Watching planes at the Pilot’s Hub

For children who like planes it can be fun to take them to an airport or airfield if there is somewhere they can watch aircraft take off and land. You need to check at each individual airport whether it’s still possible – when I was a child I remember going to an airport to watch planes with my grandparents (we may have been waiting to meet someone off a flight, I can’t remember!) and now there do seem to be fewer areas open to the public – at Gatwick for instance the public viewing area is long gone but you can still watch planes from the aviation museum.

That’s why it’s such a shame that the Pilot’s Hub is closing. It’s a cafe at Redhill Aerodrome but the aerodrome has sadly decided not to renew the cafe’s lease and it is closing down in the coming days and is currently selling off memorabilia.

We visited in the summer of 2021 – Redhill is about half an hour’s drive from us and I came across it on a local social media site, and thought my daughter who was three at the time, would enjoy it.

We used a small car park opposite – there were a few spaces near the cafe itself but these seemed to be more for people actually using the hangar (and lack of parking for the public is one of the reasons cited for the cafe lease not being renewed).

The cafe has an outdoor seating area and an indoor area and unsurprisingly the outdoor area is much popular as you can actually see small planes and helicopters landing and taking off. So we had to queue for a few minutes but got a table with a good view of the airfield. 

I had a sausage sandwich in doorstep bread which was simple but good, their menu had items like full English breakfast, cinnamon French toast, soup and sandwiches – to be honest it’s not somewhere we would have gone just for the food but on a summer’s day with planes and helicopters coming and going – and the opportunity to see small planes stored in the hangar – it was a a lovely way to pass some time, and I’m glad we were able to do it before the Pilot’s Hub closed for good.

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