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Bentwaters Cold War Museum

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IP12 2TW

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Bentwaters Cold War Museum

Bentwaters Cold War Museum Map

Bentwaters Cold War Museum is located in the former USAF airbase at RAF Bentwaters in Woodbridge, Suffolk.

The museum is housed in a USAF hardened command post and is believed to be the only such building open to the public in the UK and Europe. Visitors can learn about Cold War operations at both RAF Bentwaters and nearby RAF Woodbridge.

During the Cold War, RAF Bentwaters was used by the United States Air Force (USAF), with the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing, along with nearby RAF Woodbridge. Together these two airfields were known by the Americans as the 'Twin Bases'.

RAF Bentwaters is also near the location for the alleged December 1980 UFO incident in Rendlesham Forest.

In 1993, after the Cold War, the USAF returned control of Bentwaters to the Ministry of Defence. It is now known as Bentwaters Parks.

Work started on a Bentwaters Cold War museum in 2003 and the museum opened in May 2007. The museum is located in the former USAF hardened command post, and the main "war operations room" and "Battle cabin" have been restored to their original condition; the BT telephone exchange room, decontamination showers, and airlock have been similarly restored. Other rooms within the building have been turned into exhibition rooms, covering the history of RAF Bentwaters from the Second World War until the station closed in 1993.

The museum is run by volunteers from Bentwaters Aviation Society.

Bentwaters Cold War Museum Address & Travel
Building 134
Bentwaters Parks
IP12 2TW
Telephone: 07588 877020

Bentwaters Cold War Museum is located in Rendlesham, Woodbridge in Suffolk and the satnav postcode is IP12 2TW.

From the South (A12N), follow the A12 from Ipswich, as it passes Woodbridge, pass the 2 Shell petrol stations on either side of the road. At the next roundabout turn right [A1152] into Woods lane, follow this road straight over the next set of traffic lights, over the railway crossing, and at the next roundabout turn left, still following the A1152. After a short distance turn left and follow the A1152 towards Rendlesham, follow this road through Eyke, and past Rendlesham, at the next roundabout turn right, you will then come to the security barriers at the original base main entrance.

From the North (A12S), either follow the A12 down to the A1152 Woods lane roundabout and follow the directions as above, or turn off the A12 at Wickham Market, and take the B1078 towards Campsey Ashe, follow this road until you arrive in Tunstall, then turn right onto the B1069. Follow this road until you come to a roundabout, at which you turn left, you will then come to the security barriers at the original base main entrance.

On arrival at the security barriers, please follow the BCWM signs to the museum car park, or follow the instructions from the security staff as required.

How much does it cost?
The admission fee can be found on the official website.

What are the Opening Hours?
The Opening Hours can be found on the official website.

For more information then visit the
Bentwaters Cold War Museum official website.

Accommodation: postcode - IP12 2TW

Museum Aircraft

Bentwaters Cold War Museum Photograph:

Bentwaters War Operation Room.

Museum Aircraft:
BAe Harrier GR.3 (ZD667)
English Electric Lightning F.53 (ZF581)
Fairchild A-10A (80-0219)
Gloster Meteor F.8 (WH453)
Hawker Hunter GA.11 (XE707)
Lockheed T-33A
McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR.2 (XV401)
Republic F-84F Thunderstreak (52-7133)
SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1A (XX741)

The museum is located in the former USAF hardened command post, and the main "war operations room" and "Battle cabin" have been restored to their original condition.

The museum also has an ever increasing fleet of vehicles and utility accessories that include an International Harvester Hospital Bus, an ex USAF Dodge Dakota pickup, a Coleman MB4 tractor, a USAF flight line tractor, a Rapier missile unit, USAF "Light All" units, a USAF Tool Trolley, and an aircraft oxygen cart.