Download GPX file for this article
51.29-0.75Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Farnborough is a town in the northeastern corner of the English county of Hampshire, adjacent to the borders with Surrey and Berkshire. Once an isolated hamlet, Farnborough grew into a medium-sized town over the course of the 20th century. This growth was built on the back of the aviation industry; Farnborough was the site of the first powered flight in Britain, made by Samuel Cody in 1904. Today, the aerospace, defence and technology industries thrive and aviation heritage is evident all around the town. Farnborough is best known as the home of the biennial Farnborough International Airshow, which has been running since 1948.

The town is also the final resting place of deposed French Emperor Napoléon III and his wife Eugénie de Montijo.



The northeasternmost town in Hampshire, Farnborough is contiguous with Aldershot (with which it shares a local authority, the Borough of Rushmoor) to the south, and Camberley (in Surrey) to the north. The town's eastern boundary is marked by the River Blackwater, on the other side of which are the suburban villages Ash, Frimley and Mytchett, which are nowadays considered part of Camberley. Farnborough Airport is immediately to the south-west of the town centre, and west of that is beautiful mixed forest and heathland leading to Fleet.

Although locals divide Farnborough north and south, and into other named areas not relevant here, the visitor may understand it better as a town of four quadrants:

  • The north-west covers the mostly residential areas known as Cove and Southwood, which were formerly independent villages. Although there are some older buildings, the bulk of this part's urbanisation took place in the mid- to late 20th century, and there is little here of interest to a visitor.
  • The north-east is separated from the NW by Farnborough Road. This is the oldest part of town and contains the former village centre (Farnborough Street), the parish church of St Peter, St Michael's Abbey and Farnborough Hill House (Farnborough Park).
  • The south-east was Farnborough's 19th-century town centre, and is still today predominantly Victorian in character, known as South Farnborough or North Camp. It is mixed residential and commercial, and has many of the best restaurants and pubs.
  • The south-west is dominated by Farnborough Airport, and the high-tech industry, business parks and hotels which surround it. This is also the location of the RAE Heritage Quarter and FAST Museum.

The modern town centre sits where these four quadrants meet.

Early history[edit]

While Farnborough has been settled for at least 1000 years (it was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Ferneberga, Old English for "Fern Hill"), it was for most of its history a tiny hamlet in the midst of a lawless and remote heathland, on the outer edges of Windsor Forest, a royal hunting estate. Its location at the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire meant it was frequently used by outlaws as diverse as highwaymen and illegal boxers; before the 20th century, county police forces had no powers beyond their areas of jurisdiction, so all criminals had to do to escape justice was pass from one county to the next. The area's comparative remoteness and frontier town vibes kept Farnborough small for centuries; there are therefore few buildings today that date from before the 19th century, and those that do are rustic-looking timber-framed cottages.

The arrival of the British Army to neighbouring Aldershot in the mid-1800s brought more settlers to the area, and many officers built fine villas in what is now Farnborough's southern suburb of North Camp - so called because it is north of the Army garrison ("camp"). Shops, services and a town hall sprang up to serve the growing community, and North Camp remained Farnborough's commercial centre for another hundred years.

The French Connection[edit]

The town welcomed foreign royalty in 1880, when the Empress Eugénie de Montijo moved into Farnborough Hill, a manor house and estate. Eugénie was the Spanish-born widow of Emperor Napoléon III of France. Following the Franco-Prussian War and revolution of 1870, the deposed imperial family fled to England, where they settled in Kent. The Emperor died in 1873, but was survived by his wife and the couple's only child, Louis Napoléon Eugène. The prince imperial was the last hope for a Bonapartist restoration, until he was killed by Zulu warriors while serving with the British Army in southern Africa in 1879. The following year, the grieving Empress moved into and greatly expanded Farnborough Hill, transforming it into a château where she received regular visits from her close friend, Queen Victoria. On the estate, she ordered the construction of a neo-Gothic Roman Catholic monastery, to which were invited monks of the Benedictine order from France, who were to watch over the imperial mausoleum. Named for St Michael, the monastery was made an abbey by the Pope in 1903. Remaining in Farnborough until her death in 1920, Eugénie is buried in the family crypt of the abbey alongside her husband and son.

Aviation pioneers[edit]

Statue of Samuel Cody, Farnborough Road

Farnborough got its economic breakthrough when the Army set up a balloon factory on what was then a grassy plain on the western edge of town. In 1904, the Iowa-born wild west showman Samuel Franklin Cody designed and flew his 'Army Aeroplane Number One' in what was Britain's first powered flight. Within a few years the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), as the Army balloon factory was now known, had made Farnborough its headquarters, and the grassy plain was transformed into an airfield. Cody continued to develop prototype aircraft, and became increasingly ambitious, entering competitions such as the 'Circuit of Britain' and the 'Michelin Cup'. In 1913, his luck finally ran out when his latest prototype broke up mid-flight; Cody and his unfortunate passenger were thrown to their deaths. His funeral procession was attended by 100,000 people and he is buried in Aldershot Military Cemetery.

Ever since Cody's era, the town has been synonymous with the aviation industry. Captured enemy aircraft were 'reverse engineered' in Farnborough during the Second World War, helping to give the RAF the edge over the Luftwaffe. This caused tragedy when a test pilot lost control of a Dornier Do-335 over the town and crashed into a local primary school, scattering burning debris and fuel over the schoolyard. The pilot was killed instantly, but by extremely good fortune, there were only a few minor injuries sustained by the children and their teachers. Post-war, the innovation continued. Jet engines were pioneered here in the mid-1940s, while supersonic passenger flight was successfully engineered with Concorde in the 1960s, continuing Farnborough's French connection. The RAE and airport were privatised in the 1990s, but several large aerospace and defence corporations continue to have their headquarters in the town, while the airport is now Britain's busiest for business aviation.


The first Farnborough International Airshow was held in 1948, and it has taken place every two years continuously in even-numbered years, with the exception of 2020. It is one of the largest airshows in the world, and is held over one week in the summer. FIA is primarily a civil and military trade show, facilitating trade and investment in aircraft and new technologies. It attracts a lot of press attention, usually sees the visit of high profile politicians and/or royalty, and also draws anti-arms trade and climate change protesters. The airshow ground is open to the public at the end of the week, on Saturday and Sunday. However, air displays take place every afternoon of the show, and these can easily be seen from most parts of the town.

Farnborough today[edit]

Farnborough's centre of gravity shifted away from North Camp in the 1960s, when a civic and shopping area was constructed closer to the town's geographical midpoint. The town's population of 57,000 (2019) largely stems from the post-war era, when slum clearance brought thousands of inner-city Londoners to new housing estates. Today's town centre dates from that period of questionable architectural tastes and car-centric planning. Farnborough is now firmly in the capital's commuter belt.

Since the 2000s, thousands of Nepalese people have made their home in Farnborough, Aldershot and the surrounding area, after a long campaign to give former British Gurkhas and their families the right to live in the UK. The presence of Nepali people, language, traditional dress and businesses is very noticeable.

Visitor information[edit]

Get in[edit]

Exact replica of Samuel Cody's first aeroplane, built from the same materials and following the same blueprints as the original, by FAST Museum volunteers

Farnborough is 35 miles (56 km) south-west of central London.

By car[edit]

Farnborough is served by the M3 motorway (junctions 4 and 4a) which runs from London to Southampton. The town is about an hour's drive from central London, and 15 minutes from junction 12 of the M25. The A331 Blackwater Valley Road is a fast dual carriageway running from junction 4 along the eastern edge of Farnborough and Aldershot to the A31 Hog's Back Road (which links the A3 at Guildford with Winchester).

All listed 'see' and 'do' attractions, and most of the sleep listings, have on-site or nearby parking, and visitors to the town in general won't have trouble finding a car park. The Meads multi-storey car park on Kingsmead is particularly helpful, as are the Pinehurst car parks slightly further down the same road. Less useful is the "secret car park" on the roof of Sainsbury's; since it was painted up, it has only been accessible to pedestrians, as a ramp up from the road was never built! Its 'discovery' by a reporter in 2016 prompted much derision in the national media.

By train[edit]

Farnborough is served by five railway stations, listed in decreasing order of utility:

  • 1 Farnborough Main Station, Union Street, GU14 7NL. South Western Railway services from London Waterloo ( BAK   JUB   NOR   W&C ), Clapham Junction ( MLD   WND ), Woking, Basingstoke, Winchester, and Portsmouth Harbour (). Trains depart Waterloo three times an hour Monday to Saturday and twice an hour on Sunday; the quickest trains take 35 minutes, while the slowest about an hour; count on spending around £20 for a single. Three trains per hour from Clapham Junction (one direct and two with a change in Woking) take 45 min and cost £16. Two trains per hour from Portsmouth (one direct and one with a change in Woking) take 1 hr 30 min and cost around £27. Farnborough can be reached from most other stations on the SWR network with a change at Basingstoke or Woking.
    :Main station is served by several regular bus routes, constant black cabs, and is a ½-mile (800-m) walk from the town centre.
    Farnborough (Main) railway station (Q1941502) on Wikidata Farnborough (Main) railway station on Wikipedia
  • 2 Farnborough North Station, Farnborough Street, GU14 8AQ. and 3 North Camp Station, Lynchford Road, GU12 5QA (same line). Great Western Railway trains from Reading  ELI  (28 min, £7), Guildford (15 min, £6), Redhill (1 hr, £15), and London Gatwick Airport (1 hr, £17, North Camp only).
North Camp is served by two trains per hour, and serves the area of the same name. Farnborough North only receives one train per hour, but is more convenient for the town centre - 1 mi (1.6 km) walk. Farnborough North railway station (Q2498080) on Wikidata Farnborough North railway station on Wikipedia
  • 4 Ash Vale Station, Station Approach, GU12 5LP. South Western Railway runs two trains per hour from Alton (25 min, £8), Ascot (26 min, £6.50), Farnham (10 min, £4) and London Waterloo (50 min, £17). Get a taxi to Farnborough. Ash Vale railway station (Q4774283) on Wikidata Ash Vale railway station on Wikipedia
  • 5 Frimley Station, Frimley High Street, GU16 7QH. South Western Railway services from Ascot (20 min, £5). Bus route 1 connects to Farnborough.

For longer-distance rail travellers, Reading station is a regional hub for CrossCountry trains from Oxford, the Midlands, and the North, and for GWR trains from Wales and the West Country. From here, catch an onward train to North Camp or Farnborough North. Some CrossCountry services also stop at Basingstoke, which has more frequent links to Farnborough Main.

By bus[edit]

Frequent and direct local buses serve Farnborough from Aldershot, Camberley, Fleet and a few neighbouring villages. See below for details.

By plane[edit]

Farnborough is well served by airports. For travellers coming directly to Farnborough, the closest airports are:

  • London Heathrow Airport (LHR IATA) is 25 mi (40 km) away. Drive to Farnborough via the M4, M25 and M3 motorways. Public transport options from Heathrow to Farnborough are indirect and take much longer than driving. You can either take a Rail Air bus shuttle to Woking railway station, and catch the train, or take the London Underground (Piccadilly line to Piccadilly Circus, then Bakerloo line to Waterloo) to London Waterloo and catch the train from there.
  • Southampton Airport (SOU IATA) is 45 mi (72 km) away. Drive to Farnborough via the M27 and M3 motorways. You can also catch a train 2-3 times per hour from Southampton Airport Parkway to Farnborough Main, changing at either Winchester or Basingstoke; this takes about one hour.
  • London Gatwick Airport (LGW IATA) is 46 mi (74 km) away. Drive to Farnborough via the M23, M25 and M3 motorways. Direct trains to Farnborough North and North Camp operate from Gatwick Airport station.
  • London Luton Airport (LTN IATA) is 53 mi (85 km) away. Drive to Farnborough via the M1, M25 and M3 motorways. Trains connect Luton Airport Parkway to London St Pancras International every 35 minutes. From there, take the London Underground (Victoria line to Oxford Circus, then Bakerloo line to Waterloo) to London Waterloo station.

Farnborough also has its own private airport. There are no scheduled commercial flights to and from 6 Farnborough Airport Farnborough Airport on Wikipedia (FAB  IATA); rather it is dedicated exclusively to private and business aviation. If you have the money, the sky really is the limitǃ

Get around[edit]

Farnborough is a small town and it is very easy and quick to get around on foot or by car. The town centre has lots of signs, maps and information boards for pedestrians. Parking is widely available, though you will be hard-pressed to find anything free.

By bike[edit]

Farnborough has a good network of cycle routes, the majority being either off-road or along lanes segregated from motor traffic. Some of these are shared with pedestrians, and some are reserved for bikes. There are a few unsegregated cycle lanes, but these are mostly on minor roads. Signage is comprehensive with accurate distances, though some of the signs have been vandalised and now point the wrong way, so it would be best to have a map to hand, so check out CycleStreets.

By bus[edit]

Local bus routes serve the town from 1 Kingsmead bus station in the town centre. All routes are operated by Stagecoach, though Surrey County Council publish the most informative timetables and maps.

Count on a single within Farnborough costing up to £2 and a return costing up to £4. Alternatively, you can buy a "day rider" for £6.30 or a "night rider" for £2.50; these allow for unlimited travel within the specified time and cover the whole network in the Blackwater Valley: Farnborough, Aldershot, Camberley, Farnham, Fleet, and surrounding suburbs. Pay with contactless if you can, though the driver should also accept cash. (October 2021)

All times given are the earliest and latest departures from Kingsmead:

  • 1: Camberley-Frimley-Farnborough (Main station, Kingsmead, College of Technology, North Camp)-Aldershot. Daily 5AM-midnight every 10-15 min during the day, every 30 min after 8PM.
  • 2: Farnborough (Kingsmead, Cove, Fernhill, Hawley Lane)-Frimley-Frimley Park Hospital-Heatherside-Camberley. M-F 5:50AM-8:20PM every min. Sa 7:05AM-8:20PM, every 30 min. Su 9AM-6:10PM, every hour.
  • 9: Within Farnborough (Kingsmead, Cove, Southwood). M-F 9:10AM-2:10PM. Every hour.
  • 10: Farnborough (Kingsmead, Sixth Form College, Cove)-Fleet-Church Crookham. M-F 7:35AM-5:40PM roughly every hour, Sa 8:25AM-5:25PM. every 90 min.
  • 11: Farnborough (Kingsmead, Main station, Rectory Road)-Mytchett-Frimley Green-Deepcut-Heatherside-Camberley-Frimley Park Hospital. M-F 7:50AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-6PM. Every hour.
  • 41: Frimley Park Hospital-Farnborough (North station, Highgate Lane, Kingsmead, Farnborough Park, North Camp, North Camp Station)-Ash Vale-Ash-Tongham. M-F 9:20AM-1:10PM. Every hour.
  • YoYo: Within Farnborough (Kingsmead, Cove, Cherrywood Road, Prospect Estate). M-F 5:55AM-5:45PM every 10 min, Sa 7AM-7:15PM every 15 min, Su 8:15AM-6:15PM every 30 min
(October 2021)

By taxi[edit]

Farnborough has both hackney carriages (black cabs), which can be pre-booked or hailed on the street, and minicabs, which must be pre-booked. Minicabs' fares are unregulated, so prices can be negotiated. Hackney carriage fares are regulated by the borough, and use a meter: weekday daytimes cost £3 base fare, plus £0.20 for every 150 yards (140 m) travelled. Evenings and weekends cost £3.60 base fare, plus £0.20 for every 150 yards (140 m) travelled; after 11PM, this goes up to £4.50 base fare, plus £0.30 for every 150 yards (140 m) travelled. (October 2021)


In general terms, Farnborough is not a tourist town, but there are a few sights worth seeing, especially for those interested in history.


Flight helmets through the ages at the FAST Museum
  • 1 Farnborough Air Sciences Trust Museum (FAST), Trenchard House, 85 Farnborough Road, GU14 6TF, +44 1252 375050, . Sa Su bank holiday M 10AM-4PM. Local gem dedicated to retelling Farnborough's extensive aviation history, from early balloons and canvas aircraft, through the world wars, the first jet engines, wind tunnel trials, supersonic flight and space exploration. Static aircraft on display include a Hawker Hunter, Harrier T4, Lightning, Puma and Gazelle, which you can sit inside. Or you can try your hand at flying in one of the cockpit simulators. The Cody pavilion houses a scale replica of the pioneer's first plane and an exhibition on his exciting life. However, the museum's greatest assets are its volunteers, who are genuine experts on the exhibits and are always keen (occasionally a little too keen!) to impart their knowledge. Free; donations welcome. Small shop and café on-site. FAST Museum (Q5435974) on Wikidata Farnborough Air Sciences Trust on Wikipedia

After touring the museum, you can visit the following sites on foot:

  • 2 Samuel Franklin Cody memorial (in front of the FAST Museum, on the public highway). A statue of Cody's likeness, unveiled in 2013 on the centenary of the aviator's death in a crash of one of his experimental aircraft. Samuel Franklin Cody (Q326033) on Wikidata Samuel Franklin Cody on Wikipedia
  • 3 "First Flight in the UK" memorial, Farnborough Road (450 m south of FAST Museum). The now rather mundane site of Samuel Cody's first flight is marked by a stone and plaque. You can still look across the airfield from here and admire Cody's legacy.

Many of the Royal Aircraft Establishment's buildings and structures are listed, and have been sympathetically integrated into a modern mixed-used business and residential neighbourhood beside the airport called the RAE Heritage Quarter. This area is accessed by walking 300 m north from the museum along Farnborough Rd. At the car dealership, turn left onto an unsigned road which is confirmed as O'Gorman Ave after 100 m. First along here, on both sides of the road, are three buildings that house the 4 wind tunnels. There are a couple of information panels to read, but otherwise there's not much to see, other than the clock tower on wind tunnel building Q121, Hall Rd. The FAST Museum runs guided tours of the tunnels from March to October; see below.

The airship hangar at night

Walk clockwise around Q121 to its rear, and descend a set of steps; you'll then come to the 5 National Aerospace Library. This handsome art-deco building recalls some of the glamour of early air travel, and its important archives are open to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays by appointment. Also inside is the Aviator's Café (M-F 8AM-3PM), serving coffees, cakes and sandwiches.

From outside the library, a passage between two red office buildings will get you to the quarter's central piazza, popular with lunching office workers and scootering children, and dominated by the cathedral-like metal 6 airship hangar frame. Built in 1911, this vast skeleton is a ghostly reminder of how different aviation could have been were it not for a series of catastrophic accidents in the 1930s which killed off the nascent airship industry.

Other sites around town which may be of interest:

  • 7 Scout Experimental SE5A fighter plane, Princes Mead, GU14 6YA ("Flying" above the food court in Princes Mead shopping centre), +44 1252 375520. M-Sa 9AM-5:30PM, Su 10AM-4PM. A replica of the first ever aircraft built by the RAE's factory at Farnborough. This model represents that which was flown by World War I ace pilot Edward "Mick" Hancock, who was awarded the Victoria Cross medal posthumously. You can read about his life on a small poster in the centre. Free.
  • 8 Sir Frank Whittle memorial (on A327 Ively Road roundabout, outside the main entrance to the airport). A sculpture of Whittle's Gloster Meteor, a pioneering jet aircraft created at the RAE. See the original plane in London's Science Museum. Frank Whittle (Q312547) on Wikidata Frank Whittle on Wikipedia
  • 9 Watch the planes coming and going (the best spot is by the iron bridge on Laffans Road, just off the A323). For aviation enthusiasts, there is always something interesting going on around the airport. A loyal band of spotters can usually be found there on most days, often with their car radios tuned into air traffic control, and always open to sharing their passion with like-minded visitors from near and far.

Imperial and religious history[edit]

The dome of St Michael's Abbey
  • 10 St Michael's Abbey (Abbaye Saint-Michel - Chapelle impériale), 280 Farnborough Road, GU14 7NQ (when travelling S on F'boro Rd, turn L at Abbey House, immediately after the Ham and Blackbird roundabout (close to Farnborough (Main) Railway Station); you must wait at the entrance until 2:50PM, when the gates will swing open automatically; when travelling north, go right aroud the roundabout), +44 1252 546105, . Public guided tours: Sa 3PM, private tours by appointment; mass M-Sa 8AM, Su 9AM, vespers 4:45PM; shop closed during the pandemic, but open online. Built by Empress Eugénie de Montijo in the 1880s, the abbey's main attraction is its typically French Flamboyant Neo-Gothic chapel, beneath which lie Napoleon III, his wife and their son, Louis Napoléon Eugène. The abbey is home to a small community of Benedictine (Roman Catholic) monks, and also houses a relic of St Alban. The guided tour involves a visit to the chapel, grounds and imperial crypt. The mass and vespers, sung in Latin Gregorian chant, are an unusual experience. The tiny shop stocks handmade religious memorabilia, local history books printed by the abbey press, and produce from the monks' farm. Tours £5 pp minimum donation; children free. St Michael's Abbey, Farnborough (Q943809) on Wikidata St Michael's Abbey, Farnborough on Wikipedia
  • 11 St Peter's Church, 60 Church Ave, GU14 7AP (from the smaller of the two Clockhouse roundabouts, Salisbury Road leads into Church Avenue), +44 1252 513111. This Anglican church's crypt is believed to house the remains of many of the Earls of Anglesey, and it is a pretty Norman church in its own right, probably with Saxon origins. On one of the walls inside is the damaged remains of a medieval fresco depicting Saints Agnes, Eugenia, and Mary Magdalene, which was uncovered by accident in 1880 at roughly the same time the Empress moved into Farnborough; coincidence or Divine providence? Free. Church of St Peter (Q26384898) on Wikidata

The Empress Eugénie's former home is now a private girls' school, called 12 Farnborough Hill. This is an impressive grade-I listed monument, essentially a country château mixing French neo-gothic and English mock Tudor styles. It is not open to the public at any time. The best view of the house you can get without trespassing on the estate is from a 2 footpath which runs between Ship Lane and Highgate Lane. The distance allows you to view the building in its entirety, but you can't see many of the architectural details. When the school is closed, look out for wildlife including foxes and Canada geese.


Indoor activities[edit]

  • 1 360 Play, The Meads Shopping Centre, GU14 7GL (next to Sainsbury's), +44 1252 519 738, . A giant indoor play zone for kids featuring an 8,500 sq ft soft play frame, dodgems, a carousel, a full-sized 'high street' for shop-based role play, a 'messy play' area for arts and crafts, and a café. Your kids will probably love you for it; your wallet may not. £5 registration fee per family, plus: £8.25 per child aged 1-3, £10.25 per child aged 4-12, £3.50 per accompanying adult. Babies younger than 1 enter free.
  • 2 Go-Karting (Teamsport Farnborough), 28 Invincible Road, GU14 7QU (follow yellow signs for "Indoor GoKarting" from A327 Sulzers Roundabout), +44 844 998 0000. Open every day, contact venue for times. Race electric karts at up to 65 km/h along an 800-m indoor track on two levels. For 30 minutes' race time: Adults and teens £33, children (ages 8–13) £30.
  • 3 Laser Run, Building 301, The Fairway, GU14 0LP, +44 1252 370721. Open every day, contact venue for times. Indoor laser tag arena for kids and teens. From £4.25 pp per game.
  • 4 Run-About, Building 301, The Fairway, GU14 0LP, +44 1252 370721. M–F 9:30AM–6PM; Sa Su 10AM–6PM. Indoor soft play centre for kids. Children 0–6 months old: free; 6 months–1 year old: £1.50; 1–2 years old: £3.50; 2–4 years old: £5; 4–10 years old: £6. Parents and accompanying adults: free.
  • 5 Vue Cinema, Kingsmead Shopping Centre, Queensmead, GU14 7SR, +44 871 224-0240. 8-screen multiplex cinema showing all the latest new releases. Nearly unbeatable flat price of £4.99 for any movie, any time. Vue Farnborough (Q41537252) on Wikidata

Outdoor activities[edit]

  • 6 Runways End Outdoor Centre, Laffan's Rd, Aldershot, GU11 2RE (from Queens Roundabout (the junction of A325 Farnborough Road and A3011 Lynchford Road), follow the signs), +44 1252 344421, . Offers activities such as indoor and outdoor climbing walls, an archery range, rifle shooting, orienteering, caving, and with the benefit of being next to the Basingstoke Canal, watersports such as kayaking, canoeing and raft-building. For groups, there is permanent indoor accommodation and an extensive area for camping. Prices vary.
The Gloster Meteor, one of the very first jet aircraft, was developed at Farnborough during the Second World War. Here it is seen flying at the 2014 International Airshow.
  • 7 Watersports at Hawley Lake, Gibraltar Barracks, Hawley, GU17 9LP (2 minutes' drive from M3 junction 4a, just off the A327 Minley Road), +44 1252 863341. Offers a wide range of watersports courses: canoeing, dinghy sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and powerboating, for adults, children, families and groups. Course lengths vary but one-day taster sessions are offered. Taster sessions £32 for 2 hours 30 minutes; other prices vary.

Parks and greenspace[edit]

All but one of these are owned and managed by the borough's parks department, +44 1252 398 399.

  • 8 Cove Green, Prospect Road, GU14 0EE (½-mile (800-m) walk west of town centre, and the same distance from Main station. Buses 2 and 9 serve the south side of the green (Cove Road). Limited parking.). 24 hours daily. Cove's village green is mostly a flat expanse of grass for ball games, exercise and picnics, but it also has a children's playground and free tennis courts. A popular place to watch the airshow for free; if you do so, arrive on foot or by public transport.
  • 9 The Jamaican Story Garden, 13 Orchard Road, GU14 7PR (on the east side of Cove Green), . mid Spring-late summer daily dawn-dusk; just walk around at your leisure Café: Jul-Aug Sa Su by reservation. Homeowners Jonathan and Andreas have created a rather spellbinding miniature garden in front of their house. Hidden amongst the tropical plants is a model village depicting an idealised version of Nanny Town, where escaped slaves sought refuge from the British in the mountains of Jamaica. There are lots of hidden details that kids love to spot, from a venus fly trap and newts in the 'river', to a giant spider and stick men enjoying various activities. In summer, they open an outdoor pop-up café in the South East Asian-themed back garden, serving inventive drinks, cakes and lunches. Free. Café items £2-5, high tea £21.50.
  • 10 King George V Playing Fields, Sycamore Road, GU14 6PQ (1 mile (1.6 km) south-east of town centre. Bus 41 to Canterbury Road. Parking off Sycamore Road.). 24 hours daily. Extensive open space which hosts a number of events throughout the year, including Farnborough's famous donkey derby. Three football pitches, a cricket pitch and bowling green. Large playground.
  • 11 Queen Elizabeth Park, Cabrol Road, GU14 8NY (½-mile (800 m) walk north of town centre and close to Main station. Buses 1 or 10 to Napoleon Avenue / Empress Avenue stops; parking off Farnborough Road and Cabrol Road). 24 hours daily, but car parks open dawn to dusk. The last vestige of Windsor Forest in Farnborough was once part of Farnborough Hill Estate; Empress Eugénie used to call it Compiègne Wood after the royal estate in France. There are plenty of beautiful mature trees and rhododendron shrubs which flower in spring. Lots of wildlife including foxes, buzzards, red kites, woodpeckers and common garden birds. Small pond, play area, and children's climbing wall near the Cabrol Road end.
  • 12 Southwood Country Park, Ively Road, GU14 0LJ (parking areas off Ively Road or Kennels Lane; Bus 9 serves Links Way, from where you'll have to double back on foot to the park entrance by the leisure centre; walking route from town centre is about 1½ miles (2.4 km) to edge of park via Victoria Road and Cove Road). 24 hours daily. 220 acres (89 hectares) of greenspace linked together in 2019. The easternmost part, known as Rafborough Marshes, is mixed wetland and woodland at the source of Cove Brook. Straddling Ively Road is a former golf course which has been converted into parkland. West of this area is the deciduous Southwood Woodland, mostly of birch and oak, but with some clearings where heather prospers. The whole park has a multitude of wildlife, including deer, badgers, nationally-rare insects, reptiles and amphibians.


Volunteer experts from the FAST Museum run guided visits to some of the unique aviation heritage. With limited numbers of visitors allowed on each tour, reservation is essential.

  • 13 The Farnborough Centrifuge, Centrifuge Way, GU14 6GF (directions and rendezvous instructions are sent once your booking is confirmed), +44 1252 375050, . By appointment, but check website for events like the Heritage Open Days in Sep.. Grade II-listed centrifuge which was operated by the RAF for medical research into the effects of g-force on the human body from 1955 to 2019. The 2-hour tour is led by a retired research scientist and test subject, who explains in detail the purpose of the research, some of their findings, and their first-hand experiences, with the visual help of the facility's equipment and archive footage. £15 per person, £25 per couple, including souvenir booklet.
  • 14 Wind Tunnels, Hall Road, GU14 7EP (Rendezvous in front of Building R52), +44 1252 375050, . Mar-Oct Th 9:45AM, 1:45PM. Booking essential.. Guided visit to two of Farnborough's listed wind tunnels: enormous structures which allowed the RAE to test the performance of its prototype aircraft in lab conditions, from 1931 to 1994. On the talk, you'll hear about how they were built and what research they contributed, particularly during the second world war and in the supersonic jet age. £20 per person, including souvenir booklet.


  • 15 Farnborough International Airshow (free shuttle buses operate from Farnborough Main, North Camp and Aldershot railway stations). late July. The airshow is held in Farnborough Airport for one week every two years. Public days are the last weekend only, although there are many locations around town to watch the displays all week. Local pubs' beer gardens, such as The Swan and The Alexandra are good places to try, as are parks such as Cove Green and Southwood Pavilion. On-site, static exhibits cover civilian and military aircraft, as well as innovation in technology and scientific discovery. The afternoon's 5 hour flying display of modern and heritage aircraft is of course the main attraction, climaxing in the stunning RAF display team the "Red Arrows". You can also visit town during the so-called "validation week", which normally lasts a week to ten days before the show officially opens, although flying display times are unpredictable and often repetitive. Farnborough Airshow (Q1396967) on Wikidata Farnborough Airshow on Wikipedia
  • 16 Farnborough Donkey Derby, King George V Playing Fields, Sycamore Road, GU14 6PQ. late May or early June. Farnborough's annual Donkey Derby is held every Spring Bank Holiday. In addition to the signature donkey races, be prepared for campy British summertime entertainment: music, dancing, dog and baby shows, fairground attractions and rides. Jolly good fun, and all in the name of charity; the Rotary Club organisers usually raise thousands of pounds for worthy causes every year. Adults £2; Children £1.
  • 17 Organ recitals at the abbey, St Michael's Abbey, 280 Farnborough Road, GU14 7NQ. Annual series of six summer concerts, first Sunday of the month between May and October, and a special Advent concert. The Cavaillé-Coll organ is played by either resident organist Neil Wright or a guest recitalist. Free, church collection.


Farnborough has a high concentration of science and technology firms, and is a frequent destination for business travel. Macquarie Infrastructure operates the airport, while Farnborough International are responsible for the airshow and a large events venue. Defence corporations BAE Systems and QinetiQ both have their world headquarters here, and BMW has its UK HQ in the town. The government's Air Accident and Rail Accident Investigation Branches (AAIB/RAIB) are based on the edge of the airfield. Other major employers include Autodesk, FlightSafety, Fluor, Gulfstream, Syneos Health, Qualcomm, and Zurich.


The town centre is reasonably well-equipped with high street chains and supermarkets, but it has a smaller range of shops than might be expected for a town its size. Built between the 1960s and the present day, with some parts still a literal construction site, the result is a depressingly ugly mix of indoor shopping malls (Kingsmead and Princes Mead), pedestrianised high street (Queensmead) and retail parks.

  • 1 Farnborough Market, Queensmead. Tu F 9AM-4PM. Colourful street market with a variety of stalls selling fruit and veg, meat, cheese, bread and pastries, clothing and carpets. Free.
  • 2 Pinehurst car-boot sale, Pinehurst car park. Su 8:30AM–1:30PM. British version of a yard sale, selling knickknacks and bits of potentially-valuable junk. Early buyers' admission: (8:30–9:30AM) £5; normal admission (after 9:30AM): £0.50; under 16s and concessions: free.
  • 3 Farnborough Craft Fayre, Queensmead. 3rd Sa of every month 9AM-4PM. Handmade bags, needle work, jewellery, knitwear, candles and more. Free.

In the south of Farnborough, the suburb of North Camp has a varied selection of independent specialist shops, including bakeries, butchers, delicatessens, book shops, and sports and outdoor equipment stores.

For a more complete shopping experience, the nearby town of Camberley is more promising, and slightly further afield Basingstoke, Guildford, Kingston upon Thames, Reading and Woking are the leading regional shopping centres, central London notwithstanding.


  • 4 ASDA, Westmead, GU14 7LT. M-F 7AM-midnight, Sa 7AM-10PM, Su 10AM-4PM. Hypermarket.
  • 5 Morrisons, Summit Avenue, Southwood, GU14 0NA. M–Sa 7AM–10PM, Su 10AM–4PM. Convenient for travellers staying in Cove or Southwood. Equipped with a petrol station.
  • 6 Sainsbury's, 6 Queensmead, GU14 7GL. M–F 7AM–11PM, Sa 7AM–10PM, Su 11AM–5PM. Handy for town centre hotels.


North-East Hampshire is the place to try Nepalese food in Britain, being home to around 10,000 Nepali people. The town also has a good choice of independent restaurants and cafés to suit any taste or budget and, with some exceptions, is mercifully free of the chain restaurants found everywhere else (if you're looking for the likes of Pizza Express or Nando's, go to Aldershot). Some pubs listed in the 'drink' section also serve food, but are primarily known as drinking establishments.


You will find most of the usual selection of chain coffee shops and fast food, but below are some independent budget eateries worth your time:

  • 1 Daisy's Cafe, 86 Queens Road, GU14 6JR, +44 1252 447122. M–Sa 7AM–4PM, Su 8AM–4PM. Super-friendly greasy spoon, serving delicious Turkish-influenced fried food in outrageously big portions. Consistently busy, with speedy service. Breakfasts about £7.
  • 2 Good Taste, 76 Queensmead, GU14 7SB, +44 1252 266164. M–Sa;9AM–3PM; Su 10AM–3PM. Local small chain bakery. The bread, pastries and coffee are nice, but the sandwich fillings are poor.
  • 3 The Gallery, Farnborough College of Technology, Boundary Road, GU14 6SB, +44 1252 407 171, . M Tu noon-2:30PM, Th 6-8:30PM. Cheap fine dining courtesy of FCOT's catering and hospitality students. Young chefs and waiters get to hone their skills on you, and you get to dine on scallops and venison for peanuts. 3-course lunch £16, 5-course dinner £25.
  • 4 The Triangle, 64 Kingsmead, GU14 7SR (inside The Meads shopping mall), +44 1252 519172, +44 7436 274107 (mobile), . M&ndashF 9:30AM–3PM, Sa 9:30AM–4PM. Welcoming Christian bookshop with a cafe at the front, serving cakes and ice cream, plus homemade soups, salads, and hot meals such as chilli and cauliflower cheese. Takeaway available.
  • 5 The Tea Shop Around The Corner, 40 Camp Road, GU14 6EP, +44 1252 522444, . M–Sa 9AM–4PM; Su 10AM–2PM. Floral tablecloths and china cups abound in this cute North Camp tearoom serving all the classics: scones, cakes, sandwiches and light meals. Meals £5-8.


Sel roti, a Nepalese rice cake / doughnut.
  • 6 Dolce Italia, 47A Peabody Road, GU14 6EB, +44 1252 510604. M–Sa 6–10PM. This family-owned restaurant serves real Italian food just like Nonna used to make. The dated interior is more than offset by the friendly welcome. Takeaway available. Mains £11-17.
  • 7 Everest Tandoori, 69 Lynchford Road, GU14 6EJ, +44 1252 371363, . M&bdash;Sa 5ː30–10PM. Nepalese and Indian restaurant which offers an aromatic mix of the familiar and unexpected. A firm favourite with locals, so you can try something new with confidence. Takeaway and delivery available. Mains £10-14.
  • 8 Gurkha Palace, 78 Farnborough Road, GU14 6TH (opposite the FAST Museum), +44 1252 511550, . M–Th 6–10ː30PM, F–Su 5ː30–10ː30PM. Nepalese cuisine amidst decoration inspired by the Brigade of Gurkhas, who have deep roots in the area. Booking recommended. Takeaway and delivery available. Mains £10-15.
  • 9 Il Colosseo, 18 Alexandra Road, GU14 6DA, +44 1252 517511, . M–Sa 6–10PM. Email via online contact form. Chef Antonio prepares regional dishes from his native southern Italy. Quite smart décor, with columns, large windows and chandeliers. Takeaway available. Mains £11-27.
  • 10 Malacca, 94 Reading Road, GU14 6NL (in the middle of a residential area; follow brown signs from St Mark's Church roundabout), +44 1252 545496. M–Sa 6–11PM. Pan-Asian cooking, specialising in Malaysian and Thai food. Diners generally share several small plates. One of Farnborough's best-loved restaurants, so don't be put off by their woeful online presence. Menu items £6-11.
  • 11 The Crab & Anchor, Links Way, GU14 0NA (behind Morrisons), +44 1252 378388, . Tu–Sa noon–11PM, Su noon–10:30PM. Great British pub grub served alongside international favourites. All food is freshly prepared to order, so service can be slower than the average pub. Despite a weird location, the place is popular with travellers and locals, so booking is recommended. Mains £12–30.
  • 12 The Snow Goose, 135 Fernhill Road, GU14 9DX, +44 1252 545 694, . M–Sa noon–9PM, Su 10AM–4PM (food); M–Th 11AM–11PM, F Sa 11AM–midnight, Su noon–10:30PM (bar). Family- and pet-friendly pub with a great selection of traditional meat dishes, including Hampshire pork chops and sausages. Two gardens, of which the family one is home to pigs, rabbits and a golden retriever called Russell. Mains £9–17.
  • 13 The Swan, 91 Farnborough Road, GU14 6TL (next to FAST Museum), +44 1252 510920, . W–F 5PM–11:45PM, Sa Su noon–11:45PM (bar only; kitchen times differ). Gastropub serving seasonal and locally-produced British food. Very smart beer garden with views of incoming planes and a prime spot for the airshow. Beware of the changeable and inconsistent opening hours. Mains: £15–20.


  • 14 The Aviator Brasserie, The Aviator Hotel, 55 Farnborough Road, GU14 6EL, +44 1252 555 890. Lunch: M–F noon–2PM, Su 12:30–3PM; afternoon tea: daily 2–5PM; dinner: daily 6–10PM. Email via online contact form. The only "full-whack" fine dining restaurant in town serves seasonal British and European cuisine. Many dishes use local produce, all are well-prepared and are of impressive quality. The Brasserie (main restaurant) and Sky Bar (afternoon teas) offer an intimate setting in low light, while the Terrace offers outdoor seating with sweeping airport views during the warmer months. À la carte mains £19–£32, three-course dinner set menu £35, Sunday lunch £35, afternoon tea £30, £40 with champagne, special steak dinner for two £75.


Farnborough is something of a ghost town after dark, despite the cinema and great restaurant selection bringing in extra evening footfall. Visitors looking for proper nightlife are advised to head into London. The glittering lights of the wallet-munching West End are only 45 minutes away on the train and Tube, after all. The last train home leaves Waterloo just after 1AM, though true night owls will hold out for the first morning service at 5:30AM!

For those content with a quieter evening, Farnborough does offer a selection of decent pubs and bars, many of which hum with locals on weekend nights. If nothing else, you will find a proper pint and good conversation.

  • 1 Aviator Sky Bar, Aviator Hotel, 55 Farnborough Road, GU14 6EL, +44 1252 555890. M–F 8AM–late; Sa Su 10:30&AMndash;late. Stylish lounge bar for classic and original cocktails. Cocktails £10-13.
  • 2 The Alexandra (The Alex), 74 Victoria Road, GU14 7PH, +44 1252 519964, . M–Th noon–11PM, F Sa noon–midnight, Su noon–10:30PM. Traditional red brick pub with jukebox, beer garden and bar food served lunchtimes. Poker and quiz nights during week, with live music every Friday night..
  • 3 The Elephant & Castle, 107 Lynchford Road, GU14 6ET, +44 1252 932703. Daily 10AM-11PM, Sa Su midnight. Cheaper than the North Camp five doors down, with a long room squeezed next to the bar. Large gin and lager selection, and sports on the telly.
  • 4 The North Camp, 95 Lynchford Road, GU14 6ET, +44 1252 510181. M–Sa noon–11:30PM, Su 11:30AM–10:30PM. Sports-oriented pub that's actually rather smart inside, and has an above-average selection of cocktails (for Farnborough). Has pool table and jukebox, but the "beer garden" is just a couple of tables on the pavement.
  • 5 The Prince of Wales, 184 Rectory Road, GU14 8AL, +44 1252 545578, . M–Th 3–11PM, F Sa noon–11PM; Su noon–10:30PM. CAMRA award-winning free house with good real ales and craft lagers. Hasn't served food since lockdown. Sporadic live music and quiz evenings.
  • 6 The Squirrel, 125 Park Road, GU14 6LR, +44 1252 523980, . Daily 11AM–11PM, Th–Sa midnight. Quiet locals' pub with beer garden and quite extensive food menus, including weekday set menus for £11/14 (2/3 courses). Large gin menu, including gin of the month, and a rotating selection of real ales.
  • 7 The Thatched Cottage (The Thatch), 122 Prospect Rd, GU14 8NU, +44 1252 444180, . Daily noon–11:30PM, F Sa 12:30AM. 16th-century former pottery, now a free house serving a range of local real ales, ciders and gins, and decent pub grub (see kitchen times here). Very rustic and cosy front half with a modern back room and large beer garden.
  • 8 The Tilly Shilling, The Meads, Victoria Road, GU14 7PG, +44 1252 893560. Daily 8AM–midnight, F Sa 1AM. A large JD Wetherspoon pub named for Beatrice Shilling, an aeronautical engineer who worked at Farnborough during the Second World War, repairing fighter planes. The pub retains an aviation ambiance. Meals and bar snacks available.


Room with a view: some hotels and guesthouses afford panoramas over the airport

Farnborough is a common destination for business travellers, and is a well-connected location for exploring London and the South East (see below), so has a strong and varied accommodation base. Rooms are most in demand in the weeks before, during and after the airshow.


  • 1 Colebrook Guest House, 56 Netley St, GU14 6AT, +44 1252 542269. Check-in: 1PM, check-out: 10AM. Victorian villa on residential street. Rooms are small, but cosy with free Wi-Fi and en-suite. If the four-course cooked breakfast isn't enough, there are packed lunches available on request. Some rooms are only available for two nights minimum. Doubles £75/night. Dogs welcome £5/night.
  • 2 Melford House, 17-19 Church Ave, GU14 7AT, +44 1252 242400, +44 7920 153452 (mobile). Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11:30AM. Very homely B&B in a quiet, detached 1920s house with gardens, licensed bar and friendly hosts. Rooms have independent character and free Wi-Fi. Breakfast included, supper available for extra. B&B doubles £96.
  • 3 Premier Inn Farnborough Town Centre, 3 Kingsmead, GU14 7SJ, +44 333 321 9425. Modern town centre branch of the reliable budget chain. Rooms are insulated from road noise. Free Wi-Fi, air conditioning. Beefeater restaurant on-site. Parking available offsite, pay and display. £50–£110. Breakfast £10.
  • 4 Premier Inn Farnborough West (Southwood), 101 Ively Road, GU14 0JP, +44 333 777 7939. Older, suburban branch. Free wifi, Brewers Fayre restaurant (breakfast and dinner) next door. £50–£110. Breakfast £10.
  • 5 SACO Aparthotel, 2 Victoria Road, GU14 7GX, +44 330 202 0505. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. In a converted office building, with onsite parking. Well-supplied with essentials (milk, laundry detergent, etc.), with fully-equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. No pets. Road noise is noticeable during the day. Studio flat from £66/night, one bedroom flat from £70/night.
  • 6 Silverdale Guest House, 68 Alexandra Road, GU14 6DD, +44 1252 541891, . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 10AM. Edwardian townhouse bed and breakfast. Free Wi-Fi, TV and DVD in room, communal lounge and kitchen, free off-street parking. Continental breakfast. B&B doubles from £60/night.
  • 7 Travelodge Fleet, Cove Road, Fleet GU51 2SH, +44 8715 591821. Check-in: 3PM; early check in available, check-out: noon; late check out available. At a small service station on the western edge of Farnborough, and cheaper than the central Travelodge. Steakhouse and coffee shop in services. Pay extra and book in advance for a rather depressing "breakfast box". Pay for Wi-Fi. Free parking. £30–£80/night.


  • 8 Airport Lodge, 110 Farnborough Road, GU14 6TN, +44 1252 692955, +44 7834 722868 (mobile), . Small B&B overlooking the airport. Free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee. Fridge and en-suite in each room. Continental breakfast and basic communal kitchen. Free off-street parking. B&B doubles £150 for two-night minimum stay.
  • 9 Falcon Hotel, 68 Farnborough Road, GU14 6TH, +44 1252 545378, . Independent hotel with 30 comfy bedrooms, though décor is outdated. Lobby bar, Wi-Fi, airport views. Free off-street parking. Full English and continental breakfast. No lunch or dinner, but close to restaurants. B&B doubles £90–150/night.
  • 10 Holiday Inn (Queen's Hotel), Lynchford Road, GU14 6AZ (On Queen's Roundabout), +44 1252 859200. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Online chat available on website. A grand Victorian hotel offering the standard Holiday Inn experience across 142 rooms: free Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, and health club with swimming pool, steam room and gym. Restaurant on site, where kids eat free. Two accessible rooms. Pets £15/stay. B&B doubles from £100–150/night.
  • 11 Travelodge Farnborough Central, Victoria Road, GU14 9RQ, +44 871 984 6423. Check-in: 3PM; early check in available, check-out: noon; late check out available. Town centre branch of the budget hotel chain. Hotel warns there may be road noise. Breakfast and dinner available in on-site restaurant. Pay for Wi-Fi. Parking available offsite, pay and display. £130/night.
  • 12 Village Hotel Farnborough, Pinehurst Road, GU14 7BF, +44 871 222 4590, . Large and modern hotel with free Sky TV and Wi-Fi in all rooms. On-site pub and grill (see 'eat' section), plus meeting rooms and coworking space. Pay an extra £5 for access to the gym and swimming pool - these are not exclusive to hotel guests so can get busy with locals. Hotel is wheelchair accessible. B&B doubles £90–200/night.


  • 13 The Aviator, 55 Farnborough Road, GU14 6EL, +44 1252 555890. Email via online contact form. Contemporary luxury hotel with sweeping views over the airfield. Has tempting offers for couples, groups and business travellers. On-site gym, two restaurants (see 'eat' section for brasserie) and bar (see 'drink' section). Facial and body treatments available. Free off-street parking. B&B doubles: room from £170/night, studio from £270/night, suite from £370/night.

Unusual options[edit]

  • 14 Runway's End Outdoor Centre, 1 Forge Lane, Aldershot GU11 2RE (from Queen's Roundabout, follow the signs), +44 1252 344421, . The outdoor centre has catered and self-catering accommodation, in a 12-room and in 4-person camping pods. There is also a large campsite for tents. Toilets, showers and washing-up facilities provided. All the activities listed in the 'do' section of this page are available. These facilities are aimed at groups, especially school and youth groups, but other groups are welcome. Booking is essential.
  • 15 Live with monks at St Michael's Abbey, . Male visitors may stay in the monastery and share the Benedictine monks' daily lives and worship. Separate self-catering accommodation exists for female visitors and families. No long-term retreats are offered, but visits may last up to several days. All such visits must be pre-negotiated and are entirely at the discretion of the monks themselves - write to the guest master.



Farnborough's area code for landline numbers is 01252 when dialled from within the UK or +44 1252 from outside the UK. Calls made from one local landline to another do not require the area code to connect.

Local information[edit]

  • 3 Farnborough Library, Pinehurst, GU14 7JZ, +44 300 555 1387. M 9:30AM–5PM, Tu 9:30AM–1:30PM, W–Sa 9:30AM–5PM, Su closed. The municipal library offers computers, printing and photocopying facilities, free Wi-Fi, and a quiet place to sit and read. Tourist information, including brochures for local attractions, is available. The FAB Café, staffed by young adults with learning disabilities, serves good coffee, cake and sausage rolls. Farnborough Library (Q55121758) on Wikidata
  • 4 Rushmoor Borough Council, Council Offices, Farnborough Road, GU14 7JU, +44 1252 398399, . M–Th 8:30AM–4:30PM, F 8:30AM–4PM, Sa Su closed. The local government authority for Farnborough and neighbouring town Aldershot.


Churches for most Christian denominations are present in Farnborough. Camberley has the nearest mosque, while Aldershot hosts Buddhist and Hindu temples. The nearest synagogue is in Guildford.

Go next[edit]

If you're exploring South East England, Farnborough is a great place to base yourself. All the towns and attractions listed below are within 30 miles of Farnborough (with one obvious exception!), and many are a lot closer.

Immediate vicinity[edit]

  • Aldershot, Farnborough's immediate neighbour to the south, is the natural next port of call. The "home of the British Army" is home to two military museums, an artificial ski slope and a lido, as well as Rushmoor's two theatres.
  • Camberley, the neighbouring town to the north with a wider range of shops, the Royal Logistics Corps Museum and the popular canal-side Frimley Lodge Park.
  • Farnham, an historic market town with an attractive selection of independent shops and a castle. Just to the south is avian zoo Birdworld.
  • Fleet, the neighbouring town to the west, has the 28-ha Fleet Pond and surrounding nature reserve.
  • Guildford, the nearby county town of Surrey has the newest Anglican cathedral in Britain, an art deco masterpiece dating from the 1930s.
  • Odiham, a small Georgian market town surrounded by pretty countryside and a castle which was once besieged by the French.
  • Sandhurst, a village whose name is synonymous with military prestige, as it is where all British Army officers receive initial training.
  • Woking, another commuter town like Farnborough with its own sights, including the oldest mosque in Britain.
  • Brookwood Cemetery, a vast civilian and military cemetery with potentially hours of interest. One stop on the train from Farnborough Main and the south exit of Brookwood station leads directly into the cemetery.

Further afield[edit]

  • London is impossible to sum up in a sentence, and impossible to miss out when you're this close.
  • Alton is a pretty mid-Hants market town, start of the Watercress Line steam railway, and near to the homes of Jane Austen and Gilbert White.
  • Ascot is perfect for a day at the races, with the annual highlight being Royal Ascot.
  • Hampton Court Palace is often compared unfavourably to Versailles - by fools overlooking the magnificent 500-year-old royal palace in front of them!
  • The South Downs National Park's rolling chalk hills are south of Farnham.
  • Winchester, the ancient cathedral city of King Alfred the Great.
  • Windsor, home to the famous royal castle and expansive Great Park. Nearby Eton is home to the prestigious boys' school, while Runnymede was the island where King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta.
  • A trio of theme parks: Chessington World of Adventures, Legoland and Thorpe Park
  • Tons of fine gardens and stately homes: RHS Wisley, Clandon Park, Hatchlands Park, Leith Hill, Loseley and Painshill (all near Guildford), Bushy Park (Kingston-upon-Thames), Ham House, Richmond Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew), The Vyne (Tadley), Highclere Castle (north Hampshire, near Newbury), Valley Gardens and Savill Garden (Windsor Great Park).
  • Oberursel, Farnborough's German twin town, is a medieval gem near Frankfurt.
Routes through Farnborough
SouthamptonBasingstoke  W M3 Motorway E  AscotLondon
ReadingCamberley  N Blackwater Valley Road S  AldershotFarnham
BasingstokeFleet  W National Rail: South Western Railway E  WokingLondon Waterloo
ReadingSandhurst  N National Rail: Great Western Railway S  GuildfordLondon Gatwick Airport

This city travel guide to Farnborough is a star article. It is a high-quality article complete with maps, photos, and great information. If you know of something that has changed, please plunge forward and help it grow!