Aircraft Spotting at Leicestershire's Airfields and Airports

Spotting locations, viewing areas and advice on access for airports and airfields in Leicestershire. Use the hotlinks above or scroll down for spotting information on spotting locations, airfield hangar access, aviation museums, preserved aircraft. Plus all the information has been plotted as Points of Interest and can be downloaded to your SatNavs and Google Earth to make planning your spotting trips abroad so much easier and helping you log many more

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PRESERVED & STORED AIRCRAFT IN LEICESTERSHIRE - their locations are marked in the Spotting in the UK download

  • Bulldogs XX633 and XX671 are stored in the gardens of a house at the western end of The Green in Diseworth village

  • ZH200 Hawk is in the Aeronautical school at Loughborough University, with large windows surrounding it. It can easily be seen by driving along one of the main roads on campus, and at night it's well lit up. Last reported March 2013

  • BAPC-284 Gloster E.28/39 replica is pole-mounted on the A426/A4303 roundabout south of Lutterworth town
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    Spotting Info
    Head south out of Bruntingthorpe village on Bath Lane and the entrance to the Bruntingthorpe Cold War Museum is on the right as the road bends left. The museum is only open on Sundays, 1000-1600, and you can't get access any other day due to the security because it's a car test track. Entrance is £5 and allows you to drive round to the Air Museum.

    XX392 Jaguar is the gate guard here, and as well as the main area containing the bulk of the exhibits, there are the tarpaulin hangars housing a few aircraft, Lightning QRA sheds, Beech Restorations with aircraft at the front and round the back, XV226 Nimrod and SX-OAD B742 near the scrapping area, and the GJD scrapping area itself.

    There have been mixed reports about you being able to walk straight down to the scrapping area, and it'll be denied if they're dismantling an aircraft, which is unlikely on Sundays, or if they have one of their open days where they taxi their aircraft. If it is denied, walk across to the Beech Restorations hangar (there are aircraft in this hangar, in the building behind this hangar - AJJS wings plus an unmarked fuselage, and parked outside round the back of this hangar - AJJS Cessna fuselage, an unmarked front fuselage and unmarked bare metal 4X-FNA Meteor) and to the perimeter road beyond it. As you head towards the green warehouse you'll pass a compound on the left that often has one or two cockpits in and there should be a couple of cockpits behind the green warehouse also. After the warehouse the road takes a sharp right and you'll soon see the scrapping area, currently containing C130s and airliners with the wrecked fuselage of TB10 G-TEDS dumped near by - if you follow the treeline on the left beyond the warehouse, TEDS will be on your left where a track passes between the trees.

    Scrapping area
    I-AIGM B733, ex Air Italy, forward fuselage minus nose cone, "" titles
    N858WL B734, all white ex PH-BDW KLM, fuselage minus tail
    VP-BGX B743, Transaero c/s
    VP-BGY B743, Transaero c/s
    XV104/U VC10, minus engines and cockpit
    XV106/W VC10
    XV108/Y VC10
    XV301 C130
    ZA149 VC10
    Last reported March 2013. Want to update or confirm the information is still correct? Send in a report


    Spotting Info
    On leaving Bruntingthorpe Air Museum above, turn right onto Bath Lane. Take the first right, signed Industrial Estate and Walton. Towards the end of a long sweeping left hand bend, turn right into the small industrial area. On the right hand side is a compound with a few buses in and the Commanches. This is the first bit of the industrial estate that you get to. Beyond this is an area fenced off with wooden fence that you can't see through, all the way round but if you get here you've gone too far. There is a gate at the front of the bus compound, which has metal railing type fence that you can see through. The gate might be locked and it says about CCTV. You can see one or two of the Commanches from outside, but you need to go in to see them all. There is also a fencing company in here and if anyone is around you can ask them if you can have a quick look round. They are sometimes reluctant to allow people round and are confused as to why you want to see them, so you may refused. A polite explanation of our hobby usually gets the ok, so if you are allowed round, they are fenced off by 6ft metal barrier type fence, but there are gaps that you can walk in.
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    Terminal Area Spotting Info
  • Fairly quiet during the day but things get busier in the evening and at night with cargo flights, often until 0200 the next day. Even at night, most are easily read off from the various vantage points and you'll often find other spotters around logging the cargo flights. Exit the M1 at J24 or J23a, take main entrance into the airport and take the third exit at the roundabout onto Beverley Road. Head round the right hand bend and taking the next left (NO PUBLIC ACCESS so don't hang around) will give views across the east cargo ramp. Driving along Beverley Road to the other end may also give views of the cargo ramp. From either of these two spots you should be able to look north and see the fuselage of TC-ALM on the fire dump. If not, a walk along the northern perimeter from Diseworth Lane crash gate (described below) will do the trick as you'll walk straight past it.

  • Back at the main roundabout, go straight over this (3rd exit) and the next two mini roundabouts. Before you reach the security hut, you'll see a pull in on the left and right - turn round here slowly whilst logging what you can from here. Heading back the way you came, taking the first left will give a different angle on the same parking areas and may help you log one or two more.

  • Back at the mini roundabout and turn right - keep looking right as you drive along here. The second right turn onto Ambassador Road takes you down the side of the fuel farm where you may log one or two biz. Continuing down the road, there's a chance to pull in and read off any of the larger airliners that you couldn't log from the other places. Straight over the next roundabout and left at the T-junction onto Dakota Road. From the fenceline on the left here, you can log those parked outside the hangars, and see into the northern hangars if they're open. Park in the car park on the bend here and walk back. At the end of the car park there's a path between the flying club building and the hangar beyond, for a different angle on the hangar ramp. Walking in the opposite direction will give you views of the area you looked at in the previous viewing spot, but from the opposite direction. Useful if things are tucked away or parked at bad angles and you can see into the hangars if they're open.

  • Heading back the way you came along Dakota Road, ignore the left turn that you came in on and turn right just after it onto Vanguard Road. Keep looking left for views of the DHL ramp. Follow the road round to the right and the based light aircraft are parked at the end.

    Aeropark & North Side Spotting Info
  • From above, head back to Dakota Road, a quick left right turn to go back on yourself and turn right at the roundabout. This takes you round the back of the DHL complex. Turn left at the roundabout and right at the next roundabout onto the A453. Get in the right hand lane as quick as you can and turn right at the lights. Follow the road round the airport perimeter and you'll come to a roundabout with the East Midlands Aeropark in front of you. Some great exhibits here, make sure you stop by. They're very friendly to all and there are some great photo opportunities here. Open in the summer on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays with differing times and in the winter on Sundays from 1030-1700/dusk. Entry is just £2 and goes towards the upkeep of the current exhibits and the acquisition of new ones.

  • As you exit the Aeropark, turn right at the roundabout towards Castle Donington. As you start down the hill, turn right by the Nags Head pub into Diseworth Lane. Please drive carefully and slowly down this road. Too many people are speeding down to park at the crash gate, prompting numerous complaints from residents to the airport authorities. On the right will be the other side of the Aeropark. The exhibits can be viewed by going over the style halfway down this lane and following the fence around but you won't be able to see all the outside exhibits, and there are a few in the hangar as well. Go right to the end and park clear of the crash gates. This is the unofficial viewing area, and is the main spot to view the movements and spend any length of time here. The crash gate has green mesh on it to dissuade people from parking in front of it - yes there are still stupid people who block crash gates. It doesn't hamper the viewing if you park back away from the gate - by standing up, you can read those on the ramp. There's also a footpath that follows the northern perimeter fence all the way round past the 27 threshold and is frequented by dog walkers. The first five minutes of this walk is recommended as smaller visitors on the central terminal ramp can be hidden by clutter. 40 minutes walk further on is a small fenced compound just north east of the 27 threshold. There are picnic benches here and it can also be accessed by car directly from the A453.

    Nottingham East Midlands & Birmingham Airport Email Group
    Last reported March 2013. Want to update or confirm the information is still correct? Send in a report


    Spotting Info
    Head east out of Ellistown village on Beveridge Lane. You'll pass fields on your right, then turn right down a track just before the bridge over the railway line. Keep a good lookout in both directions as you pass the runway threshold and follow the track, which runs alongside the taxiway. Carry straight on to the hangars. Very friendly, ask for access. Various barns with gaps contain the residents.
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    Spotting Info
    Head south out of Husbands Bosworth village on the A5199 towards Welford and turn left after about a mile. Airfield is on the left and signposted. Ask in the clubhouse and you may get a list of instructions and a map (but do not go in the hangars), or you may get lucky and get escorted round - they are friendly. The Hungarian Wilga stored and used for parts is in the first hangar you pass on the right as you drive in. Have a good look round, there are aircraft, gliders and hangars dotted around - hangars next to the clubhouse and aircraft behind them, you should then be able to drive down the road, following it round to the eastern end of the airfield, where you'll find a few more hangars, some with gaps to look through. If you reach the entrance with a locked gate, the main entrance is about half a mile west of here. Just past the entrance the road bends left and on the other side of the road you'll see the police helipad and hangar. If there's a helicopter on the pad or the hangar is open, there are lay-bys here to pull over and log it. You can take the next turning on the right for Sibbertoft airfield detailed below.
    The Gliding Centre
    Last reported September 2012. Want to update or confirm the information is still correct? Send in a report

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    Spotting Info
    Southeast of Leicester city. Head north out of Oadby village on the B582 and at the mini roundabout T-junction turn right onto Gartree Road. The entrance is about half a mile on the left. Drive to the end of the track and the large black GA hangar is on the right. Follow it round the hangars and park in the car park by the tower and clubhouse, where you can see the aircraft that are parked behind the main hangar. Friendly, ask in reception in the tower/clubhouse for access to the hangars, a hi-viz jacket is required and you must tell them when you leave.

    On display here are PL256 Spitfire replica and an unmarked Fiesler Fi 103 flying bomb donated by the East Midlands Aeropark. There are gaps in the large black hangar if it's shut. If the large black hangar is open, on the left as you enter is the unmarked frame of G-MWPS Renegade Spirit.

    Before the main hangar is a much smaller, turntable hangar with a round half a dozen in plus a frame at the back on rebuild - this is usually locked up unless a pilot is going flying. To the right of this is a bigger modern hangar, two parts to it with a split level - if the door's open just pop your head in and ask for access, they are friendly. Quite often shut though at the end of the days flying the resident helicopters are put inside, allowing access.

    To the left of the large GA hangar is a smaller hangar containing a number of Pitts - if it's shut then there's a gap in the front door for you to log a couple. Then follow the treeline away from the large black hangar and it opens up to another area where you may find some more aircraft parked up. There are also a couple of small maintenance hangars here - at weekends it's usually shut, but during the week, if it's open you should be able to log one or two more.
    Last reported March 2013. Want to update or confirm the information is still correct? Send in a report


    Spotting Info
    From the crossroads just west of Twycross Zoo on the A444 head north on Orton Lane into Norton Juxta Twycross village. After the sharp left right bends head straight on, ignoring the right turn, and turn left at the triangle junction onto Cottage Lane, just before a sharp right bend. Follow to the end for the strip, ask for access, they are friendly. Park in the courtyard and walk up the track, keeping the large barn on your left. The next building is 5 bay hangar, go past this to the clubhouse at the end and ask permission. Do not enter any hangars without permission. If no one is at the strip, the airfield owners, David and Jean Corbett, have asked that you ask at their house (on the right in the main yard before the hangars), and not to wander around unescorted. I have their contact details should you wish to arrange a visit.
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    Spotting Info
    Head northeast out of Sproxton village on Stow Hill, signposted to Skillington. After around a mile, take the track on the left signed Buckminster Gliding Club. At the far end of the woods, turn right at the T-junction and follow the perimeter road to the club. Friendly, ask permission to walk around. If the hangars are shut, there are gaps to look through. DON'T use the gliding club's post code in your SatNav as it takes you to a nearby farmhouse, where the farmer is fed up with visitors for the gliding club (not just spotters) knocking on his door.
    Buckminster Gliding Club
    Last reported May 2012. Want to update or confirm the information is still correct? Send in a report


    Spotting Info
    Turn left out of Husbands Bosworth airfield and take the first right. Immediately on the left is Sibbertoft airstrip - one plastic hangar, but number of residents unknown. Secondly, on the road opposite (a quick left/right) is an industrial site with some workshops on the left as you enter and the hangar is the first of a 3 building complex with a further small hangar laid back. There is a long/largest building, the very first bay (out of 3) of this building is a hangar with about 10 aircraft in. There is also a T shaped small hangar here. There should be gaps to see the aircraft if it's locked up. And thirdly, down this road a little further on the right is the local police helicopter pad and hangar.
    Last reported September 2012. Want to update or confirm the information is still correct? Send in a report


    Spotting Info
    From the A511 roundabout, head east into Coalville town on Ashby Road and it's on the right and signposted. In the museum you'll find Autocrat G-AGOH and AOP9 XP280 hanging from the ceiling. In an adjacent restoration/storage area are the complete fuselage frame and a set of stripped wings of Auster J4 G-AIJK. G-AGOS RS4 Desford is also said to be stored here, it may be worth asking about this. Opening times are: November-March 1000-1500 Monday-Friday with weekends and school holidays 1000-1700, April-October 1000-1700 daily, admission is £7.50.
    Snibston Discovery Park
    Last reported May 2012. Want to update or confirm the information is still correct? Send in a report


    Spotting Info
    Head north out of Hinckley on A5. Turn right on to A444 and after a mile turn right signed Stoke Golding. After approx 2 miles turn right and strip is on the left.
    Stoke Golding
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