The Battle of Britain Memorial – an ideal coach tour destination
When it comes to combining a unique insight into history with a stunning clifftop location, nothing beats the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne in Kent.
The Memorial to the Few, the RAF aircrew who won the Battle of Britain in 1940, has lots to see and do, including a unique audio-visual introduction to the aerial battle that changed the course of the Second World War.
As well as a replica Spitfire and Hurricane and the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall, which lists the names of the fewer than-3,000 men who took part in the battle, it has unbeatable views of the French coast from a first-floor café that sits high on Kent’s famous white cliffs, between Folkestone and Dover.
That café is part of The Wing, a unique visitor centre built in the shape of a Spitfire wing that also houses, a well-stocked shop offering a range of gifts and signed memorabilia and fully accessible toilets.
The attraction is ideal for coaches, with dedicated parking, discounted rates and a warm welcome on offer to visitors of all ages.
While the focal point of the site, the National Memorial to the Few, offers a chance for quiet reflection, The Scramble Experience in The Wing, offers an interactive experience for all ages and is the only paid-for attraction at an otherwise free-to-visit location.
Parking is free for pre-booked coaches, guided tours can be arranged at a reasonable additional charge and there is a group rate for entry to The Scramble Experience, with pre-booked groups of ten or more paying just £5 per person instead of £6. There is free admission for up to three tour leaders/coach drivers.
The Experience offers numerous hands-on activities, hours of contemporary film and audio footage of the Few and a wealth of information, all accessible via touch screen technology. At its heart is a
specially commissioned film so moving that it reduced one of the Few to tears when he first saw it.
Outside, along with the National Memorial to the Few, the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall and replica fighters, there is a stainless steel sculpture of a crashed Junkers Ju 87 Stuka divebomber created by German artist Hex, highlighting the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust’s aim to show a broader view of the Battle. Busts of Sir Keith Park and Lord Dowding add to the attractions at this peaceful and inspirational place.
The Cockpit Café offers sandwiches, sausage rolls, cakes and snacks as well as hot and cold drinks and alcoholic beverages. The whole site, including The Wing and the exterior area, is fully accessible and has modern toilet facilities and there is a lift to the first floor Cockpit café.