Castle Donnington Travel Guide

  • The legend that is Kevin Schwantz...
    The legend that is Kevin Schwantz...
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  • Things to Do
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  • Things to Do
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Castle Donnington Things to Do

  • Donington Park Exhibition Centre...

    As well as the international racing circuit & GP Collection, the Donington Park complex includes a specialist exhibition centre, whcih is for private hire to companies & organisations, many of which chose the site because of its motor sports heritage...All sorts of events take place both inside & outside the exhibition centre, including car & bike...

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  • The Donington Grand Prix Collection...

    The Donington Grand Prix Collection is the largest display of former F1 single seater racers in the world - & that is a fact!130+exhibits are packed into 5 halls, surrounded by flags, racing signs & graphics, & period photo's taken during the circuits proudest moments when it held GP-status races in the 1930's, & again in 1993In overhead, plan...

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  • Thatched Cottages in the general area

    There are many houses/cottages in the general area of Castle Donington that are thatched.These are great to see.If you are lucky you may see one that has a thatched fox included on the ridge of the roof, a specific thatchers trademark - looks stunningThe designs the thatchers come up with can be stunning

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Castle Donnington Transportation

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    by arturowan Written Dec 4, 2014

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    East Midlands International first opened in April 1965
    It was built on the former RAF Castle Donington station, which was decommissioned in 1946
    It has since become the largest UK airport handling cargo, outside of London Heathrow & has a major DHL Aviation warehouse on site...
    EMA was the first major UK airport to be privatised, & now belongs to the NATIONAL EXPRESS Group...
    There are nearly 100 choices of destination to fly to & EMA now handles 4-million+ passengers annually...
    British Midlands International were originally based @ EMA, but moved to nearby Donington Hall in 1982
    As well as serving as the regional airport for the East Midlands, there is also an Aeropark on the north-western corner of the site run by volunteers...
    The Aeropark is where the WWII Romney Building is located, having been brought over from RAF Hereford, it now houses aircraft parts & acts a restoration facility, as well as a display area for aviation relics & models...
    There are several examples of both civilian & military, fixed-wing & rotary aircraft on static display in a field with picnic tables; most notably a Cold War Avro Vulcan bomber...
    Aeropark opening times; 10:30 - 17:00 Sundays (also Thursdays & Saturdays during BST...)
    Admission = £3 single / £25 group
    Departure lounge; bureau de change; duty-free shopping arcade; cafes & take-aways open 24/7
    EMA is an official stop & booking office with NATIONAL EXPRESS with direct links to other airports, including London Heathrow...
    Local bus operators who serve the airport are Kirchbus & Trent Barton...

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Luxury Travel
    • Family Travel

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Castle Donnington Off The Beaten Path

  • National Trust Property - Sudbury Hall

    Visiting National Trust properties is always an enjoyable outing if you like that style of thing.Sudbury Hall is well worth a visit. There is also the local church (free to visit) in the grounds.Again a good collection of art and furniture.

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  • National Trust property - Calke Abbey

    Visiting National Trust properties is always an enjoyable outing if you like that style of thing.The site was an Augustinian priory from the 12th century until its dissolution by Henry VIII. The present building, named Calke Abbey in 1808, was never actually an abbey, but is a Baroque mansion built between 1701 and 1704.The house was owned by the...

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Castle Donnington Sports & Outdoors

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    by arturowan Updated Nov 19, 2014

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    "The heart & soul of British Motorsport..."
    I have visited Donington Park more than any other motor racing circuit, & thoroughly recommend the facility to any spectator...
    From the infield @ McLeans, you can watch an on-track battle around the entire club circuit...
    The short, straight after McLeans corner, leads into a tricky double-apex bend, Coppice Curve - it is good advice to spectate from the outside, as many competitors accelerate too soon after the first-apex, only to straightline directly into the gravel trap...
    The addition of the Melbourne Loop is not the most interesting section of the circuit, but drivers who turn in too soon on the loop, sometimes lift 2 wheels into the air, while the 180-degree bend leading onto the back straight has seen many last lap manouevres to take the lead...
    Any spectator at Donington Park needs to spend time along the Craner Curves - the downhill switchback S-bend, where cars have been known to lift-off when they need to be braking for the 0ld Hairpin, as Nigel Mansell once found out to his cost during a touring car race...
    Donington Park always offers full entertainment between action, often involving flyovers by the RAF or Royal Navy helicopters...
    Donington Park held 2 GP-status races in the 1930's, when the state-funded German teams of Auto-Union & Mercedes-Benz dominated proceedings with their technically advanced single seaters, at least a decade ahead of their time...
    When local builder, Tom Wheatcroft, bought the derelict circuit in the 1970's, his primary dream was to stage F1
    In 1985 he added a hairpin behind the pit/paddock area, in order to increase circuit distance, & make Donington Park more viable as an international facility - the Melbourne Straight/Loop...
    (If you want to see footage of the original Donington Park, before it was redeveloped by Tom Wheatcroft, then watch the David Essex movie - Silver Dream Racer...)
    His dream came true in 1993, when a race planned to be held in Japan, failed to meet FIA circuit standards, meaning that Donington Park was given an 11th hour opportunity to prove itself...
    The race went into F1 legend, held in April during a wet weekend, it is best remembered for the late Ayrton Senna overtaking several cars on the first lap, to blast away into an unassailable lead...
    Today, Brazil's enigmatic hero is remebered on site by a bronze statue paid for by fans of the circuit...
    But, there is more to Donington Park than F1 - which never returned to the circuit, after criticism of its tight, twisty layout, with lack of run-off areas - a factor that also caused Brands Hatch to lose the British GP...
    Donington Park stages all categories of British club racing, & I have spectated all of them over various meetings, the most outstanding being DTM, & the meeting of the Vintage & Sports Car club...
    The circuit also stages international-status events, & though it has lost the Moto-GP to rival Silverstone, it still hosts British Superbikes, as well as;
    British Touring Car Championship
    British F3
    Euro F3
    DTM (German Touring Cars)
    British Truck Racing Championship
    Admission prices depend on status of meeting, but as with most UK motor sports, are an absolute bargain compared to other sports...

    Pedal-power... Vintage & Sports Car Club... The challenging Craner Curves... Melbourne Loop Hairpin... Classic saloons...
    Related to:
    • Motorcycle
    • Cycling
    • Road Trip

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Castle Donnington Favorites

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    by arturowan Written Nov 19, 2014

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    Favorite thing: If you feel bored at Donington Park, you really must be a numbskull!
    There is never a dull moment at this venue, unlike some tracks where the atmosphere just goes dead between races & qualifying sessions...
    Donington Park has much better spectating opportunities than many other circuits, because it is laid out around a natural depression in the ground, creating an amphitheatre...
    As well as a full programme of on-track activity, for your admission price, which is a bargain compared to other such sports, Donington Park goes out of its way in order to provide full entertainment between races, including flyovers by the RAF & RN (helicopters...)
    0n 1 occasion they staged a race between a Ford Mustang & a Westland helicopter, which came over the spectator areas so low, you could feel the air being chopped by the rotors - the car won!
    As the circuit is only 400m from the end of the runway for East Midlands Airport, there is constant air traffic taking off, so low that the landing gear is still down - always an impressive sight & sound...
    The flyovers have their own effect on the on-track action, because I have been told by an aviation mechanic that it is common for aircraft to have leaking landing gear hydraulics, & Donington Park has a reputation for being a slippery track, as Kevin Scwantz once found out to his cost, when leading the race...

    Fondest memory: The uphill, straightish-kink leading into McLeans bend, was named Schwantz Curve, the Sunday of the 1995 British Moto-GP...
    Despite not knowing about this ceremony being due to happen, I had chosen this spot on the infield from where to spectate, so saw the American motorcycling legend that is Kevin Schwantz, be given the honour of having this part of the circuit dedicated to him...
    He was presented with an 0versize red/yellow striped 0il-warning flag, by the organisers as a joke(because on 1 occasion during the Moto-GP, he fell-off while leading, & was so incensed that the marshalls were not waving this flag, he grabbed 1 from a marshalls' post, & flagged other riders himself - something a competitor is not actually entitled to do!)
    Whenever I attended Donington Park, the weather was always fine & sunny - I only remember once getting soaked, & that was in an end-of-season meeting in 0ctober - usually I got a touch of sunburn instead - very unusual for a 3-day weekend in UK...

    WWII Flyover... Starkeys Bridge... Goddards/Melbourne Loop... Craner Curves... Pit Straight...
    Related to:
    • Motorcycle
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

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