Tate St Ives

Sea View
View from Tate Gallery roof terrace
Tate Gallery at St Ives is almost too well known to require a special write-up. Inside, there is a warren of galleries on several floors and it can take some time to find your way around. There’s a lot to see. If you are planning a special trip, note that the gallery is in the old town, the streets are narrow and the town is popular and crowded in summer. If you arrive by car, you are advised to park in a car park above the town and walk or take a bus to the old town. There are fine views from the rooftop cafe terrace. Outside the gallery, there are other private galleries you could visit, plus the beach, etc.

RAF Hendon, London.

A former airfield, now one of the two sites of the RAF Museum. It’s near the railway, and many years ago when passing by, one could see some large parked aircraft from the train. Nowadays the collections are housed indoors, including some purpose-built buildings. Admission is free, though I recollect that they expect visitors to “check in”. It’s accessible by public transport. Access by car is easy, but note that there is now a charge for car parking. This is a large and diverse museum – they say it is impossible to see everything in one day. For more information check the museum’s website. An essential visit for those interested in military aviation.

Telegraph Museum, Porthcurno, Cornwall.

The Museum is housed in a large white building, and associated tunnels, which formerly housed the shore terminal for Britain’s trans-ocean telegraph cables. It now contains exhibits about marine cables, telegraph equipment, etc. If you are interested in electronics or the history of technology, you should find this a rewarding visit. Don’t underestimate the time required to look at everything inside – I allowed two hours and found that this wasn’t long enough. If you are parking in the car-park between the Museum and the beach, I recommend that you pay for 3 hours’ parking. Note that should you need to lose the rest of the family for two or three hours, a beach and coastal walks are nearby.

Twinwood Airfield and Museum, Beds.

This is the airfield from which Glenn Miller departed before his disappearance. Wartime buldings remain on the site, and house the Glenn Miller Museum and other small museums devoted to aviation, militaria, old vehicles and the Fire service. The wartime runways have reverted to agriculture. Enough to keep airplane and history buffs amused for half a day.

Upton House, Warwickshire

National Trust.
Visited c. 2005
While the house is old in origins, it has been updated a number of times and it’s the contents and gardens which are notable. It contains a major collection of paintings and porcelain, including Old Masters. To the rear are the magnificent gardens, which descend by terracing towards water. There is also a kitchen garden. Allow for a half-day visit.