News and Features

Visitor Information

Opening Hours
10am - 5pm (Summer Opening Times)

Free Car and Coach Parking
Disabled Access
Merlin Café open daily

The Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum
The Airfield
Manston Road
Kent CT12 5DF
[Get Directions]

Tel: 01843 821940

  1. Event: RAF Centenary 1 April, 2018

    Join us at the Spitfire Museum for a fun-filled day to celebrate 100 years of the RAF’s proud history! In addition to the centenary of the RAF, the Spitfire Museum is also celebrating the official launch of the long-anticipated Spitfire Simulator!

    The event is entirely free though we do appreciate donations as only the public’s generosity allows us to continue to remain free and invest in our museum.

    Please note that parking on site will not be available so we would ask all our visitors to park (free of charge) on the Northern Grass which is accessible from Manston Road. Use postcode CT12 5DF if you’re using a satnav.

    Here’s just a few highlights of what you’ll be able to see and enjoy:

    ·         A static, full size, Mk IX Spitfire.

    ·         The amazing singing trio, The Bluebird Belles.

    ·         A re-enactments

    ·         Open Cockpits at the RAF Manston History Museum.

    ·         Tank rides.

    ·         Weather permitting, a flypast by the Spirit of Kent Mk IX Spitfire.

    ·         And much more…


    In addition to the activities there will also be a variety of food and drink stands as well as traders and charities.

    We look forward to seeing you on April 1st, don’t worry, this is not a joke!

  2. Museum closed until Monday 5/3 due to severe weather.

    Dear Visitors,

    As a result of severe snow and now freezing rain, the Spitfire Museum will not be open until Monday March 5th.

    This is in accordance with the Museum’s health and safety policy so as to safeguard our staff, volunteers and our visitors.

    We apologise for any inconveniences this causes.

    Thank you for your understanding.

    The Trustees of the RAF Manston Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum.

  3. Museum closed today (01 March) due to adverse weather

    Dear visitors,

    Due to severe and adverse weather conditions the Spitfire Museum and Merlin cafeteria are closed today (Thursday 1st March). We will endeavour to open tomorrow but more snow is forecast.
    We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
    Thanks you for your understanding.


  4. Important Information regarding Our Simulator

    Thank you for expressing an interest in our simulator.

    As you can no doubt imagine, we’re receiving extremely large volume of queries regarding the simulator so we apologise in advance if the information here seems basic.

    I can however confirm that the following information is up to date.

    The Simulator:
    – Booking is required and will be available as of April 1st, 2018 (currently under development).
    – Booking will made online or in rare cases via the phone.
    – Gift Vouchers will be available from the shop in April (the museum does NOT have an online shop at this time).
    – The Cost of the experience is £30 for 30 minutes per person (group rates and under 16’s prices are still being discussed).
    – The minimum age range for the Experience is 12 y.o. Parents can bring younger children (though the museum cannot guarantee a good experience for under 14s)
    – There is no maximum age range as such. But please be aware that a reasonable level of fitness and mobility are required to get in and out of the cockpit.
    – The simulator is an accurate 1/1 scale replica of a spitfire cockpit as such the max internal dimensions are: 800 mm widest (600mm at the shoulders) and 1000 mm highest.
    – The simulator has a weight restriction of 120 kg.

    I hope this is of some help and I would advise checking this page for regular updates.

    Thank you and wishing you a very pleasant day.

  5. Simulator Installed and Functioning!

    Dear Visitors,

    As you may have noticed from the excellent Isle of Thanet News, the Spitfire Museum now has a functioning Spitfire Simulator!

    As of April, visitors will be able to book flights in the museum’s simulator which conveniently sits right next to TB752 (the Manston Spitfire), in case reference is needed :).

    Why the long wait I hear you ask? Well, in order to ensure the best possible experience for our visitors we want to make sure that our instructors are fully trained up on the simulator, that any teething issues are dealt with and that we have a robust and reliable booking system.

    Keep an eye on this website and the Facebook page: for updates and news.


    The Spitfire Museum


  6. Ken Wills In Memoriam

    It is with great sadness that the Spitfire Museum has to inform our visitors and stakeholders that our Museum President Kenneth Edward Wills passed away on the morning of October 19th after a long battle with cancer.

    Ken was instrumental in helping our Museum in several ways, not least of which was securing the Museum freehold thus enabling us to take control of our Museum’s future. Though he was only with us for a short time, he certainly made a big impression and a significant difference to what we do here.

    Ken was also a very successful, self-made, Thanet based businessman employing thousands of people, who will no doubt miss him greatly.

    Above all though, Ken was a generous, kind, thoughtful and understanding manager and friend and will be sorely missed by all the trustees, staff and volunteers here at the RAF Manston Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum.


  7. Half-term Halloween Fun at the Spitfire Museum

    Looking for something fun to do with the little ones over half term? Yes? Than the Spitfire Museum is the place to be! We’re even free to visit!

    From Saturday 21 October until Sunday 29 October, children of all ages can hunt for ghosts in the museum, the grounds and the cafe with our ghost trail.

    If you find all 9 ghosts there’s a prize* waiting for you in the museum shop.

    We also have a cafe where mum and dad can relax over a cup of Joe or tea whilst the little ones are ghost hunting!

    Who knows the kids may even learn a fun fact or two!

    The museum will be open daily during half term from 10 until 5pm.

    Free admission.

    *Please note prizes may contain nuts.

  8. Simulator Secured for Spitfire Museum!!

    The Spitfire Museum is pleased to say that we have gratefully received a £6000.00 donation from the Linbury Trust!

    This donation has completed the target funding required to install the base unit of the Spitfire Simulator and we are immensely grateful that so many of our local businesses, visitors and stakeholders have helped us reach our target.

    £15,000.0 in 3 months is a fantastic first in the fundraising history of the Spitfire Museum and we are excited that this will be used to improve our visitor experience by offering people the chance to get an idea of what it is like to fly a Spitfire!

    That said, we wouldn’t want to discourage further donations!

    The £15,000.00 secures the component parts of the simulator and allows us to be on target for launching this new experience to the public in April next year. BUT any additional donations will allow us to upgrade our simulator in the future by opening up access to newly developed software and the very exciting possibility of linking the simulator to Virtual Reality technology to make for a truly unique experience.

    We would like to thank everyone who donated to this project for your generous support and we also want to thank all the trustees, volunteers, and staff who braved wind, rain and sun to raise funds and all those who’s wrists are still sore from writing over 120 letters!!

    Keep an eye on this page and our Facebook page for updates and news as to when the simulator will be open for business! (


  9. The Manston Spitfire Experience FB page launched!

    The Manston Spitfire Experience Logo - Large

    The Spitfire Museum is pleased to report that the dedicated “Manston Spitfire Experience” Facebook page has been launched today!

    This page will be dedicated to raising funds and sharing progress on how the Museum is doing in installing a 1/1 scale Spitfire Cockpit complete with WW2 style controls from which visitors will be able to fly the Museum’s Spitfire in a simulator.

    We hope that the simulator will help answer the age old question many of our visitors ask, which is: “What was it like to fly a Spitfire?”

    Please share with your friends and please donate too. The sooner we raise £15,000 the sooner we can install the Spitfire Simulator! Currently we are hoping we can get it installed in time for the RAF Centenary in April next year!

    For more information and to see the fundraising progress, please go to Facebook and search: @ManstonSpitfireExperience

    Thanks in advance for your generous support!!


    The Spitfire Museum


  10. Message from Southern Locomotives Ltd. and RAFA

    Dear Visitors,

    The Spitfire Museum supports the Royal Air Forces Association whenever possible. As such please see below for the “down-low” on a special event concerning the unveiling of the newly re-furbished 257 Squadron locomotive. This event is not being organised by the Spitfire Museum so please direct any queries to the email below.

    A rather dirty 34072 on an up train at Sherborne on 1962. (Photo:  M.F. Collection.)

    A rather dirty 34072 on an up train at Sherborne on 1962. (Photo: M.F. Collection.)

    Southern Locomotives Ltd is a not-for-profit company which restores steam locomotives.  Among our seven locos are three from the Southern Railway’s Battle of Britain class, built in the mid 1940’s.  They are 34053 Sir Keith Park, 34070 Manston, and 34072 257 Squadron.  Sir Keith Park operates on the Severn Valley Railway, Manston is at Swanage, and 257 Squadron will shortly return to service after an extended overhaul.  To mark this event we are arranging a recommissioning ceremony to be held at the Swanage Railway on Saturday 30th September 2017.

    34072's nameplate and crest.  257 Squadron was paid for by the people of Burma.  The motto "Thay myay gyee shin shwe hti" means Death or Glory. (c) N Thompson

    34072’s nameplate and crest. 257 Squadron was paid for by the people of Burma. The motto “Thay myay gyee shin shwe hti” means Death or Glory. (c) N Thompson

    These locos have a resonance among those who served with the Royal Air Force, and their families, and we have enlisted the participation of the Poole branch of the RAFA and the Wareham Air Cadets.  We would also welcome the attendance of anyone who served with 257 Squadron or has a particular interest in the squadron or the eponymous locomotive.  The event will include a special train hauled by our loco leaving Swanage at around 14:00 to Corfe Castle, where the short ceremony will be held.  Our train will then return to Swanage, arriving around 16:00.  We hope the naming ceremony will be performed by our Patron, the actor Edward Fox, well known for his role in the 1969 film “Battle of Britain”.   There is no charge for participation in the event, however we do need to keep a count on those wishing to attend, so we invite those interested to contact me by email,

    We hope the event will be a smashing success for our friend with Southern Locomotives Ltd, RAFA and the ATC!

    Thank You,

    The Spitfire Museum

Donations are very gratefully received. Not only because they let us know that we enjoy the support and interest of our visitors but also because, like many charities, we can claim Gift Aid support which could add an additional 20% to our donated income.



» Read more about ways to support the museum.



Recent Articles

Event: RAF Centenary 1 April, 2018

Join us at the Spitfire Museum for a fun-filled day to celebrate 100 years of […]

> Read More

Museum closed until Monday 5/3 due to severe weather.

Dear Visitors, As a result of severe snow and now freezing rain, the Spitfire Museum […]

> Read More

Museum closed today (01 March) due to adverse weather

Dear visitors, Due to severe and adverse weather conditions the Spitfire Museum and Merlin cafeteria […]

> Read More


April 2018
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