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VE Weekend : April 29 - May 1


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VE Weekend returns with fanfare to the Royal Gunpowder Mills April 29 - May 1 as the historic Waltham Abbey attraction welcomes back its flagship event, inviting visitors to join in Victory in Europe Day celebrations and remembrance.  

Over 300 military re-enactors from across the UK and Europe transform a large area of the heritage site into World War 2 scenes.  From Saturday through to Monday, a 1940’s street party re-creates the VE celebratory spirit at the Royal Gunpowder Mills, with food, singing and dancing, giving everyone an opportunity to try out 1940’s dancing, or if you like dressing up why not come in 1940’s outfits.  A variety of food will be on offer from our fantastic Gunpowder Cafe as well as the “Victory Filling Station” and outdoor BBQ.

On Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday, we are honoured by a fantastic Spitfire display overhead, and (Sunday only) the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial flypast of a MK16 Spitfire, if weather and RAF schedules allow. 

On both Sunday and Monday, on the ground, a fierce battle re-enactment is staged, ‘Operation Varsity’, one of the last battles of WW2.   

Children can get involved in the Victory festivities by making their own themed take how crafts such as luggage labels and making bunting. There’s also the test range where all types of pressure and forces can be tested with Rocket Making & Launching, Water Rockets and the Airsoft Range and special Home Front activities

For all timings please refer to the schedule below and follow social media.  Air displays are subject to weather and changes to programming.

Programme of Events

Doors open 10am, close 5pm (last entry 3pm)

Saturday, 29 April: Street party celebrations for Victory in Europe get underway, with living history displays, live singing, demonstrations, a 1940’s pub and military vehicle rides.  Military enactors are assembled on the field, and visitors can talk to the troops and gain insights into the battles and life as a soldier in WW2. During the day drills and parades and even skirmishes will be staged.

Sunday 30 April: As Saturday, plus, at 3pm, Spitfire display overhead. At approximately 3.15pm a live battle re-enactment (weather permitting). Plus, at 1.55pm, the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial flypast of a MK16 Spitfire pays tribute to VE Day.

Monday 1st May: As Saturday, plus, at 3pm, Spitfire display overhead (weather and flight programming permitting). And at approximately 3.15pm a live battle re-enactment.

Children’s activities (every day) Throughout the day: including Professor Nitrate’s Mad Lab, Science Experiments, take home crafts, rocket making and the test range, plus special fun Home Front activities led by our Education Team. 


Tickets at the door, but pre-booking ensures you have a place at this very popular show.  Visit the Eventbrite page for ticket prices including good value family tickets. 


PARKING Parking is on a first come first served basis.  For those living close by, it is easy to leave the car behind. Signposted from Waltham Abbey Town Centre and Waltham Cross station, or by cycle and footpath along the Lee Valley Park.

All flight scheduling subject to weather and flight programming.  Follow us on social media we’re @gunpowdermills on all platforms or call on 01992 707 370.

Take a look at past VE Weekends below... 


* RAF Flypass will take place on SUNDAY only.