A leisurely paced, 24-day tour departing 28th August 2023, escorted from NZ by aviation enthusiasts Kevin & Melanie Salisbury.
Featuring main events
Bedfordshire Vintage Airshow, Shuttleworth
The Victory Show, Cosby
Battle of Britain Airshow, Duxford
Also including - Singapore Air Force Museum, British Car Museum, National Space Centre, Lightning Preservation Group, Sywell Aviation Museum, Shuttleworth Collection, North Weald Airfield, Vulcan Restoration, Maunsell Forts, Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar, Shoreham Aircraft Museum, Gatwick Aviation Museum, Solent Sky, Classic Boat Museum, Needles Battery, Wight Aviation Museum, Farnborough Air Sciences Trust, Imperial War Museum Duxford, Brooklands.
Tour Itinerary –
Day 1 – Monday 28th Aug - In flight (B,L in flight)
Our Qantas flights today depart Auckland at 8am, arriving in Singapore at 6pm.
1 night Singapore – Crowne Plaza Changi Airport
Day 2 – Tuesday 29th Aug - Singapore Air Force Museum (B,D in flight)
The Air Force Museum is a physical embodiment of the history, heritage, and values of the Republic of Singapore Air Force. It creatively combines original artefacts with interactive media, fighter jets, missiles, and anti-aircraft systems. We’ll spend the morning here leaving the afternoon free for activities of your choice.
Alternatively, you can explore Singapore at your leisure. We will have time to spend at the Jewel Changi which is a nature-themed entertainment and retail complex linked to the airport. Its centrepiece is the world's tallest indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex, that is surrounded by a terraced forest setting.
Overnight in flight
Day 3 – Wednesday 30th Aug - British Motor Museum (B in flight,D)
On arrival in the UK we make our way to Warwickshire and the British Motor Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of historic British cars; over 400 cars which span the classic, vintage and veteran eras. The Museum building is a spectacular piece of architecture with an art deco design, whilst the Collections Centre building is a modern contrast. After lunch we check in and rest up before our Welcome Dinner. Walton Hall hotel & Spa is a 16th century Grade 2 listed manor house with a wealth of character and beautiful grounds. This evening will be our welcome dinner.
1 night Warwickshire - Walton Hall Hotel
Day 4 – Thursday 31st Aug - Lightning Preservation Group (B)
We catch up with the Lightning Preservation Group, a group of enthusiasts based at Bruntingthorpe who are dedicated to maintaining three of the last remaining English Electric Lightning aircraft, two in fully functional condition.
Other museum aircraft on-site include a Canberra, Meteor, 2 Hunters, Venom, Sea Vixen, Iskra and Delphin L39 which will all be on show. The rest of the day will be at leisure in Leicester.
You can stay in Leicester for the day if you prefer.
2 nights Leicester – The Gresham Aparthotel
Day 5 – Friday 1st Sept - National Space Centre (B)
Something a little different today - with six interactive galleries, the UK’s largest planetarium, and the iconic 42m high Rocket Tower, the award-winning National Space Centre is an out of this world experience. You may prefer to take a trip on the Great Central Railway, the UK's only double track, main line heritage railway, or stay in Leicester for the day.
Day 6 – Saturday 2nd Sept - The Victory Show (B,L)
The Victory Show has something for everyone. There will be over 60 stalls, static WWII Aircraft and 1940’s working and static Farming Machinery. There will be a huge Army Encampment and 50+ Re-enactment Groups, 200+ Vehicles including Heavy Armour, Paul Harper playing throughout the day in the Marquee and there will be an afternoon air display. We will have VIP tickets that include - entrance to the VIP enclosure, unlimited soft drink refreshments throughout the day, show brochure, flight line walk, meet the pilots, freshly prepared lunch, seating in the re-enactment battle viewing area and an unobstructed view of the air display.
1 night Sywell – The Aviator Hotel
Day 7 – Sunday 3rd Sept - Sywell Aviation & Shuttleworth Airshow (B)
Sywell Aerodrome is home to a small but award-winning Museum which shares the rich heritage of the art deco aerodrome and Northampton. It is also home to Ultimate Warbird Flights who operate the famous Grace Spitfire. This morning we have time to explore the museum and have a little time to look at the vehicles arriving for the Bus Fest which is on at Sywell today.
We then head off to Old Warden and the Bedfordshire Vintage Airshow, where we enjoy world-class resident exhibits on parade and witness some of the UK’s finest examples of heritage steam engines, motor vehicles and aircraft. The collection depicts the history of flight from the early 1900s to the 1950s and shows how the aeroplane operated in the pioneering years, was rapidly developed through necessity during World War I, was used for sport, pleasure, and business in the 1920s and 30s and once again became a fighting machine in World War II. Also includes the beautiful Swiss Gardens and Shuttleworth House.
1 night Bedford – The Kingfisher Riverside Pub
Day 8 – Monday 4th Sept - North Weald Airfield & Southend Vulcan (B)
On the way to Southend, we’ll drop into North Weald to see what’s happening around the airfield, visit the museum and The Squadron Café. In the afternoon we see one of only 3 Vulcans in the world to be maintained in 'live' ground running condition. XL426 served with the Royal Air Force from 1962 to 1986. Upon her retirement she was purchased by a private buyer who had her flown to Southend Airport, Essex. After many years of storage at the airport, in 1993 ownership was transferred to the Vulcan Restoration Trust and the Trust began an extensive restoration programme to bring her back to her current condition.
3 nights Southend – Muthu Westcliffe Hotel
Day 9 – Tuesday 5th Sept - Mounsell Forts (B)
Subject to weather and group numbers, a boat trip today will take us out to the Maunsell Army and Navy forts which were built and placed in the Thames Estuary in 1942 to help protect London from airstrikes and sea raids during World War II. After the war, the forts became the headquarters for pirate radio stations. Today, they are abandoned, eerie and dilapidated structures.
Day 10 – Wednesday 6th Sept - At Leisure in Southend (B)
Enjoy your free time to explore this resort town, At the end of the long pier serviced by a small train you’ll find Salt Café, the perfect place to stop for a drink or bite to eat a mile out to sea. You may recognize the venue from Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday night Feast TV show. The covered terrace offers spectacular views of the Estuary all year round.
Day 11 – Thursday 7th Sept - Biggin Hill & Shoreham Aircraft Museum (B,D)
This morning we have a guided tour of the many Spitfires based at the Heritage Hangar, including the restoration projects. Currently there are 14 Spitfires, 3 Hurricanes, Messerschmitt 109, Harvard, and Cub to view. A collection of vintage cars, motorcycles are also on show. If you would like the amazing opportunity to fly in a Spitfire from Biggin Hill this morning, please ask when booking, there will be one place available. There is a flight scheduled to depart at midday so we will be able to watch this otherwise. From Biggin Hill we take the short journey to Shoreham Aircraft Museum. After lunch at the charming tearooms we will explore the hundreds of aviation relics excavated from crashed British and German aircraft, as well a fine collection of flying helmets, uniforms, insignia, Home Front memorabilia and art collection.
2 nights Gatwick - tbc
Day 12 – Friday 8th Sept - Gatwick Aviation Museum (B)
Today’s unique collection of aircraft and engines from the Golden Age of British aircraft manufacturing started as a private collection. From the end of WWII until the 1970s, British aircraft designers produced some of the most innovative and advanced aircraft of the day. The Museum also traces and celebrates Gatwick Airport, including the history of the many commercial airlines that operated from here. The Virgin Atlantic A350 training rig is a great way to find out just what travelling in style is all about! We’ll have a leisurely lunch at a country pub.
Day 13 – Saturday 9th Sept - Solent Sky
It's a short walk this morning to Solent Sky, The "Birthplace" and "Home" of The Spitfire. The Museum showcases the history of aviation in Southampton and the Solent area and pays tribute to RJ Mitchell. Geographically this was one of the most important areas in the country, if not the world, for aircraft experimental and development work between 1908 and the late 1960s, the most famous being the Spitfire. There are 18 aircraft of various types, including the Spitfire and S6b. In the afternoon we have some free time.
3 nights Southampton – Room2 Aparthotel
Day 14 – Sunday 10th Sept - (B) Goodwood Revival (B)
We spend the day at the greatest historic motor race meeting and the only sporting event of its kind to be staged entirely in a period theme with a legacy of treasured cars and vintage fashion that have survived across the generations.
The festival is a showcase for wheel-to-wheel racing around a classic circuit, untouched by more modern developments, and relives the glory days of Goodwood Circuit, which ranked alongside Silverstone as Britain's leading racing venue throughout its active years 1948 to 1966. The day will include a flying display and some static aircraft. Also based here at Goodwood are spitfires.com with the Silver Spitfire.
Day 15 – Monday 11th Sept - At Leisure in Southampton (B)
The day is yours to explore Southampton, maybe a guided “Walk the Secrets of the Titanic”, explore the SeaCity Museum, visit a 15th century house, or walk the town walls.
Day 16 – Tuesday 12th Sept - Classic Boat Museum & Needles Old Battery (B,D)
This morning we take the ferry across the Solent to the Isle of Wight arriving in Cowes. The Classic Boat Museum Gallery is situated in the Columbine Building, the former Saunders & Roe factory - an amazing example of 1930's industrial architecture. The vast collection of maritime memorabilia reflects all aspects of being on the water, from workboats to pleasure craft and racing vessels.
In the afternoon we head on to the Needles Landmark Attraction, where the iconic three stacks of chalk that rise about 30 metres out of the sea. There’s lots to see including an optional chairlift ride down to Allum Beach, with the best view of the Needles. Also here is the fort built to protect the Needles passage and the naval dockyard at Portsmouth from the threat of French attack in the 19th century.
2 nights Isle of Wight – Sandringham Hotel
Day 17 – Wednesday 13th Sept - Wight Aviation & Airframe Assemblies (B)
Wight Aviation recognizes the fusion of marine and aviation skills that led to the building of 600 aircraft on the Island during WW1 and illustrates the intense "War in the Air" over the Isle of Wight, during the Battle of Britain. Sandown Airfield is also home to Airframe Assemblies, a company dedicated to the restoration and repair of airframes for World War II warbirds mainly Spitfires. They will be happy to show us their current projects including a Typhoon.
Day 18 – Thursday 14th Sept - Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (B)
FAST (the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust) was founded in 1993 to safeguard Farnborough's priceless aeronautical heritage. The museum holds a collection of aircraft, satellites, simulators, wind tunnel and Royal Aircraft Establishment-related material. No other single location in the world has contributed so much to the development of aeronautical science over such a long period of time. Our visit today will be truly fascinating and includes a tour of two of the wind tunnels in the architecturally important listed buildings, not open to the General Public.
4 nights Cambridge – Arundel house Hotel
Day 19 – Friday 15th Sept - Imperial War Museum Duxford (B)
This is a pre-show opportunity for those who want maximum time to explore the five hangars, as airshow day has limited time. Duxford played a vital part in the Battle of Britain, and you can stand in awe of the world's most famous aircraft at this historic museum. Be dwarfed by the B-52 and Concorde; get up close to famous Second World War classics including the Spitfire, Lancaster and Tiger Moth. There will be some activity at Duxford in readiness for the airshow tomorrow. Alternatively, you can enjoy your day in Cambridge.
Day 20 – Saturday 16th Sept - Battle of Britain Airshow Duxford (B)
Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show is presented by IWM Duxford, the former RAF site that played a leading role in some of the most dramatic days in 20th century history - serving as a base for many of the Spitfire and Hurricane pilots during the Second World War. The full historic air show experience includes vintage entertainment throughout the day, culminating with our famous spectacular mass spitfire fly-past over the airfield.
Our Gold Pass includes use of a lined and carpeted marquee with luxury toilets, seated viewing enclosure, private access to the flight line walk, a souvenir programme, pilot meet & greet opportunities.
Day 21 – Sunday 17th Sept - At Leisure in Cambridge (B,D)
Today is a full day to explore Cambridge, take a punt ride down the backs of the University buildings, have a pint in the famous Eagle Pub, hop on and off the bus for a tour and visit the Military Cemetery. If you are a fan of the tv show Grantchester, you could pop out to the village as see where it was filmed. or hop on a train to the amazing Ely Cathedral.
This evening we will be our farewell dinner
Day 22 – Monday 18th Sept - Brooklands (D in flight)
We spend our last day bringing together the history of aviation and motorsport at the fantastic Brooklands, the site of many engineering and technological achievements. Brooklands-based aircraft companies such as Bleriot, Hawker, Sopwith, Martinsyde, and Vickers were key players in the early years of aviation and were crucial to its early development. Also here is The London Bus Museum which houses a remarkable collection of around 35 buses and coaches, the largest collection of working historic London buses in the world.
A 2-minute walk from Brooklands and well worth the stroll is Mercedes-Benz World, the ultimate showroom where you’ll find yourself up close to an array of automotive icons past and present from the Gullwing and Patent Motor Wagen to modern-day supercars such as the SLS AMG.
We finish the day back at Heathrow for the flights home or other onward arrangements. Your tour hosts will be remaining in the UK so flights home will be with your fellow tour guests.
Day 23 – Tuesday 19th Sept - In Flight (B,D in flight)
Day 24 – Wednesday 20th Sept - Auckland (B in flight)
Arrival into Auckland 1.55pm
24 Day Tour including return Qantas Economy flights $13,995 per person Twin Share
Single Supplement $1,920
Land Only joining in UK $10,100, reduced Single Supplement $1,630
Land only joining in Singapore $10,460, no change to Single Supplement $1,920
$500 non-refundable deposit required on booking with full balance due by 19th June 23
For bookings after19th June, the full balance payable immediately.
The $500 deposit is refundable should the tour not reach minimum numbers.
Meal key (B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
Please ask if you would like any variations to the above arrangements. We are quite flexible! You may choose a different return date or decide to stop over on the way back to break the journey. Costs subject to availability.
Flight availability is extremely limited, and we only have 16 group flights. Book early to secure yours.
Demand is heavy for all aspects of travel this year. Early booking is essential to ensure that we keep the group flights and secure the main event tickets. Your deposit can be covered for loss for unforeseen circumstances with insurance, so it is recommended to insure straight away.
Any changes to the flights need to be made as soon as possible as there may be additional costs on other dates an availability is limited.
Flights (subject to change) – overnight in Auckland pre tour may be required.
QF 142 28AUG AKLSYD 0800 0945
QF 081 28AUG SYDSIN 1150 1815
QF 001 29AUG SINLHR 2330 0635 arr 30th
QF 002 18SEP LHRSYD 2055 0510 arr 20th
QF 143 20SEP SYDAKL 0850 1355
Terms & Conditions
Tour costs - Tour costs are based on specially negotiated airfares on which special conditions apply, and on twin share accommodation. Costs are based on a minimum number of 14 passengers. For passengers travelling alone, a single supplement is payable, or there is the possibility of a same sex room share. If you cannot be matched, the single supplement is payable.
Fitness - A reasonable level of fitness is required to make the most of the museums and sightseeing. Due to the nature of some of our hotels you may be expected to manage a set of stairs; however, we will manage your luggage on these occasions. Most hotels have showers over the bath as is common in the UK.
Reservations and Payment - Your reservation will be confirmed on receipt of a non-refundable deposit of $500.
Final balance is due by 19th June or immediately, if booked after 19th June.
Changes to Tour Costs - Tour costs are based on exchange rates as at March 2023, and are subject to change. Airfares are based on group departures and taxes correct as of March 2023. Should these costs change, it may be necessary to make a surcharge on the tour. Once full payment has been received, no surcharge will be made in respect of currency or fuel surcharges. However, changes imposed by governments, or their agencies are not covered by this guarantee.
Fees as a percentage of tour price
Up to 19th June
Loss of deposit
19th June – 30th June
After 30th June
Changes to Itinerary - If improvements can be made to the itinerary or circumstances beyond our control make it necessary to make changes, we reserve the right to do so.
Cancellation refunds and flight changes - Notice of cancellation must be in writing. Changes to flights once ticketed will incur charges. After final balance has been paid, the following scale of charges will apply.
Insurance - For cancellations, we regret that we are not able to make refunds against any unused part of the tour. It is therefore essential that you have sufficient insurance to cover your loss. We strongly recommend a complete and comprehensive travel insurance policy. We accept no responsibility for any loss caused through insufficient or lack of insurance cover.
Optional Return Dates - The international airfare on which this tour is based allows individual passengers to return independently on a space available basis.
Passports and Visas - A current passport is essential. NZ, Australian and UK passport holders do not require visas. Non-NZ passport holders must be in possession of a re-entry permit. Passports and visa are not the tour operator’s responsibility.