The Aviator, Dunkeswell – Child-friendly Café with airfield views!
Dunkeswell, East Devon EX14 4LG (not far from Honiton)
Café and coffee bar serving breakfast, snacks and lunch daily (09.00 – 16.00)
Evening meals served Friday and Saturday
Watch the planes, skydivers and wing walkers
Military heritage museum
There must be plenty of plane enthusiasts out there (young and old) who would love this little gem of a café, sat right on the perimeter of Dunkeswell’s busy airfield.
Serving cooked breakfasts, cakes, snacks and lunch (dinner too on a Fri and Sat evening), The Aviator café is a great place to visit on a fair day to watch the action – light aircraft taking off right next to the outdoor tables, parachute jumpers coming in to land at terrifying speeds, and even the odd wing walker – it’s a bit like a mini air show!
With free parking, easy buggy access and baby change facilities, this is an easy place to take young children, and yes there is a fence to stop them from making a dash on to the runway 😉.
We went for a mid-morning breakfast on a sunny Saturday and there were plenty of tables outside for the taking, however by lunchtime it had filled up so it might be worth getting there early for lunch or avoiding peak times. There is lots of indoor seating for wet days, and a small covered area outside.
Dunkeswell Aerodrome is an interesting place (if you like a bit of history) – in the 1940s it played a key role in the WW2 efforts as a busy military base and airfield, home to the United States Army Air Forces Anti-Submarine Squadron, then the US Navy and RAF Coastal Command. There is a small museum next to The Aviator Café (free entry, open Thursdays to Sundays from Easter to the end of October*), displaying photographs of life on the base, artefacts and military uniforms.
If you have a little drive around the area you can see lots of the old military buildings and hangars in various states of repair – some have been repurposed, and others are definitely not habitable!
It’s now a private airfield, operated by Devon and Somerset Flying School and Skydive Buzz.
*At the time of writing, Dunkeswell Heritage Centre was closed due to COVID restrictions. Check here for updates.
Looking for a walk to extend your day? Dumpdon Hill Fort is approximately 10 minutes away by car – read all about it here.