Why do we love the Old Buckenham Airshow?

PUBLISHED: 10:30 26 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:30 26 June 2017

Aviator Brendan O'Brien will be trying to land his aircraft on a moving trailer.

Aviator Brendan O'Brien will be trying to land his aircraft on a moving trailer.


It’s the biggest airshow in Norfolk and Suffolk and one of the best loved airshows in Europe. So why should we head to the Old Buckenham Airshow next month? Try our top 15 reasons for starters...

military renactment fun at old buckenham., picture Trish Thompson Photographymilitary renactment fun at old buckenham., picture Trish Thompson Photography

1 The big four

Not only does the show on July 29 and 30 2017 have three WWII fighter planes with the Mustang, Spitfire and Hurricane in the line up, it boasts the Sally B bomber too. That’s the monster Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress, known to many as Memphis Belle, a truly flying miracle.

2 Airshow originality

Not content with some of the most famous aircraft in the world, the airshow thrives on variety and this year has the most diverse mix of aircraft ever. They range from the uber cool aerobatics of the Wildcats’ Pitts, the Yak 52 and Matt Summers’ RV8 to one of the oddest sights, a model aerobatic plane flying with its full sized big brother.

3 Brendan O’Brien and Otto

Long-term fans of the airshow will recall this staggeringly impressive display pilot landing his plane on a truck being driven along the runway at Old Buckenham a few years ago. He’s back with an equally amazing show and a friend, Otto the amazing yo-yoing helicopter.

4 Family friendly

Under 12s are free at this award winning show and there’s something for everyone to enjoy, from the stalls, stands, military vehicles and wartime re-enactors to the funfair and music. There’s a new baby changing area too this year.

5 Reasonably priced ice-cream

Forget a round of ice creams cleaning you out of cash for the weekend, part of the family friendly appeal is affordable ice-cream – around the £1-2 mark.

6 Classic cars

If super shiny beautiful cars with staggering amounts of history appeal – there are always hundreds at the airshow.

7 Good beer

The famous Attack and Destroy bar is a village pub at the show, complete with themed beers brewed especially by Saffron Brewery. This year show goers will be able to take home bottles of Sally Beer too.

8 Stars and stripes

Not only has Old Buckenham a fascinating and immense museum celebrating the 453rd Bombardment Group, based here during WWII, but the airshow sees the opening of a unique 8th Airforce Gallery, curated by James Clary. Expect everything from intriguing bits of bombers to memorabilia from the minutia of airforce wartime life.

9 Have a go heroes

Be a World War II flying ace at the controls of any plane, any time, anywhere. That’s Sim Fly, the unique flying simulator at Old Buckenham Airfield which sees you clamber into the cockpit and fly with, or fight against, your friends in a digital dogfight.

10 Up up and away

Enjoy a genuine bird’s eye view and fly, with an instructor, a choice of a range of exotic aircraft. Or take a ride in a particularly swish turbine helicopter.

11 The Spitfire

I know we’ve mentioned her before, but MH434 is probably the most famous aircraft still flying. She’s been in pretty much every film needing a Spitfire, and was once the personal favourite plane of the late Ray Hanna, a former Red Arrows leader.

12 Phenomenal food

Overpriced burgers and barely cooked chips are banned from Old Buckenham. The Food Village offers locally produced quality food and gourmet delights at sensible prices. Expect anything from duck wraps and artisan cheese to the ultimate 
hot dog.

13 Great views

The spectator area at the airshow has been redesigned to offer even more crowd line so that everyone can see all the action.

14 The garden party atmosphere

Wander around with a glass of Pimm’s, relax and gaze skywards in your deckchairs, settle down with a cup of tea or meet friends and family and chat the day away while browsing the classic cars and military memorabilia. The relaxed feel at this spacious celebration of all that’s great about Norfolk’s skies makes people linger long after the last plane has landed. This year The Three Chordettes will keep the show going with the hits of the 1940s.

15 The Hangar Dance

A night to dance dance dance, and then dance some more to legends The Scratch Band, and friends. That’s the famous Saturday night dance night in the Hangar.

Plus.... Dogs on leads are welcome and there’s a dog watering centre too, there’s masses of parking, children 
under 12 are free, there’s a chance to drive a tank, and don’t forget the gourmet food village, Brasted’s providing food in the VIP area and you really won’t believe the sheer amount of entertainment on offer.

Old Buckenham Airshow, July 29-30 2017. Tickets from £12 – and under 12s go free.

Other news


A Norfolk woman gave a demonstration of the invaluable role of hearing dogs as part of a fundraising event with her new neighbours.


Proposals which would see all but seven of Norfolk’s children’s centres close have been attacked by two of the county’s MPs.

A national charity is helping young people to spot the signs of peer-on-peer abuse following thousands of counselling sessions.


The number of complaints recorded by Norfolk Constabulary has increased by 11 per cent, according to new statistics.

Most Read

Yesterday, 13:15

The magic of books was celebrated as the theme of this year’s Watton carnival.

Read more
Friday, February 13, 2009

Ian Clarke

Owners of out of control dogs have been given more than £2,000 in fines and costs after a series of prosecutions.

One dog had to be destroyed after being attacked and his owner was hurt, one dog needed 25 stitches and another was seriously injured and its owner was bitten after the incidents in Breckland.

Read more
Saturday, September 15, 2018

A Norfolk author has recalled how an encounter with her late mother in the form of a stag convinced her to fight plans for new substations in her village.

Read more
Jenny Smedley

Captain Mainwaring and his platoon will be heading for Swaffham this Saturday.

Read more

An attempt to revive a Breckland heritage site has failed after dwindling visitor numbers forced the owners to close the attraction.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 15°C

Digital Edition

Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Watton and Swaffham Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy