Wanderer at Large: Beds, Herts & Cambs – Duxford

A tour guide’s all-time favourite UK places.

Sponsored by Your London Tours.

This September, Visit Britain, the marketing arm of the British tourist industry, is launching its ‘Great British Staycation Campaign’ to encourage people to holiday in the UK.

Soul City Wanderer (aka Frank Molloy) is one of the UK’s most accredited and experienced tour guides. Over three decades he has visited nearly every part of the country, touring many of the places that Great Britain and Ireland has to offer.

In a new blog series, he will list his all-time favourite five places by area (spiralling out from London*). These are personal choices, some obvious, some obscure.

This week, the area north of London that includes the counties of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.


Duxford Air Museum

Duxford Imperial War Museum
Duxford, Cambridgeshire CB22 4QR.

The site of Duxford Air Museum is based on an aerodrome which was built during the First World War and was one of the earliest Royal Air Force stations. During World War II it also served as an RAF fighter station.

Today, it is run by the Imperial War Museum, and it is simply massive. Some of it is in the open-air, some of it under vast hangars.

There are a number of exhibitions around the site including ‘Land Warfare’, ‘Air & Sea’, ‘1940 Operations Room’ and ‘Battle of Britain’. There also are many civil aviation legends spread all over the place including a Concorde, which you can actually go onboard. Most impressive is the American Air Museum which contains the finest collection of American combat aircraft outside of the United States, including the huge B52 bomber. The airfield is still operational, and it is possible to hire flight time in certain aircraft.

Kids, especially the technically minded, will love Duxford.

Overall, one word to describe this place: ‘awesome’.


Note: All sites mentioned were operating pre-lockdown. Please check relevant websites before embarking on any potential visit. Another recommendation will appear tomorrow.

For the very best in guided private tours of the UK visit www.yourlondontours.com


*Operators in the UK tour industry often separate the areas of the country according to what touring can be achieved in a region in one day. As a London-based operator, my ‘map’ spirals outwards from the capital and is separated thus:

  1. London
  2. Northern Home Counties (Beds/Herts/Cambs)
  3. Eastern Home Counties (Essex/Suffolk)
  4. Southern Home Counties (Kent, Surrey, Sussex)
  5. Western Home Counties (Ox/Berks/Bucks)
  6. South coast (Hants/Dorset)
  7. Western England (Somerset/Gloucs/Wilts)
  8. South West England (Devon & Cornwall)
  9. Wales (north & south)
  10. Welsh Borders (Herefordshire/Shropshire/Cheshire)
  11. Western Midlands (Brum/Worcs/Warks/Staffs)
  12. Eastern Midlands (Northants/Leics/Rutland/Hunts)
  13. Northern Midlands (Notts/Derbys)
  14. East coast (Norfolk/Lincs)
  15. Yorks (all ridings)
  16. North West (Manchester/Merseyside/Lancs/Lakes/Cumbria)
  17. North East (Durham/Tyne & Wear/Northumberland)
  18. Southern Scotland (Borders/Lowlands)
  19. Northern Scotland (Highlands/Islands)
  20. Ireland (Northern/Southern)

Published by Soul City Wanderer

Soul City Wanderer is the alias of London journalist and author Frank Molloy, a writer on the city’s history and culture. Born south of the river, he has an MA in London history (Birkbeck) and lectures at various institutions including the Museum of London and the National Portrait Gallery. He is also a fully-qualified Blue Badge Guide (MITG), Westminster Guide and City of London Guide.

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