During the Second World War, Biggin Hill became the most important airfield of the Battle of Britain because of its high altitude and strategically important location between London and continental Europe. It is one of Britain’s oldest aerodromes and is still internationally recognised as Sir Winston Churchill’s ‘strongest link’. The museum tells the story of Britain’s most famous fighter station through the personal experiences of those who served there and the community that supported them. It includes uniforms, medals, personal letters, documents and even furniture from the local pub. It also includes objects related to remembrance and memorial and the founding of the two chapels at the airfield from 1943-1951.
The museum is open from 10.00 am and in addition to the museum itself, you can explore the main chapel and gardens where you can learn more about the airfield’s history. There is also a café where you can take some refreshment on your arrival. Each visitor is given a discovery tablet, designed to enrich your experience through additional storytelling and special films and photographs.
Located on the airport perimeter is the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar where you can see flying Spitfires and Hurricanes on display. Entrance to this hanger is not included in the ticket price – for further details and prices, visit https://bigginhillheritagehangar.co.uk/
This event is a two-centre visit and following our tour of the memorial museum we will drive the 3 miles to Downe House. This English Heritage property was the home of Charles Darwin, the author of “On the Origin of the Species”. It was originally built in the early 18th century and was then extensively modernised. It had various owners and in 1842 Charles Darwin bought the house and moved his young family there. In 1929, the house became a museum dedicated to the life of Darwin.
The inside of the house has been recreated exactly as it was when the Darwin family lived there and during your visit, you will see Darwin’s old study where he carried out his revolutionary scientific work and which contains almost every original piece of furniture and dozens of Darwin’s possessions. You will also see Charles and Emma’s bedroom where he enjoyed reading and where he kept a watchful eye on his experiments in the garden from the room’s large bay window.
The gardens were Darwin’s ‘outdoor laboratory’ and he spent many hours here making observations and conducting his experiments. After you have visited the house, take a wander in the gardens, visit the Sandwalk (Darwin’s ‘thinking path’), and his greenhouse. During your visit, you may wish to visit the café for a tasty lunch and afternoon treat.