On a wet day in Lincolnshire, this has to be one of the best places to visit. Situated by the side of RAF Coningsby, it is a both a museum and a workshop, keeping the aircraft that helped to keep our island protected in a flyable condition.
If you are going to visit the attraction there are different levels your visit can take. There is no charge to visit the shop and exhibitions. If you want a guided tour of the hanger containing the aircraft, the adult price is £6, and you can turn up and join the next available tour group. There is also a technical tour, but this must be pre-booked in advance. There is no access to the hanger unless you are part of a group.
My young son and I visited the centre while we were staying in the area. As he's only two I was unsure whether he would be up to a guided tour of an aircraft hanger. The helpful woman running the counter in the visitor centre shared my concern and thoughtfully added me to a tour that had only just started as the man doing it tended to run through it a little quicker than the other guides.
As the tour I joined had already started, I'm afraid I missed the name of the chap doing the talking, so for the purposes of this review I shall call him Ken.
Ken was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the planes on display, with informative anecdotes about the aircraft. As none of the aircraft were to go out that week all were inside the hanger. If you had a particular aircraft you wished to see (the Lancaster for instance), it would be a good idea to make sure it was not due to go out that day.
The hanger tour itself was down one side of the hanger and halfway across one end. You are kept behind security barriers and do not get too close to the aircraft (although this is not surprising given that these are working aircraft and also Ken told us the value of many of them).
Ken allowed plenty of time for questions, of which there were many from our group of twenty and if memory serves, he answered them all.
The tour lasted a very quick ninety minutes and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in aircraft or military history.
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