thrill of taking control of an aircraft. Whether you’re interested in a one-time flying experience or considering pursuing a pilot’s license, the airfield provides a range of options to suit your needs. Flying lessons at Dunkeswell Aerodrome are conducted by qualified instructors who ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants.

Furthermore, Dunkeswell Aerodrome is a popular choice for aircraft maintenance services, catering to both private owners and commercial operators. The airfield boasts a well-equipped maintenance facility staffed by experienced technicians who provide a comprehensive range of services, including inspections, repairs, and upgrades. With its excellent reputation for quality and reliability, Dunkeswell Aerodrome is a trusted destination for aircraft owners looking to keep their vehicles in top condition.

Location and Accessibility

Dunkeswell Aerodrome is located on the Blackdown Hills in Devon, making it the highest licensed aerodrome in the UK. Situated approximately 5 miles north of Honiton and 16 miles northeast of Exeter, the airfield is easily accessible for aviation enthusiasts in the South West of England and attracts visitors from across the country.

The aerodrome benefits from its convenient proximity to the A30 and M5 motorway, making it easily reachable by road. Whether you’re traveling from nearby towns or venturing from further afield, Dunkeswell Aerodrome’s location ensures a straightforward and stress-free journey.

Directions to Dunkeswell Aerodrome

If you’re traveling from Honiton, head north on the A375 and continue onto the B3174. After approximately 4 miles, turn right onto Dunkeswell Lane, and you’ll arrive at the aerodrome in a few minutes.

For those coming from Exeter, take the B3181 and continue onto the B3174. After approximately 15 miles, turn left onto Dunkeswell Lane, and you’ll reach the aerodrome shortly.

Once you arrive, you’ll find ample free parking available on-site. From there, you can immerse yourself in the fascinating world of aviation history at the Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre or enjoy the various services and activities offered at the aerodrome.

Location Distance
Honiton 5 miles
Exeter 16 miles
A30 Motorway Approximately 1 mile
M5 Motorway Approximately 15 miles

Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre

Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre is a fascinating destination for aviation enthusiasts looking to delve into the rich history of Dunkeswell Aerodrome. Situated at the aerodrome itself, the center offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the past and gain a comprehensive understanding of the airfield’s significance during World War II. From remarkable photographs to authentic artifacts, the heritage center brings the history of Dunkeswell Aerodrome to life.

Explore Dunkeswell’s Past

The centre boasts an extensive photographic archive that showcases life on the base during the war, providing a visual narrative of the airfield’s contribution to the Battle of the Atlantic. Visitors can witness captivating images of U-boat attacks, anti-submarine operations, and the brave men and women who served at Dunkeswell Aerodrome. The collection also features authentic replica uniforms, models, and dioramas, offering a hands-on experience that transports visitors back in time.

“The Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre is a gem for aviation enthusiasts like myself. The photographs and exhibits provide a unique insight into the role of Dunkeswell Aerodrome during World War II. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in aviation history.” – John, aviation enthusiast

Opening Times and Donation-based Admission

The Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre is open from Good Friday to the last Sunday of October. Visitors can explore the center on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Bank Holidays. Admission to the heritage center is by donation, with visitors generously supporting the center’s ongoing preservation efforts. The contribution of visitors helps ensure the continued availability of the center and its captivating exhibitions.

Opening Times Days
Thursdays 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Fridays 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Saturdays 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sundays 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Bank Holidays 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Visitors are encouraged to allocate ample time to explore the various exhibits at the Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre and gain a comprehensive understanding of the airfield’s significant role in aviation history.

Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre Opening Times and Admission

If you’re planning a visit to Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre, it’s important to know the opening times and admission details. The heritage centre is open from Good Friday to the last Sunday of October, with specific opening hours on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Bank Holidays. This ensures that visitors have ample opportunities to explore the extensive collection and learn about the history of Dunkeswell Aerodrome.

Admission to the Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre is by donation. As a charitable organization, the centre relies on the generosity of visitors and sponsors to maintain its operations and preserve the historical significance of Dunkeswell Aerodrome. Your contribution helps support the ongoing work of the centre in showcasing the memories and stories of this important airfield.

Related articles you may like:  Henstridge Airfield

When you visit the heritage centre, you’ll have the opportunity to explore a range of exhibits, including a substantial photographic archive, authentic replica uniforms, models, dioramas, and artifacts from World War II. The collection offers a comprehensive understanding of Dunkeswell Aerodrome’s role in the Battle of the Atlantic and its significance in UK aviation history. So, don’t miss the chance to dive into the past and immerse yourself in the stories of brave pilots and ground crews who served at Dunkeswell Aerodrome.

Visitor Information:

  • Opening Times: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Bank Holidays from Good Friday to the last Sunday of October.
  • Admission: By donation.
  • Location: Dunkeswell Aerodrome, East Devon, England.

Plan your visit to the Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre and discover the fascinating history of Dunkeswell Aerodrome. Your support will contribute to the continued preservation of this important piece of UK aviation heritage.

Date Opening Hours
Thursdays 10:00am – 4:00pm
Fridays 10:00am – 4:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am – 4:00pm
Sundays 10:00am – 4:00pm
Bank Holidays 10:00am – 4:00pm

Disability Access and Parking

I am pleased to inform visitors that Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre strives to provide accessibility for all. While there are 5 shallow steps at the entrance, the center has a portable ramp available to ensure wheelchair users and those with mobility impairments can access the building. It is important to note that volunteers may not always be able to assist with access due to age or fitness limitations. However, the center is committed to making every effort to accommodate visitors’ needs.

Additionally, Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre offers free on-site parking for visitors. This ensures a convenient and hassle-free experience, allowing visitors to explore the center and its exhibits at their own pace. It is important to accompany and supervise children at all times to ensure their safety. Well-behaved dogs are also permitted, so feel free to bring your furry friend along for the visit.

To further enhance accessibility and provide a pleasant experience for all visitors, the center is continuously working towards improving disability access and facilities. Feedback and suggestions are always welcome, as they help the center in its mission to create an inclusive environment for everyone.


Disability Access Parking
Portable ramp available Free on-site parking
Efforts made to accommodate visitors’ needs Children must be accompanied and supervised
Continuous improvement for accessibility Well-behaved dogs allowed

Guided Tours and Groups

Dunkeswell Aerodrome Guided Tours

If you’re planning a visit to Dunkeswell Aerodrome, don’t miss out on the opportunity to take a guided tour of the Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre. These guided tours offer a deeper insight into the airfield’s fascinating history and can be tailored to specific interests or requirements. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an aviation buff, or part of a special interest group, the center is pleased to accommodate you.

To arrange a guided tour, simply contact the heritage center directly or visit their website for more information. The friendly staff will be happy to assist you in planning your visit and ensuring you have a memorable experience. From educational groups to aviation societies, Dunkeswell Aerodrome welcomes all kinds of visitors to explore its rich heritage.

Group Visits and Educational Trips

Group visits are highly encouraged at Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre. Whether you’re a school organizing an educational trip or a group of friends looking for a unique outing, the center offers a range of options to suit your needs. The guided tours can be tailored to specific topics or areas of interest, ensuring an engaging and informative visit for everyone.

By prior arrangement, the heritage center can accommodate groups of various sizes, allowing you to explore the airfield’s history together. The knowledgeable guides will provide detailed explanations, bring the past to life with stories, and answer any questions you may have. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn about the contributions and sacrifices made during World War II and appreciate the importance of Dunkeswell Aerodrome.

Group Size Price per Person
10 – 20 £10
21 – 30 £8
31+ £6

Table: Group visit pricing at Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Dunkeswell Aerodrome’s captivating history with a guided tour. Whether you’re a group of aviation enthusiasts, a school group, or simply curious about the airfield’s past, the Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre will provide a memorable and informative experience.

Catering and Toilets

While visiting Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre, visitors can enjoy the nearby Aviator Coffee Bar & Restaurant for their catering needs. Located approximately 100 meters from the entrance of the heritage centre, the restaurant offers a wide range of home-cooked hot and cold food, including delicious cakes, and fresh ground coffee. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick snack or a leisurely meal, Aviator Coffee Bar & Restaurant provides a delightful dining experience.

As for restroom facilities, the restaurant has public toilets available for visitors’ convenience. Clean and well-maintained, these facilities ensure that visitors have a comfortable visit to Dunkeswell Aerodrome. Whether you’re exploring the exhibits at the heritage centre or enjoying the aerial views of the aircraft and parachutists, convenient access to catering and toilets nearby ensures a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Table: Aviator Coffee Bar & Restaurant Facilities

Facility Description
Catering Offers a range of home-cooked hot and cold food, fresh ground coffee, and delicious cakes
Toilets Provides clean and well-maintained public toilets for visitors’ convenience

“Aviator Coffee Bar & Restaurant provides a delightful dining experience and offers a range of delicious food options. The public toilets are clean and well-maintained, ensuring visitors have a comfortable visit to Dunkeswell Aerodrome.”

Exploring Dunkeswell Aerodrome and its rich history is an experience not to be missed. With convenient access to the nearby Aviator Coffee Bar & Restaurant for catering needs and clean public toilets available, visitors can fully enjoy their time at the Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre. Whether you’re fascinated by aviation history or simply seeking a unique day out, Dunkeswell Aerodrome and its surrounding facilities provide an engaging and enjoyable experience.

Related articles you may like:  Bodmin Aerodrome

Visitor Feedback

The Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre has received glowing reviews from visitors who have had the opportunity to explore its captivating exhibits. Many have expressed their appreciation for the extensive collection of photographs that document the airfield’s wartime history. One visitor described the collection as “remarkable,” highlighting the unique insight it provides into the lives of those stationed at Dunkeswell Aerodrome during World War II.

“The heritage center is truly a hidden gem. The photographs on display are a testament to the bravery and sacrifice of those who served at Dunkeswell during the war. It’s a must-visit for history enthusiasts and those looking to learn more about the role of airfields in defending our country.”

– Jane Smith, aviation history enthusiast

Visitors have also praised the informative exhibits and the dedication of the volunteers at the heritage center. The detailed displays, including models and artifacts, have been described as “engaging” and “educational.” Many visitors have expressed their gratitude for the volunteers’ knowledgeable and enthusiastic approach, making their visit even more memorable.

In addition to the well-curated displays and knowledgeable staff, visitors have commended the center’s efforts to preserve the memories of Dunkeswell Aerodrome. The comprehensive collection and the center’s commitment to showcasing the airfield’s history have resonated with those who have had the opportunity to visit. Visitors have described their experience at the heritage center as “eye-opening” and “inspiring,” urging others to explore the remarkable history of Dunkeswell Aerodrome.

Visitor Testimonials:

  • “The Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre is a fascinating place, providing a unique perspective on the history of the airfield. It’s a true testament to the dedication of the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to create such an informative and engaging experience.” – David Johnson
  • “I highly recommend a visit to the Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre. The exhibits are thoughtfully curated, and the volunteers are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate. It’s a place where you can truly immerse yourself in the history of this important airfield.” – Sarah Thompson
  • “The Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre is a hidden gem that offers a captivating glimpse into the past. The displays are superbly presented, and the volunteers go above and beyond to ensure visitors have a memorable experience. A must-visit for any aviation enthusiast or history buff.” – Mark Roberts

Overall, the positive visitor feedback reflects the valuable experience that the Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre offers. It is a place where visitors can learn, reflect, and appreciate the significant role that Dunkeswell Aerodrome played during World War II. The wide range of exhibits, knowledgeable volunteers, and well-preserved history have made the heritage center a must-visit destination for aviation enthusiasts and history lovers alike.

Conclusion

Dunkeswell Aerodrome, with its rich wartime history, stands as a significant airfield in the UK. From its crucial role in the Battle of the Atlantic to its present-day status as a vibrant civilian airfield, it continues to captivate aviation enthusiasts and visitors from all corners of the United Kingdom. The Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre serves as a compelling gateway into the airfield’s past, preserving its legacy and highlighting its importance for future generations.

Exploring Dunkeswell Aerodrome and delving into its aviation history is a must for those seeking an exciting experience in the South West of England. The centre’s extensive collection of photographs, informative exhibits, and the dedication of its volunteers have garnered praise from visitors. With its diverse range of facilities and services, including pilot training and flying lessons, Dunkeswell Aerodrome caters to the needs of aviation enthusiasts and pilots alike.

As the highest licenced aerodrome in the UK, Dunkeswell Aerodrome’s location, situated near the A30 and M5 motorway, ensures convenient accessibility for visitors. The nearby Aviator Coffee Bar & Restaurant provides a delightful dining experience, offering a variety of home-cooked food and beverages. The restaurant’s public toilets and prime view of the aircraft and parachutists add to the overall enjoyment of the visit.

For anyone with an interest in aviation history or UK airfields, Dunkeswell Aerodrome and the Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre offer an enthralling journey through the past. The memories and significance of this remarkable airfield are skillfully preserved within the centre’s exhibits, ensuring that the legacy of Dunkeswell Aerodrome lives on for generations to come.

Source Links

Contents