Located on the Second World War airfield on Davidstow Moor, the museum primarily covers the history of RAF Davidstow moor. In addition there are exhibits and information on other North Coast airfields, wartime life on the home front and some post-war military hardware.
The two comments most heard are “We didn’t know you were here” and “We didn’t realise how big it was”. Even with 18 buildings this is not surprising as although the museum is next to the Dairy Crest Creamery (just off the A39), it is not visible from the road and only when you drive through the entrance do you have some idea of the size. The concept of the museum is, wherever possible, to feature items and displays that have a connection with Cornwall and Cornish people.
Some buildings have mixed displays and others are dedicated to specific areas relating to the RAF (including the RAF Regiment), the Army (including the Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry) and the Royal Navy (including the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Marines). Not everything is military though and there are displays dedicated to the Home Front (including information on food-rationing, evacuees and the NAAFI) and nursing from WW1, WW2 and the Afghanistan conflict. There is an introductory film in the cinema and most of the buildings have either a video display or an audio system. About halfway around the site there is a self-service NAAFI where you can have a hot or cold drink and sit down to read some WW2 newspapers or watch a DVD on the Lancaster bomber.
The number of artefacts that can be seen is astounding, not just hundreds but many thousands, together with many larger exhibits that are either in the hanger or elsewhere in the museum grounds. Although the majority of items and dioramas relate to WW2 there are many others relating to the Falklands Conflict and WW1 including a narrow-gauge railway of the type used to supply the trenches. Have you ever been inside a WW2 air-raid shelter? You can here as this is one of the four original 1940s buildings at the museum. Have you ever wondered why you would need a parachute for a pigeon? This is one of the many fascinating things that you can see and read about in the Animals at War display.
Of special interest on Thursdays during July, August and September are guided tours of the airfield (lasting about 1.5 hours) in an electrically-powered vehicle. As the vehicle has a maximum capacity of ten visitors advance booking for this is essential.
The museum grows year by year and many visitors return to see what is new or what has been changed since their last visit. If you are not yet sure whether you want to visit us then have a look at the comments made by visitors on TripAdvisor and on our own website
Finally, we should inform you that next to us there is another, smaller, museum. This can be confusing for visitors so to ensure that you find us please drive through the blue double gates in front of you and then on to the car park inside.
Children: £4 (under 5yrs free)
Family: £13 (2 A +3 children under 16)
Special rates are available for Club or Group visits.
The museum opens on 19th March and closes 30th October.
It is open every day July, August & September (and during all school holidays) but otherwise is closed Sun, Mon & Tue during April, May & June and Mon & Tue in October.