Presentation of the destination
Farnborough is located in north east Hampshire, a county in southern England. It is part of the Rushmoor borough, which was formed in 1974 through the merger of Farnborough and the nearby town of Aldershot. The city was founded in Saxon times, and its name comes from the word “Ferneberga”, meaning “fern hill”. In England, it is most known for its connections to aviation, in particular being the site of the first powered flight in Britain in 1908. In addition, the city is home to the Royal Aircraft Establishment, a British aviation research institution. The city also celebrates its aviation history every couple of years with the popular Farnborough Airshow that is held in July. Much of the city’s commerce is related to aviation, though other important industries include telecommunications and electronics. Farnborough also has its own football club, Farnborough F.C., which plays at the local Cherrywood Road ground and is in the Conference South football league.
Points of interests / things to see
St. Michael’s Abbey is a Benedictine abbey located in Farnborough. It was founded by Empress Eugénie in 1881 for use as a mauseoleum for her deceased husband Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, and their son, Napoleon IV, the Prince Imperial. After their deaths, Empress Eugénie decided to build the site as a monument to her family. The Imperial Crypt that was to be their final resting place was modeled on the altar of St. Louis in France, where Napoleon III had wanted to be buried. Eventually, the entire family, including Empress Eugénie, was buried in the crypt in granite sarcophagi that were provided by Queen Victoria, which can still be seen today. Tours of the abbey also allow visitors to see the beautiful abbey church, designed in flamboyant gothic architectural style by famous French architect Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur. It contains a gorgeous organ that dates back to 1905 and is used regularly on Sundays for organ recitals. The abbey also holds the thigh bone of St. Alban, which is the largest relic of the saint in the country.Location: 280 Farnborough Rd, FarnboroughHours: Guided tours of the Abbey Church and Imperial Crypt are provided for the public every Saturday at 15:00 (Weekday visits can be organized by email/telephone)Admission: A minimum donation of £3 per person (excluding children) is suggested for the Saturday tourWebsite: http://www.farnboroughabbey.org/
The FAST Museum, named for the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust, is a museum located near Farnborough Airfield. According to the museum, no other place in the world has contributed so much to the development of aeronautical science as Farnborough has, such as its contributions to the creation of high altitude space suits, head-up cockpit displays, night vision aids, and the first airborne cameras. Due to Farnborough’s important place in aeronautical history, the museum is filled with exciting collections including equipment, machinery, films, photographs, books, and reports related to the industry. There is a large collection of aircraft on display, many of which were partially designed or developed in Farnborough, as well as a fascinating collection of wind tunnel models. Featured exhibits include early jet engines, a full-size replica of the Cody Flyer, research models for the Concorde, and a great flight simulation experience. The museum is considered to be a top educational attraction in the area, with detailed exhibits explaining the history of aviation. Its collections also include everything from nose sections of aircraft to helicopter rotors, photos of Farnborough Airfield, and military aviation documents.Location: Trenchard House, 85 Farnborough Rd, FarnboroughHours: Weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays 10:00 to 16:00Admission: FreeWebsite: http://www.airsciences.org.uk/
One of the most famous local monuments in the Farnborough area is the Wellington Statue in nearby Aldershot. It is a statue of the Duke of Wellington seated on his war horse named Copenhagen, which he famously rode at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The statue was designed by Matthew Cotes Wyatt and made primarily from bronze recycled from a French cannon that was captured at the Battle of Waterloo. The incredibly detailed statue weighs 40 tons and reaches 30 feet high, and was the largest equestrian statue in all of Britain at the time it was built. Part of the reason this statue is so famous is that it was first placed at Hyde Park Corner in London near Buckingham Palace, taking 29 horses to bring its carriage there. It is said that Queen Victoria thought the statue ruined the skyline view from Buckingham Palace, and even suggested privately that it be moved, but it could not be done without risk of offending the Duke of Wellington. However, it did finally move from London to its current location in Aldershot in 1885. It has recently been restored by local conservation groups, including being re-bronzed, and is now a popular local attraction.Location: Aldershot (approximately 2 mi south of Farnborough)
The Aldershot Military Museum is located inside the only surviving brick barracks in the town of Aldershot. This important local museum, founded by Brigadier John Reed in 1984, informs visitors about local life for both civilians and soldiers since the 1850s. The museum is filled with fascinating displays that tell about local history. The John Reed Gallery contains recreations of various types of barracks, a military training tunnel, and a tank simulator that is a big hit with young visitors. Another gallery focuses on the history of Aldershot and Farnborough and their businesses, from drum makers to the local pottery industry. The museum also features a large collection of vehicles, weapons, and military equipment. Popular exhibits include the 5.5 inch Howitzer that dates back to 1942, various field guns, the Alvis Saladin Armoured Car, and the 1974 Scorpion light tank, made from aluminum and mounted with grenade dischargers to create a smoke screen if necessary. There’s also an air raid shelter, a 1950s RAF ambulance, multiple battle tanks, and a 1967 Stalwart, an amphibious high mobility load carrier. Location: Queen’s Ave, Aldershot (approximately 2 mi south of Farnborough)Hours: Wed through Fri 10:00 to 17:00, Weekends 11:00 to 16:00Admission: Adults £3.30, Students, seniors and children (5-15) £2.20, Children under 5 freeWebsite: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/aldershot-museum.htm
Without a doubt, the top event of the year in Farnborough is the Farnborough Airshow, a week long trade exhibition and public airshow held in July every other year. The airshow has a long local history connected to the annual RAF Airshow, which began in 1920 in Hendon and eventually moved to Farnborough’s Royal Aircraft Establishment in 1948. The airshow has a long history of important events, including the 1958 show being the location where the Black Arrows, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team at the time, made a world record which hasn’t been broken to this day by executing a 22-plane formation loop. The first five days of the airshow are used for the trade show, featuring displays from around the world, while the weekend is open to the public. Visitors can see displays of all sorts of fascinating aircraft and related exhibits, as well as frequent flights. There is also a funfair for children and adults alike on the weekend, as well as an entertainment arena filled with exciting events such as interviews with pilots, games, competitions, and commentary on the air displays going on in the sky with informative explanations about the aircraft involved.Location: Farnborough Airport, FarnboroughWebsite: http://www.farnborough.com/
If you’re looking for something to do outside on a sunny day, then head over to the Cove Brook Greenway for a lovely walk in the Hampshire countryside. It is a two mile long wildlife greenway along Cove Brook which passes through parts of Farnborough, from its famous airfield to the beautiful River Blackwater. Since the 1990s, this natural area has been developed by local government agencies that have created new walking paths and a bridge for visitors. If you like birdwatching, you can look for the many kingfishers and herons that frequent the area. There are also plenty of fish to spot in the water.Website: http://www.rushmoor.gov.uk/article/3106/Cove-Brook-Greenway
For those wanting to explore the natural beauty of Farnborough, the Blackwater Valley Path is a must. This 23 mile path travels along the River Blackwater from its source in the nearby Rowhill Nature Reserve through a number of woodland areas, meadows filled with flowers, nature reserves, and country parks. There are plenty of signs along the path to point you in the right direction. The valley is also home to facilities for several sports, including cycling, golf, horseback riding, and angling. If you love water sports, there are also places where you can go sailing, jet skiing, windsurfing, boating, water skiing, canoeing, and wakeboarding.Website: http://www.blackwater-valley.org.uk/about_path.html
Farnborough Leisure Centre is a popular local recreation center that is a great place to visit on a rainy day. It provides facilities for a number of fun activities, including squash, table tennis, skater hockey, volleyball, basketball, netball, badminton, and boccia. You can also work out in the gym, or use the dance studio or martial arts room. There are also two swimming pools, one with six lanes and another used for teaching people to swim which is much shallower. Don’t miss the bowling alley which provides everything you need to have a fun time, including the option of cosmic bowling.Location: Westmead, FarnboroughWebsite: http://www.placesforpeopleleisure.org/centres/farnborough-leisure-centre/
Aldershot Observatory is a fascinating circular red brick building with a domed roof located in the town of Aldershot. It contains an 8-inch refracting telescope, which was a gift given to the British Army from British aviation pioneer Patrick Young Alexander in 1906. The observatory is a prime example of Victorian engineering, with a rotating dome that is controlled by a pulley and rope loop. While it is unknown exactly how the British Army used the telescope, it has been used for various purposes over the years, including monitoring experimental flights and astronavigation training, as well as star observations by members of the British Astronomical Association. Location: Queen’s Ave, Aldershot (approximately 2 mi south of Farnborough)
Vacation rentals in Farnborough (England)
How to get there ?
By plane: Southampton Airport (SOU) is the nearest airport to Farnborough. It is located approximately 45 mi from Farnborough by car. It is an international airport that provides flights to several destinations throughout the UK and Europe.Website: http://www.southamptonairport.com/ By train: Farnborough has a train station with services provided by South West Trains. It is located on the train line that connects London’s Waterloo station with the south west and south coast of England. Detailed information about train services, including timetables and prices, can be accessed on the website of National Rail.Website: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/By bus: There are many bus services available in Farnborough, which provide access to various points throughout the city as well as the local region. Bus services are provided by the companies Fleet Buzz and Stagecoach, who both provide timetables and other helpful information online.Website: http://fleetbuzz.co.uk/ and http://www.stagecoachbus.com/By car: Farnborough can be reached by motorway from anywhere in England. Several motorways pass through or by the city, including the M3, the M4, the M25 and the A3. Getting aroundVisitors to Farnborough can get around the city by train, bus, or car. Within the city, walking or biking are the easiest ways to get around.
Hotels in Farnborough (England)