Imperial War Museum

Top choice in Cambridgeshire

At Europe's biggest aviation museum, 200 lovingly preserved vintage aircraft are housed in several enormous hangars. The vast airfield showcases everything from dive bombers to biplanes, Spitfire and Concorde. The awe-inspiring American Air Museum hangar pays homage to US WWII servicemen, hosting the largest collection of American civil and military aircraft outside the USA.

Duxford is 9 miles south of Cambridge at Junction 10 of the M11. Buses only run to the museum on Sunday (bus 132; £3.90, 50 minutes).

Make this a day trip, especially if you're bringing kids – the interactive rocket launchers and flight simulators prove pretty irresistible.

The slick AirSpace hangar houses an exhibition on British and Commonwealth aviation. Modern warfare is also covered, including the latest conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, featuring an assortment of tanks and artillery from WWII onwards.

The planes aren't here just to look pretty – a number, such as the legendary Flying Fortress, take to the skies during ultrapopular airshows in May, July and September.