Midlands Air Festival, Ragley Hall Estate
18 - 20 May 2018
The Bristol Blenheim: one of the displays
This new aviation event for the Midlands, featuring virtually every type of aviation, was a massive success.
Nightfire on the Friday evening featured a night time aerobatic air display with lights and pyrotechnics, followed by a hot air balloon glow: balloons inflated and burning to a choreographed music track and a fireworks finale.
Most of the air displays were on Saturday and Sunday. They included classic WW1 & WW2 fighters, high energy aerobatics, classic jets, flying circus, helicopters, a gyrocopter and a full hot air balloon festival with around 75 balloons, mainly special shapes.
On the ground there were trade stalls, catering, exhibitors, arena events and activities, including Battlefield South’s Commando laser shooting experience: free of charge on a first come first served basis. Ragley Hall itself was open and could be visited for an additional donation.
The flying displays are listed in the table.
About Ragley Hall
Ragley Hall, a stately home completed in 1750, is the ancestral seat of the Marquess of Hertford and is currently the family home of the 9th Marquess and Marchioness.
|Due to fly (tap / hover over icon for more detail)|
|P-51D Mustang 'The Shark'|
|Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1 'N3200'|
|Lauren Wilson in Pitts S-1S|
|Hawker Fury FB11|
|Calidus Autogyro, Peter Davies|
|Westland Wasp: Terry Martin|
|Fournier RF4 Motor Glider|
|Great War Display Team|
|P-47 Thunderbolt |
|Stampe Formation Flying Team ‘Belgian Ballerinas’|
|Otto the helicopter, flown by Brendan O'Brien (also Friday evening)|
|Twister (solo) (Friday Evening)|
|Sydney Charles Display Team (Grob Motor Gliders x2) (Friday evening)|
|All appearances are subject to technical, weather and other constraints|
Getting to the Show
Use postcode B49 5NJ in the sat nav until you get close, but ignore the sat nav in favour of local directions signs as soon as you see them. There are links to route planners in the Travel Advice column if you prefer to plan ahead or don't have sat nav.
There is no longer a train station at Alcester. The nearest stations are Wilmcote (7 miles away) and Redditch (9 miles away). There are buses from those stations to Alcester: 25 or 26 from Wilmcote; 246 or 247 from Redditch. Which station is best for you depends on where you are coming from because they are on different lines: create a pocket timetable to see the routes.
Click here to create a pocket timetable for your journey between any stations on the National Rail network.
The variety of rail tickets and fares can be very confusing. Trainline and Raileasy web sites list all ticket and fare options for the time and day of travel you choose but they both levy an admin fee. Click either of the blue ticket agency names to go to their web site.
Accommodation near the show
It is best to book as far as possible in advance. This is not only because nearby hotels and guest houses tend get booked up well before the date of an airshow but also because prices can be better when you book early online.
There are plenty of booking agencies. We find that many of the well known ones are better at finding hotels from international or larger UK chains and may suggest hotels in main towns or cities quite a distance from the show site.
Expedia lists a good selection of smaller, as well as bigger, hotels and will find accommodation in villages and small towns as well as the main centres. They also give, and take, Nectar points.
Click the blue Expedia name for a list of hotels and guest houses near the show. The venue is already built into the link but when the list comes up you do have to enter your dates and change the number of rooms and guests, as necessary.
Trivago will list competitive prices for a range of hotels, but they might not necessarily find them all, because some chains do not subscribe to their service. You may also get a better rate if you book direct with an hotel, especially if you are a member of a loyalty or rewards scheme.
The International Hotels Group have a Holiday Inn Express hotel at Redditch, about 7 miles away and there are five Premier Inn hotels within 10 miles. If searching for a Holiday Inn, be sure to put 'Alcester UK' in the search box, or you may get results from the USA.
Weather for the show area
The Met office seven-day forecast includes maximum, minimum and "feels like" temperatures, the likelihood of rain, wind direction, gusts and visibility: the latter can have an impact on the viability of displays.
The BBC's five-day forecast has overall conditions including temperatures, UV range and a description that may help to determine how pleasant the day will be for the visitor.
Click the blue-text link to go to the forecast. The location is already built into the links.