Cambridgeshire, Cambridge CB22 4QR
Tel: +44 0 1223 835 000
England’s Largest Flight Museum
The Imperial War Museum (IWM) Duxford is one of five Imperial War museums located throughout the UK. It ranks as England’s largest flight museum, with over 200 aircraft, tanks, military vehicles, and naval vessels on display. The IWM also houses smaller artifacts such as film, books, photographs, and documents relating to British conflicts from World War I up to the present day.
The Imperial War Museum first opened in 1917 as a way for Britain’s government to record the British war effort during World War I. As Great Britain moved into the Second World War and subsequent conflicts, the IWM expanded to cover all modern conflict that British forces were engaged in. The museum’s sudden growth convinced its caretakers to seek additional space outside of their south London home.
[Editor’s Note: If you’re a fan of WWII bombers and the role they played in winning the war you might like to click here and check out this book on “The Bombers and the Bombed: Allied Air War Over Europe”.]
A Royal Air Force fighter station in Cambridgeshire named the RAF Duxford turned out to be the ideal place for the museum to store its vintage aircraft. Today the RAF Duxford is a permanent outpost of the Imperial War Museum and a fantastic place for tourists to see the iconic aircraft of the World Wars up close.
Tours and Events
The IWM Duxford offers a variety of tours ranging from ten to ninety minutes long. Depending on the tour, visitors can learn about life in Duxford during the World Wars, the background to important airplanes in the museum, or the history of flight from the Wright brothers to today.
In addition to the stationary aircraft, the IWM Duxford puts on regular air shows such as the Flying Legends Show, American Air Day, and the Duxford Air Show. Tank rides are also available at the air shows, and demonstrations take place throughout the year. Whether the planes are spiraling through the sky or parked on the air field, a stroll through the IWM Duxford is an exciting way to spend a day in Cambridgeshire.