"A little corner of England which is forever France, irreclaimably French"

-- Monsignor Ronald Knox, on St Michael's Abbey, Farnborough

Farnborough is a town in the north-eastern corner of the English county of Hampshire, adjacent to the borders with Surrey and Berkshire. Originally 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 Air Show, which has been running for over 60 years. The town is also the final resting place of deposed French Emperor Napoléon III and his wife Eugénie de Montijo.

Get in

Farnborough is 30 miles (50 kilometres) south west of Charing Cross in central London

By car

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 10 minutes from junction 12 of the M25. Other major routes which pass through or near Farnborough are the A3, A30, A31 and A331.

By train

Farnborough is served by five railway stations:

By coach

Farnborough is served by a single National Express service, route 031 between London Victoria Coach Station and Portsmouth Harbour.

By plane

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

Farnborough also has its own private airport. There are no scheduled commercial flights to and from Farnborough Airport; rather it is the base of two of the largest private jet hire companies in the UK. If you have the money, the sky really is the limitǃ

Get around

Farnborough is a small town and so it is very easy and quick to get around on foot or by car. There are a number of local bus services which serve the town from Kingsmead bus station in the town centre, the main ones being:


The dome of St Michael's Abbey


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.


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. If you are in Farnborough on a Tuesday or Sunday, be sure to check out the colourful street market held in Queensmead. For a taste of a peculiar British version of a yard sale, why not try the Sunday Car-boot Sale in Pinehurst car park?

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

For a more cosmopolitan 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.



In the Town Centre, you will find the usual selection of chain coffee shops (Starbucks and Costa) and fast food (McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Subway, Domino's and Wimpy), but below are some independent budget eateries worth your time:






Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.