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New Bomber Command Centre & Top Aviation History Sites in Lincolnshire
With the 100th Anniversary of the RAF, as well as the opening of the new International Bomber Command Centre, 2018 is set to be a truly special commemorative year for Lincolnshire. Indeed, whether you have a personal or family connection, or simply wish to visit and learn more about the region's role in aviation history, there has never been a better time to visit.
As for the historic places to visit and sites of interest dotted around Lincolnshire, these are many and varied. They range from huge, established collections and former bases, to smaller but equally fascinating museums and memorials. Many visitor attractions are open year round, while other events and seasonal offers are well worth looking out for. Currently, we are offering our own RAF Centenary Special deal, which includes great food and a free transfer to the newly opened Bomber Command Centre!
Here are just some of the fantastic historic sites to visit on your next visit to "Bomber County" Lincolnshire:
International Bomber Command Centre
After its grand opening in 2018, the IBCC stands as a wonderful testament to Bomber Command (Images: International BC Facebook)
After a mammoth effort to bring this landmark project together for opening in January 2018, International Bomber Command Centre provides a moving, beautifully realised experience of living history. The spire is a stirring sight in itself as Britain's tallest war memorial, while the Chadwick Centre offers state of the art exhibits, artefacts and –perhaps most importantly of all- the human stories and experiences of those who lived through this critical chapter in British wartime history. Once you have seen the collection and heard the real life stories of those who lived through the conflict, ten acres of memorial gardens provide the perfect contemplative place to reflect.
IBCC opens every day except Monday, year round, and is open from 9:30am - 5pm (last admission at 4pm). Find out more here: http://internationalbcc.co.uk
Lincolnshire Aviation History Centre
With a real life Lancaster Bomber and bags of original vehicles, equipment and artefacts to see, this is about as close as it gets to visiting a real Bomber Command airfield without a time machine! Take a taxi ride in the collection's retired Lancaster, see an original Dambusters “Bouncing Bomb” or simply take in the amazing exhibits at this award-winning museum, that brings aviation history boldly to life. For more information, see http://www.lincsaviation.co.uk/
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre, Conningsby
Another excellent attraction worth booking, this special collection has a whole selection of WW2 aircraft, including no fewer than five Spitfires alongside Hurricanes, Dakotas and an original Lancaster Bomber. The main hangar where these marvels are stored can only be accessed via a special guided tour, however. Well worth booking, as the staff on site here can provide an amazing in depth look at these historic planes, their significance and upkeep. For bookings and further information, see: https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/heritage-and-tourism/battle-of-britain-memorial-flight
This carefully preserved collection secures some of the very rooms and corridors where Bomber Command worked, rested and sheltered during WW2. Although only built for an intended lifespan of ten years back in 1940, a lot of Thorpe Camp still stands today, carefully preserved as a reminder of the way of life experienced by so many brave men and women. It's hauntingly authentic too, with so much of interest and lots to learn about the Home Gaurd and Women's Land Army, besides the RAF.
Opening hours are limited to Sundays, although parties of guests can often book their own visits on other days, with notice. Further information here: http://thorpecamp.wixsite.com/visitorscentre
Newark Air Museum
A little further afield, (Newark, Nottinghamshire), is another great collection anyone who loves military aircraft. Complete with its own "Lancaster Corner" and lots of original WW2 era pieces on display, though, Newark also has plenty from other eras with a total of over 70 original planes and cockpit sections to see! There are also many fascinating artefacts, a café and shop. It is open most days of the year: http://www.newarkairmuseum.org/
Stay at Lincolnshire's Hotel of the Year
With beautiful grounds and a character all of its own, Washingborough Hall Hotel makes a delightful base for your visit to Lincoln. Voted as East England’s Hotel of the Year in 2017 and Lincolnshire's Hotel of the Year 2018, we offer the very best in food, hospitality and special events. See our special offers page for excellent deals on luxury breaks, including our exclusive Washy 100 Break to commemorate the RAF Centenary. There's also plenty of other things to do during your stay in Lincoln.