Naafi Tea at Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum

During a recent trip back from England, I needed to stop for a drink and to stretch my legs. But I didn’t fancy either a service station or a coffee chain.

As I was passing through Dumfries, I decided to visit the Aviation Museum. It is a bit off the route I was taking but it does have a cafe.

It didn’t take long to get there from the ring road. The museum is at the back of some industrial estates and just as you think you’ve taken a wrong turn, another sign helpfully shows you the way. And when you get close it is pretty obvious with a large large helicopter and some planes being visible from the road.

The entrance is through a small shop and was £7 for an adult. I don’t think it is possible to get to the cafe without entering the museum. But I wanted to look around so that wasn’t an issue.

The first exhibit is some large jet engines, followed by the “Home Front” a display of how life would have been for people living and working during WWII. This is where you’ll find a period shop and the Naafi wagon, but nothing to eat here 😉.

Further round is a helicopter rebuild project, it has been stripped down and is being put back together by a team of enthusiasts. A more complete project is the Loch Doon Spitfire. A project that took many years to locate and the extract the remains of the plane from the Loch and many more to rebuild.

Next door to the Spitfire are other hangers full of exhibits, I particularly liked the models of bridges, tools and the spark plug tester.

For those who love jet engines, the control tower is the place to go. The ground floor there is packed with engines of all different sizes. There are further exhibitions on the intermediate floors and the top floor is a reproduction of a working control tower.

One quite unique item was the prototype x-ray space telescope, using metal and mesh to focus the x-rays. Not something I’d thought about before.

After a quick look around the helicopter and planes outside, I headed back to the exit. There was the cafe where I bought myself a drink and biscuit. And so, I was throughly refreshed for the onwards journey.

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