What are the most comprehensive World War II aviation tours in Lincolnshire?

In the heart of England lies the historic county of Lincolnshire, a place filled with remnants of World War II history. The region is known for its significant contributions to the RAF (Royal Air Force). Today, it offers an array of experiences for those interested in aviation history. This article delves into the most comprehensive World War II aviation tours in Lincolnshire, a place that will transport you back to the bustling airfields and heroic tales of the time.

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre

The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is an immersive World War II museum located at an original RAF airfield in East Kirkby. This exceptional location is home to an original Lancaster Bomber, one of the most iconic aircraft of the World War II era.

This centre is a living memorial dedicated to the 55,500 men of Bomber Command who lost their lives during the war. Visitors have the opportunity to explore the control tower, the original wartime buildings, and experience the spine-tingling roar of the Lancaster Bomber's engines during taxi runs. The centre also offers immersive events such as 1940s themed days, air shows, and night-time Lancaster Bomber taxi experiences.

It's not just about the aircraft. The centre brings to life the human side of the story, with personal items, letters and photographs of the crew who served the RAF. A visit to the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is a poignant and deeply moving experience that pays tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of those who served in the RAF Bomber Command.

International Bomber Command Centre, Lincoln

The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) located in Lincoln provides a comprehensive tour, focusing on the role that Lincolnshire played in World War II. This centre is a testament to the individuals from 62 different nations who were involved in or affected by Bomber Command, during and after the war.

The centre's extensive digital archive allows visitors to delve into personal stories, operational records, maps, and photographs. The exhibition also features a 9.5m high Ribbon of Remembrance and the towering 31m high Spire Memorial, the UK's tallest war memorial.

An audio guide accompanies visitors throughout their tour, providing a richer understanding of the exhibits and their historical context. The IBCC also offers a beautiful view of Lincoln Cathedral, a site used by the bomber crews as a landmark on their return home.

RAF Scampton Heritage Centre

RAF Scampton served as an active airbase in both World Wars and was the home of the famous Dambusters 617 Squadron. Today, the RAF Scampton Heritage Centre invites visitors to explore its rich history.

The centre offers a guided tour which includes a visit to the iconic World War II era hangars and the command centre. Here, you can learn about the daring Dambusters raid in 1943 and see replicas of the ingenious 'bouncing bomb' they used. You can also discover the stories of the brave aircrews who served and often sacrificed their lives during the war.

The centre also provides a unique opportunity to see the Red Arrows, the RAF's world-famous aerobatic team, in action as RAF Scampton is their home base. Although the Red Arrows were formed long after World War II, their precision flying and teamwork continue the proud tradition of the RAF.

RAF Waddington Viewing Area

Just south of Lincoln is RAF Waddington, one of the RAF's busiest stations. Although not strictly a museum, the station has a dedicated viewing area where you can watch modern RAF aircraft take off and land.

While this site doesn't offer World War II aircraft sightseeing, it provides a complete experience of aviation, bridging the past and the present. The viewing area also has information boards detailing Waddington's history and its role during World War II as a heavy bomber station.

A Day Trip to London's RAF Museum

Although technically not in Lincolnshire, a visit to the RAF Museum in London can be a grand finale to your World War II aviation tour. This museum offers a comprehensive view of the RAF's history, from its formation in 1918 to the present day. It houses over 100 aircraft from around the world, including an impressive collection of World War II planes.

The museum's World War II exhibition tells the story of the RAF's role in the war, featuring iconic aircraft such as the Spitfire, Hurricane, and Lancaster Bomber. There's also the chance to experience a thrilling virtual reality mission onboard a Lancaster Bomber over Berlin.

Embarking on these comprehensive aviation tours in Lincolnshire (and a side trip to London) will allow you to walk in the footsteps of the World War II heroes, learn about their incredible stories, and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of their brave contributions to the world. Plan your visit to these aviation sites and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Lincolnshire's World War II aviation heritage.

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre, Coningsby

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) Visitor Centre is another must-visit location for World War II aviation enthusiasts. Located in Coningsby, this centre offers a close-up view of the historic aircraft operated by the BBMF – an operational unit of the RAF responsible for maintaining and showcasing the RAF's iconic warplanes.

A tour to this centre allows you to witness the Lancaster Bomber, Spitfires, Hurricanes, and Dakotas – all in flying condition. These aircraft are regular features at national celebrations and air displays, symbolising the nation's airborne past and commemorating those who have fallen in the service of this country.

The guided tour offers a unique behind-the-scenes view of the hangar, where visitors can see these majestic aircraft being maintained and prepared for flight. There's also a chance to see the Control Tower, a key feature in the wartime operations of this airfield.

Exhibits at the centre include personal mementos, photographs, and various artefacts related to the Battle of Britain and the bomber crews of World War II. The BBMF Visitor Centre is truly a living tribute to all RAF aircrew who have played their part in defending the nation since 1918.

RAF Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre

RAF Metheringham was one of the most important airfields in Lincolnshire during World War II. Today, the Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre offers a comprehensive look at the history of this site and the 106 Squadron, which was based here.

The centre includes a variety of exhibits, such as a recreation of the original 1940's Operations Room, an Air Raid Shelter, and a memorial garden for the 1,000 men from the 106 Squadron who lost their lives. There is also a wealth of information and artefacts relating to the WAAF (Women's Auxiliary Air Force), who played a crucial role in maintaining the operations at the airfield.

The museum is also home to an original Douglas Dakota IV, used extensively by the RAF during the war. The Dakota is currently undergoing restoration, providing visitors with the unique opportunity to witness an aircraft being brought back to life.


The World War II aviation tours in Lincolnshire are not just about revisiting the past; they are about understanding the courage, resilience, and sacrifice of the men and women who served in the RAF during the war. These tours offer a unique opportunity to explore the lincolnshire aviation heritage and to gain a deeper appreciation for the momentous events that took place in the skies over Lincolnshire.

From the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre in East Kirkby to the RAF Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre, each location offers a different perspective on the war. These tours offer a valuable opportunity to learn about the role of Bomber Command, the daring missions of the Dambusters, and the pivotal events of the Battle of Britain.

Whether you're a seasoned aviation enthusiast or a history buff, these comprehensive World War II aviation tours provide an unforgettable journey through a significant chapter in our history. So why wait? Embark on your unique journey today and immerse yourself in the rich and vibrant aviation history of Lincolnshire.

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