Bristol boasts a long history of aviation with the first aeroplane factory set up on a commercial basis in Britain opening in 1910. Since then, the city has continued to be at the forefront of aeronautical and space technology. Aerospace Bristol was born in 2017 and with only 18 Concorde planes left in the world, the museum is a proud keeper of one of the last iconic supersonic passenger jets.
Whether you would choose STEM over liberal arts, know very little about aviation or not, Aerospace Bristol is worth a visit. The nearest railway station is Bristol Parkway and from there you’ll find bus or taxi services to the museum. And if you’re making your way by car, there are brown signs along three routes—from M5 junction 16, from M5 junction 17, and along the A38.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about Aerospace Bristol
1. Galleries covering 100 years of aviation history
The galleries at Aerospace Bristol begin by easing you into the early 1900s and then take you through two world wars. While getting to catch a glimpse of an Airbus A320 model, Eurofighter Typhoon Weapons Simulator, a Bristol Bloodhound Mk II Surface to Air Missile, and hundreds of other exhibits on display, you can explore the role of aircraft in global conflicts, understand the space race, and gain an insight into the latest technologies.
2. Antiques Roadshow meets the Concorde Hangar
In August 2020, the Concorde Hangar hosted BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. Discoveries on the day included a four-leaf clover brooch, a collection of Radiohead memorabilia, and an extremely rare piece of Venetian glass. This interesting combination, with collector’s items being examined under the wings of an aircraft boasting a remarkable history, made for a fascinating event at Aerospace Bristol.
3. Aerospace Bristol’s latest workshop
The Conservation in Action Workshop is the latest addition to Aerospace Bristol. Located in a restored Grade II listed WWI aircraft hangar from 1915, the workshop gives visitors the opportunity to see conservation projects close up. You can also include the Red Arrows Experience simulator ride in your ticket when booking your next visit to the museum.
What can you do at Aerospace Bristol?
Between exploring the Aerospace galleries, Concorde hangar, and Coversation in Action Workshop, there is plenty to do and see at Aerospace Bristol. However, you can also make use of the outdoor play area if you’re visiting with young children, the museum café serves up a special children’s menu, light meals, and other drinks and snacks, and you can visit the gift shop for some quality items inspired by Aerospace Bristol’s collection.
As a first class event space, the museum provides a truly unique setting for weddings, dining experiences, award ceremonies, private events, and more. The Concorde Gallery can accommodate up to 500 guests and offers an original space for a three-course meal under its wings or book a drinks reception on the balcony. Hiring the venue also includes an exclusive private viewing of Concorde and the Aerospace Bristol exhibition.
Individual tickets range from free (age under 4) to £19.50 (age 18 and over), and family tickets can be purchased. The musuem’s opening days and times vary, so make sure you check their website before planning your visit.
As well as hosting corporate events and housing the world famous Concorde, the museum’s Concorde Hangar once welcomed the enchanting and widely popular Candlelight series. These intimate concerts feature classical renditions of influential music performed by talented musicians bathed in the glow of hundreds of candles. Candlelight continues to shine its light across several of Bristol’s finest venues.