Aircraft Spotting at Somerset's Airfields and Airports

Spotting locations, viewing areas and advice on access for airports and airfields in Somerset. 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 SOMERSET - their locations are marked in the Spotting in the UK download

  • S-882 S-55 is at Skirmish Paintball south of Redcliff Bay village and easily seen without entering. Friendly and allow photos upon request

  • XG164 Hunter is preserved outside Managed Asset Services in Poole village Industrial Estate. They also have Bulldogs M25-03 and M25-04 - ask at reception to see them, they're very friendly. Last reported January 2012

  • XN551 Jet Provost is displayed in a field alongside the track leading to Park Farm in Felton village off West Lane, just north of Bristol airport. Last reported July 2012

  • XZ649 Lynx, with the boom of XZ646, is with the Faculty of Engineering, in the Queens Building at the University of West England, Bristol. It can be seen by looking down through the windows into the basement, but they are friendly - ask at reception and they'll take you down to see and photograph it. An unknown C172 cabin is also in the same room, this could be G-AWBW but needs confirmation. Last reported November 2012
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    BRISTOL AIRPORT - TWR 133.85 / APP 136.075 & 125.65

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    Spotting Info
  • Southwest of Bristol on the A38 and well signposted, these viewing spots are marked in the Spotting in the UK download. Round the terminal area there are gaps to view those on the aprons but you'll need a passenger to hop out and log them as there's no free parking or waiting areas. Inside the new terminal, there are no views landside. The old terminal is now the Admin & Security office and there is a car park there for staff and visitors but is fairly expensive. This is the best place on the terminal side to view any movements from.

  • Leave the terminal area and at the roundabout turn right onto the A38. Shortly on the left, the gravel verge gets wide enough to park cars on, and there's space around the crash gates, but please make sure you park well clear of them. If you do park on the gravel, it's right alongside the very busy A38 so take extra care. From here you get views across to the eastern apron and if they're using runway 27 it's a great place to spend some time logging movements.

  • For the flying club, helicopters and biz, continue south on the A38 around the airport perimeter and at the next roundabout turn right. Turn right just before the long term car park and go straight ahead for the Bristol & Wessex Aeroplane Club clubhouse and car park. Straight ahead and by the fence there's room for a few cars to park. Don't use Bristol Flying Centre's tarmac car park, there's a security barrier there anyway. As a note of caution, this area is for the aero club members and patrons only. You're welcome to sit, watch, log, photograph the movements but you must make purchases from the clubhouse. They have a cafe in operation, 1000-1500 daily, doing drinks and hot and cold food and comes highly recommended by the locals. On a nice day it's a nice place to stay for a while. From here you can log the various light aircraft, biz and helicopter residents and visitors, the western apron on the far side, and possibly the western end of the eastern apron. West of the western apron you'll see a large black hangar and possibly the tops of some light aircraft. Due to the lie of the land, you can't log those from here. If you walk in to the long term car park and walk along the fence you'll be able to pick up any that you can't log from the flying club fence. The other side of the flying club is Rotorflight. You can drive round there if there are some you can't get but people have reported a man from Rotorflight being rude and abusive for being on their premises. As you leave this area, keep looking left as there may be a track to drive down for views of the eastern apron.

  • Back to the A38, turn left, and at the airport roundabout head straight over to stay on the A38. Just up the road here, immediately after a pedestrian footbridge, turn left by The Airport Tavern onto Downside Road. Go past the freight entrance on your left, and take the next left turn into Cooks Bridle Path just after a lay-by with an old-style red telephone box. Take care down this single track road. Just before the sharp right bend, there's an entrance on the left. This will take you up to the black hangar and light aircraft that can be seen from the flying club car park on the southside. The gate is often shut, but when it's open, are they friendly and allow visitors? Contine to follow the track around the end of the runway and up the hill. There are pull ins and a long lay-by at the top of the hill overlooking the runway. Gets busy, especially on summer weekends and is great regardless of runway usage. Views of the main, and western apron area but at a distance and views of the north side hangar area.

    Bristol International Airport Enthusiasts, Bristol Airport Apron Stands - details of aircraft, reg, flight number, times arr/dep currently parked on each stand, select either Eastern or Western, a fantastic resource
    Last reported August 2012. Want to update or confirm the information is still correct? Send in a report


    Spotting Info
    Head south out of Chewton Mendip village on the A39. Go past the B3114 staggered crossroads and take next left turn onto East End Lane. Head past a few houses on either side then turn right at the crossroads onto Mannings Lane for the strip. Turning left at these crossroads will take you to Franklyn's Farm to ask permission to visit the strip.
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    Spotting Info
    Head west on the A361 towards Durston village, and just as you enter the village, turn right at the staggered crossroads and follow to the end. The runway is some distance away across a field but the residents are in the barn here.
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    Spotting Info
    Head south out of Wraxall on A37 and after 2 miles turn right to Stone. Head through Stone, and halfway along the long left band bend you'll pass a house on the left. Turn right not long after the house down a track. Go through the field and you'll be at the end of the runway. Take care and keep a good lookout, drive parallel but not along the runway, the hangars are halfway along.
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    Spotting Info
    From B3130 in Winford, head west on Felton Lane to Felton. After Raglan Lane and Long Cross on the right, turn right at the crossroads and right again at the next crossroads onto Vee Lane. There is a track just here on the left that leads to the strip. If locked up, there are gaps in the hangar.
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    Spotting Info
    In Henstridge village, just off the A30. Heading west along the A30 and before you get to Henstridge, there will be a turning on the right to Lower Nyland followed by a bridge over Bow Brook after several fields. Take the next left and the airfield is on the left.

  • As you drive into the airfield you'll be looking straight down runway 07. Turn left here and follow the road down to the SRWN hangars - ask for access at each of these for access, and the helicopter hangar. If someone is there and they're not too busy, you should be shown round. Alongside the SRWN hangar are two RC114 wrecks G-BERW and G-DDIG. Behind the same hangar are the wrecks of G-BDYD RC114, G-BECC MS892 and G-BHVB PA28. Beyond these hangars is a building with gyros in but is normally locked up, plus several individual hangars beyond that - access is not possible to these hangars.

  • Head back to the 07 threshold and turn left. This runs down the old cross runway and gives views across to any aircraft parked outside the SRWN hangars - you can then log any you weren't able to earlier, plus any inside the hangars if the doors are open. Turn left when you can and follow this track round to the clubhouse. As you drive along, log all the aircraft parked outside and then head back out. There's no reason to stop here and get out, and visitors are not welcome on this side of the airfield.

  • Exit the airfield and turn right. Take the second entrance on the right and follow the track (with great care due to the many large potholes) round to the Aircraft Coverings hangar. They are friendly, ask for access though it may just be to log from the open doors. It's locked up tight if no one's there.
    Henstridge Airfield
    Last reported February 2013. Want to update or confirm the information is still correct? Send in a report


    Spotting Info
    Head west out of High Ham village on Turnhill Road at the angled crossroads, round the sharp left and then right bend, followed by a shallow left bend and the strip is on the right. Due to a large number of spotters visiting, he is now unable to accomodate visitors. Please bear this in mind, it may save you a wasted journey if access is denied.
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    Spotting Info
    Just south of Hunstrete hamlet, before you reach the A368. XT762 Wessex is stored in the car park and is easily visible, XE668 Hunter and S-886 S-55 are well hidden in the woods and you'll need to be taken there so arrange your visit in advance or you may be not able to see them.
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    Spotting Info
    Head north out of Sparkford village on the A359, past the Haynes International Motor Museum on the left and the business park and helipad are on the right. Ask for access, they're usually ok with you logging and photographing the helicopters from outside the hangar, but do not go in. If you don't get access, or the gates are locked, park sensibly by the narrow track that runs along the fence line and walk down it. Don't drive down. You'll be able to log any helicopters parked outside and any in the hangars if they are open. Photographs are possible but they won't be great due to the fence, trees and angles.
    Last reported February 2013. Want to update or confirm the information is still correct? Send in a report


    Spotting Info
    Alongside the A371 east of Weston-super-Mare town and well signposted. The Helicopter Museum site lists opening times, admissions and its exhibits. Check the events page - I can recommend their Spotters' days. It includes tours of their outdoor storage area and storage barn that are not accessible to the public.
    Last reported September 2012. Want to update or confirm the information is still correct? Send in a report


    Spotting Info
    Take the A372 east out of village and airfield is on left. Very friendly here, ask in the control point/mobile clubhouse and if someone is available they'll escort you round. One large hangar but with numerous individual hangars that are locked up tight unless the aircraft are going to be flown.
    Westonzoyland Flying Club
    Last reported February 2013. Want to update or confirm the information is still correct? Send in a report


    Spotting Info
    Head east on the A3088 towards Yeovil town and go straight over the main roundabout. This is the air base perimeter and leads to the main gate.

  • You can see the ramp outside the final production shed from a public footpath right under runway 27 approach. Go into Yeovil (mass of roundabouts - get onto the Lysander Road dual carriageway). You will come to some traffic lights near a MacDonalds and opposite PC World - turn right into West Hendford. Turn left into Seaton Road, turn left again into Westland Road. This is a dead end and goes up to a Westlands car park - park considerately in the residential street. Walk towards the car park and you'll see a short lane on the right with half a dozen houses - this is also a public footpath and once you get past those few houses, runs along the perimeter of the airfield and leads right to the 27 approach. Views are not fantastic as the choppers are often tail on and in a bit of a dip.

  • On the northside, you can briefly stop in the Social Club car park off Westbourne Close for views across the runway of the factory. You can only see the top half of any helicopters parked outside though.

  • Make sure you get to the runway 09 end too - sometimes they park choppers out at that end for ground trials. It also has a good clear view if anything was to move. There is a large lay-by in front of some padlocked gates near an industrial building on the left that allows you to park up for a short while - this is currently unavailable due to the ongoing building work and lorries constantly using the road.

  • From Bunford Lane that heads towards the main gate, you can see the stored and dumped aircraft in various states, either at the western end or before the road bends round to the right - Lynx prototype, ZH821 Merlin and G-BKKI WG30. They are parked, all covered, up by one of the staff car parks.
    Last reported September 2012. Want to update or confirm the information is still correct? Send in a report


    Spotting Info
    Head west out of Ilchester on the B3151 and take the next right. Follow the signs.

  • From the museum car park there are limited views of the main apron and of the southern apron - anything towed into or out of the hangar can be easily logged. Inside the museum there is a viewing area where you can log those parked on the ramp outside. In the museum, to reach the carrier deck, you have to take a 'ride' on Wessex XT482 from Hall 2. As you exit the carrier, you get to see into the restoration hangar, and a couple of aircraft currently being worked on.

  • On the southside of the base is the fire dump containing Harriers XV755, XW630 and ZB601, Wessex XS513 and Sea King 773 on its side. Views of the fire dump can be had from Pyle Lane in Yeovilton village alongside runway 04 threshold. Park beyond the church and walk along the road and round to the left. The fire dump is the other side of runway 04 and to the right of the hangar.

  • Across the road from the museum is the Fleet Air Arm Museum's storage area at Cobham Hall. This is usually closed to the public but on a couple of days each year they open it up and £4 will get you escorted round to walk up and down the centre of the exhibits. Full details are on their website. The exhibits are tightly packed in, making photography very difficult and some are difficult to see or make out. A couple will be out of sight, either beyond barriers or up stairs.

  • XZ728 Lynx and ZD578 Sea Harrier are preserved as gate guards and visible from the B3151. XW890 Gazelle is preserved at Cormorant House near Cobhall Hall - the top half is visible from the B3151 so either drive slowly or park in the museum car park and walk along the road.
    Fleet Air Arm Museum
    Last reported November 2012. Want to update or confirm the information is still correct? Send in a report