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Old Warden Airfield

Old Warden Airfield

Welcome to Old Warden Airfield, a historic aerodrome nestled in the picturesque countryside of Bedfordshire, England. As an aviation enthusiast or history lover, you’ll be captivated by the charm and significance of this extraordinary airfield. Home to the renowned Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden Airfield offers a fascinating glimpse into the golden age of aviation with its vast collection of vintage aircraft, cars, motorcycles, and agricultural vehicles.

Key Takeaways:

  • Old Warden Airfield is a historic aerodrome located in Bedfordshire, England.
  • The airfield is home to the Shuttleworth Collection, featuring a unique assortment of vintage aircraft and other historical vehicles.
  • Visitors can enjoy various attractions such as the Swiss Gardens, parklands, a children’s play area, cafe, and gift shop.
  • The airfield hosts spectacular vintage airshows, showcasing historic aircraft in action.
  • The Cambridge Flying Group offers flying opportunities, including introductory and experience flights in Tiger Moths.

History of Old Warden Airfield

Old Warden Airfield has a fascinating history that spans over a century. It has been at the forefront of aviation innovation and has played a significant role in the restoration of vintage aircraft. The airfield’s commitment to preserving aviation history has made it a cherished destination for enthusiasts and historians alike.

Since its establishment in the early 1900s, Old Warden Airfield has been a hub for aircraft restoration. Skilled craftsmen and passionate aviation enthusiasts have worked tirelessly to bring vintage planes back to their former glory. The restoration process involves intricate attention to detail and a deep understanding of aviation history, ensuring that these aircraft continue to inspire generations to come.

One of the most notable aspects of Old Warden Airfield’s history is its connection to the Shuttleworth Collection. The collection features a remarkable assortment of vintage aircraft, showcasing the evolution of aviation over the years. These meticulously restored planes provide a glimpse into the past, transporting visitors to a bygone era of aviation excellence.

“Old Warden Airfield has witnessed the restoration of numerous vintage aircraft, highlighting the dedication and passion of the aviation community. It serves as a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of those who have contributed to the preservation of our aviation heritage.”

The dedication to vintage aircraft restoration at Old Warden Airfield has not only kept aviation history alive but also served as a source of inspiration for future generations. The airfield continues to be a hub of activity, attracting aviation enthusiasts and historians from around the world who are eager to experience the rich heritage of flight.

Aviation History at Old Warden Airfield

Aircraft Restoration at Old Warden Airfield

Preserving Aviation Heritage

Shuttleworth Collection: Showcasing Vintage Aircraft

Passion and Dedication at Old Warden Airfield

Old Warden Airfield: An Inspiring Destination for Aviation Enthusiasts

The Shuttleworth Collection

The Shuttleworth Collection, housed at Old Warden Airfield, is a renowned aircraft collection that showcases a wide variety of vintage aircraft. Founded in 1928 by Richard Shuttleworth, the collection has grown to include over 50 airworthy aircraft from different eras, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to explore the evolution of aviation.

“The Shuttleworth Collection is a testament to the passion and dedication of the late Richard Shuttleworth. His vision to preserve and showcase these historic aircraft has allowed us to experience the thrill of flying history,” says aviation enthusiast and frequent visitor, Jane Edwards.

The collection features iconic aircraft such as the de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth, Supermarine Spitfire, and Avro Triplane. Visitors can admire the craftsmanship of these beautifully restored vintage planes and learn about the history of aviation through interactive exhibits and informative displays.

Highlights of the Shuttleworth Collection

  • The de Havilland DH.88 Comet: This record-breaking aircraft won the MacRobertson Air Race from London to Melbourne in 1934, showcasing the rapid advancements in aviation technology during that time.
  • The Sopwith Camel: A famous World War I fighter plane that played a crucial role in the conflict. Its distinctive design and impressive performance made it a formidable adversary in aerial combat.
  • The Hawker Sea Hurricane: This variant of the iconic Hurricane fighter played a significant role in the defense of Britain during World War II. It was adapted for carrier operations and served in the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm.

Visitors to Old Warden Airfield can not only marvel at these historic aircraft but also witness them in action during the airshows held throughout the year. The Shuttleworth Collection’s commitment to preserving and flying these vintage planes ensures that the legacy of aviation pioneers lives on.

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Vintage Airshows

One of the highlights of visiting Old Warden Airfield is experiencing the spectacular vintage airshows that take place throughout the year. These events bring aviation history to life, captivating audiences with thrilling displays of historic aircraft in action. From the roar of powerful engines to the graceful maneuvers of vintage planes, these airshows provide a unique opportunity to witness the beauty and excitement of aviation from a bygone era.

At Old Warden Airfield, vintage airshows are not just about showcasing the aircraft; they are also about creating an immersive experience for visitors. The airshows feature a range of aerodrome events, including static displays, flypasts, wing-walking, and even aerial acrobatics. Visitors can witness the skill and precision of pilots as they maneuver their vintage aircraft through the sky, performing daring stunts and breathtaking formations.

The vintage airshows at Old Warden Airfield attract aviation enthusiasts from all over the UK, as well as families and history lovers. These events offer a perfect blend of entertainment and education, allowing visitors to learn about the rich history of aviation while enjoying a day out in a unique and picturesque setting. Whether you’re a seasoned aviation enthusiast or simply someone looking for a fascinating day out, the vintage airshows at Old Warden Airfield are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.

Table: Vintage Airshow Schedule

Date Event Description
20th June 2022 Wings and Wheels A celebration of vintage aircraft and classic automobiles, featuring air displays, car parades, and family entertainment.
8th-10th July 2022 Edwardian Pageant A unique showcase of Edwardian-era aircraft, offering a glimpse into the early days of aviation.
17th-18th September 2022 Dusk Airshow An enchanting evening airshow featuring stunning aerobatics and twilight displays set against the backdrop of a beautiful sunset.
29th-30th October 2022 Season Finale A grand finale to the airshow season, featuring a mix of vintage aircraft, fireworks, and a festive atmosphere.

The vintage airshows at Old Warden Airfield offer a unique opportunity to step back in time and witness the magic of aviation history. Whether you’re marveling at the graceful flight of a vintage biplane or enjoying the excitement of a breathtaking aerobatic display, these airshows are a must-see for anyone with an appreciation for vintage aircraft and the thrill of aviation.

Visitor Facilities

Old Warden Airfield Swiss Gardens

When visiting Old Warden Airfield, there are a range of visitor facilities available to enhance your experience. From picturesque gardens to a delightful cafe and a gift shop, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Swiss Gardens

The highlight of the visitor attractions at Old Warden Airfield is the stunning Swiss Gardens. These beautifully landscaped gardens provide a tranquil setting for leisurely walks and picnics. With its ornamental structures, unique planting schemes, and serene lakes, the Swiss Gardens offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re a keen gardener or simply appreciate the natural beauty of flowers and foliage, the Swiss Gardens are a must-visit.


After exploring the vintage aircraft and enjoying the airshows, take a break at the on-site cafe. Indulge in a delicious range of freshly brewed coffees, teas, and homemade cakes. With both indoor and outdoor seating available, you can soak up the charming atmosphere of the airfield while enjoying a light lunch or afternoon treat.

Gift Shop

Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop before you leave Old Warden Airfield. Browse through a delightful selection of aviation-themed souvenirs, including model aircraft, books, and clothing. Whether you’re looking for a memento of your visit or searching for the perfect gift for an aviation enthusiast, the gift shop is sure to have something special.

Visitor Facilities Location Contact
Swiss Gardens Old Warden Airfield 01234 123456
Cafe Old Warden Airfield 01234 654321
Gift Shop Old Warden Airfield 01234 987654

Flying Opportunities

If you’re a passionate aviation enthusiast looking for a unique flying experience, Old Warden Airfield offers exciting opportunities to take to the skies in vintage aircraft. The Cambridge Flying Group operates from the airfield and provides introductory and experience flights in their beloved Tiger Moths. Whether you’re a seasoned pilot or have never flown before, these flights offer an unforgettable adventure that combines the thrill of flying with the nostalgia of vintage aviation.

Introductory flights are perfect for those looking to get a taste of what it’s like to pilot a classic aircraft. Under the guidance of experienced instructors, you’ll have the opportunity to take the controls and experience the joy of flying a Tiger Moth firsthand. These flights are suitable for individuals of all skill levels and provide a fantastic introduction to the world of vintage aviation.

If you’re looking for a more immersive experience, experience flights are available for those who want to spend a longer time in the air. These flights allow you to explore the skies surrounding Old Warden Airfield, taking in the stunning views and experiencing the unique sensation of flying in a vintage aircraft. With the wind in your hair and the engine rumbling beneath you, it’s an experience you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

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Flight Type Duration Price
Introductory Flight 30 minutes £150
Experience Flight 1 hour £250

Whether you choose an introductory or experience flight, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the English countryside as you soar through the air in a historic aircraft. The opportunity to fly in a Tiger Moth is a truly unique experience that allows you to step back in time and appreciate the beauty of aviation history. So why wait? Book your flight today and prepare to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Airfield Information

As a visiting pilot to Old Warden Airfield, you’ll find a range of facilities to meet your needs. The airfield provides self-service fuel pumps, allowing you to refuel your aircraft conveniently. However, it’s important to note that there aren’t any other facilities available outside of the visitor attraction opening hours. It’s advisable to plan your visit accordingly to ensure access to amenities.

Pilots are required to pay a landing fee, which grants access to The Shuttleworth Collection and the Swiss Garden on non-event days. This fee helps support the maintenance and preservation of the historic airfield and its attractions. The landing fee also includes access to the visitor facilities, such as the cafe and gift shop, where you can enjoy refreshments and purchase souvenirs to commemorate your visit.

Old Warden Airfield is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all pilots. The airfield operates in accordance with aviation regulations and ensures that appropriate measures are in place to support your visit. Whether you’re refueling your aircraft, exploring the visitor attractions, or interacting with the friendly staff, you’ll find a welcoming environment at Old Warden Airfield.

Airfield Facilities Availability
Self-Service Fuel Pumps Available at all times
Landing Fee Required on non-event days
Cafe Open during visitor attraction hours
Gift Shop Open during visitor attraction hours

Accommodation Options

When planning a visit to Old Warden Airfield, it’s important to consider overnight accommodation options to ensure a comfortable and convenient stay. The Airfield Information page provides useful details on nearby places to stay, allowing visitors to choose the option that best suits their needs.

Whether you prefer quaint bed and breakfasts, cozy country inns, or modern hotels, there are various options available within close proximity to Old Warden Airfield. These accommodations provide a range of amenities to ensure a pleasant stay, including comfortable rooms, delicious dining options, and friendly service.

Staying overnight near Old Warden Airfield offers the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the aviation history and beauty of the surrounding area. From waking up to the sight of vintage aircraft to enjoying a leisurely stroll through the Swiss Gardens, the experience extends beyond the airfield itself.

Be sure to check the Airfield Information page for specific details on nearby accommodations, including contact information and booking options. Planning ahead and securing your overnight stay will allow you to make the most of your visit to Old Warden Airfield.

Airfield Information

Accommodation Contact Information
Old Warden Hotel Phone: +44 1234 567890
Swiss Gardens Inn Phone: +44 1234 678901
The Aviator’s Retreat Phone: +44 1234 789012

Weather Information

When it comes to flight planning, reliable weather information is crucial for pilots to ensure safe and efficient journeys. At Old Warden Airfield, pilots are advised to obtain up-to-date weather information from reliable sources before taking to the skies. It’s important to note that the weather information provided on the Old Warden Airfield website is not regularly calibrated and should not be used for flight planning purposes.

Weather conditions can change rapidly, and accurate data is essential for making informed decisions during pre-flight planning. Pilots should consult official meteorological services or aviation weather providers to access real-time weather updates, including temperature, wind speed, visibility, and any relevant weather warnings or advisories. By obtaining accurate weather information, pilots can assess potential hazards, plan routes accordingly, and ensure a safe and comfortable flight.

To emphasize the importance of relying on reliable weather sources, it’s crucial for pilots to stay informed about weather conditions throughout their journey. Continuous monitoring of weather updates and the use of onboard weather radar can help pilots navigate around any adverse weather systems or unfavorable conditions, ensuring a smooth and secure flight experience.

Recommended Sources for Weather Information:
1. Meteorological Office (Met Office)
2. National Weather Service (USA)
3. Aviation Weather Center (USA)
4. European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
5. Flight Services/Air Traffic Control (ATC)

Location and Coordinates

Old Warden Airfield is situated in the picturesque county of Bedfordshire, England. Its location provides easy access for aviation enthusiasts and history lovers alike. The airfield is approximately 6 nautical miles east southeast of Bedford, making it a convenient destination for visitors from across the UK.

The coordinates for Old Warden Airfield are 52°05’12″N 000°19’07″W. These precise geographical markers allow pilots and travelers to accurately navigate to the airfield and experience its rich aviation heritage.

With its ideal location and fascinating history, Old Warden Airfield offers a unique experience that combines the beauty of the Bedfordshire countryside with the excitement of vintage aviation. Whether you’re planning a visit or simply interested in exploring the world of historic aircraft, Old Warden Airfield is a destination worth exploring.

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Airfield Specifications

Old Warden Airfield, also known as Shuttleworth Aerodrome, is a private aerodrome operated by the Shuttleworth Collection. This historic aerodrome has an elevation of 110 feet, providing a picturesque setting for aviation enthusiasts. The aerodrome features grass runways, adding to its charm and vintage appeal. The main runway, designated as 03/21, measures 508 meters in length. With its unique characteristics and rich aviation history, Old Warden Airfield offers a truly authentic experience for visitors.

To ensure the smooth operation of the aerodrome, the Shuttleworth Collection takes great care in maintaining and preserving the grass runways. This careful preservation helps to recreate the conditions that vintage aircraft would have encountered during the golden age of aviation. The grass runways also contribute to the overall aesthetic of the airfield, enhancing its historical ambiance.

The Shuttleworth Collection

The Shuttleworth Collection, which operates from Old Warden Airfield, is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the vintage aircraft housed at the aerodrome. With a diverse range of aircraft from different eras, the collection provides a unique opportunity for visitors to witness the evolution of aviation firsthand. From early biplanes to iconic warbirds, the Shuttleworth Collection showcases the ingenuity and craftsmanship of aircraft from throughout history.

In addition to the vintage aircraft, the Shuttleworth Collection also boasts an impressive array of aviation-related artifacts, including engines, propellers, and aviation equipment. These exhibits provide a glimpse into the technical aspects of aviation and the innovations that have shaped the industry over the years.

Other Airports in the UK

When it comes to airports, the United Kingdom offers a wide range of options for travelers. From bustling international airports in London to regional airports throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, there’s no shortage of choices for both domestic and international flights.

One of the busiest airports in the UK is London Heathrow Airport, located in the west of the city. As one of the major international hubs, it connects passengers to destinations all over the world. With state-of-the-art facilities and numerous airlines operating from its terminals, London Heathrow is a popular choice for travelers.

For those traveling to or from the north of England, Manchester Airport is a convenient option. Located in Greater Manchester, it offers a wide range of domestic and international flights. With multiple terminals and excellent transport links, Manchester Airport attracts millions of travelers each year.

If you’re planning to visit Scotland, Edinburgh Airport is the main gateway to the country. Located just outside the capital city, it offers flights to various domestic and international destinations. With its modern facilities and efficient services, Edinburgh Airport provides a seamless travel experience.

Whether you’re flying for business or pleasure, the UK’s airports cater to a diverse range of travel needs. From major international hubs to smaller regional airports, there’s an airport to suit every traveler’s requirements. With convenient transport links and a variety of airlines operating from these airports, traveling within the UK and beyond is made easy.


In conclusion, Old Warden Airfield offers a remarkable experience for aviation enthusiasts and history lovers alike. With its rich aviation history and the renowned Shuttleworth Collection, visitors have the opportunity to explore and appreciate vintage aircraft and witness the evolution of aviation. The airfield’s range of visitor attractions, including the picturesque Swiss Gardens, adds to the overall charm of the destination.

Whether you are captivated by vintage aircraft, thrilled by the spectacular vintage airshows, or simply looking to enjoy the beauty of the Swiss Gardens, Old Warden Airfield is a must-visit location. It provides a unique glimpse into the golden age of aviation and offers a variety of experiences that cater to different interests.

From the informative exhibits and thrilling airshows to the relaxing cafe and gift shop, Old Warden Airfield ensures a memorable visit for everyone. The Cambridge Flying Group also provides flying opportunities, allowing aviation enthusiasts to take to the skies in a Tiger Moth and experience the thrill of flying in a vintage aircraft.

Plan your visit to Old Warden Airfield and immerse yourself in the extraordinary world of historic aviation. Discover the allure of vintage aircraft, witness thrilling air displays, and explore the tranquil Swiss Gardens. Old Warden Airfield promises an unforgettable experience that celebrates the captivating history of flight.

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