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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 04 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Annabelle Thorpe

Set within the spacious grounds of a former First and Second World War airfield, Imperial War Museum Duxford is home to a spectacular collection of more than 200 aircraft, as well as tanks, military vehicles and boats.

The Battle of Britain exhibition focuses on historic war planes, while Airspace tells the story of British aviation, from Spitfires through to Concorde. Alongside the planes, the Land Warfare exhibition charts the technological advances that have changed the face of war.

While you’re there

Duxford is still an operating airport and flights in Tiger Moths, Spitfires or War Birds can be booked through Classic Wings.

Price from: £25
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Duxford is just off the M11, a few miles south of Cambridge, (about a 1.5-hour drive from London). The easiest way via public transport is train from King’s Cross to Cambridge (about 50 minutes) and then the C7 bus from the station to Duxford.

Free tours of the permanent exhibitions are available on most weekends – but not all. Check the website for dates. There are three cafés at Duxford, offering everything from full lunches to sandwiches and cream teas.

When to do it

The museum is open all year round, Wednesday to Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Aeronuts wanting to see the exhibits in action should plan a trip to IWM Duxford’s air show, held annually in early September.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

The Clayton Hotel

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom (UK)[11 miles]

A big bustling hotel with one of the city’s most glamorous cocktail bars, a stone’s throw from the beautiful Botanic Garden.

Official star rating:

Hotel du Vin Cambridge

Cambridge , Cambridgeshire , United Kingdom (UK)[11.5 miles]

A beautifully converted former university building, serving up Hotel du Vin’s classic brand of hedonistic charm, with a buzzing bistro and predictably excellent wine cellar. 

Official star rating:

Gonville Hotel

Cambridge , Cambridgeshire , United Kingdom (UK)[11.5 miles]

One of Cambridge’s best boutique hotels, with a renowned restaurant and separate spa. Ideal for couples, looking for a romantic base among the bustle. 

Official star rating:

University Arms

Cambridge , Cambridgeshire , United Kingdom (UK)[11.9 miles]

A re-imagined Victorian hotel, with one of the city’s best restaurants and elegant rooms with a Modern British design.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Cambridgeshire , United Kingdom (UK)

A picturesque, charming city steeped in learning, architecture and history. It’s home to two world-class art museums and one of the world’s oldest and most famous universities.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom (UK)[10.8 miles]

A leading centre for horticultural research for 175 years, the Botanic Gardens is home to over 8,000 different plant species, with Mediterranean gardens and flower-filled glasshouses.

Best for ages: 10+ | £6

Fitzwilliam Museum

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom (UK)[11.6 miles]

A world-class collection of art and architecture, ranging from illuminated manuscripts to sculptures from Ancient Greece.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

Cambridge University Colleges

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom (UK)[12.1 miles]

One of the world’s most illustrious universities, Cambridge consists of 31 magnificent colleges rich in history, architecture and stories, most open to the public.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

small plane landing on an open grass space in front of crowds

Duxford Air Show

Duxford, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom (UK)[0.1 miles]

A unique chance to see historic planes flying in formation, the world-famous Red Arrows stunt team, and the spectacular Typhoon hurtling through the sky, with exhibits and aviation-themed stands on the ground. 

Best for ages: 4+ | £25 | 4 hours

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Overview >
Path leading to a tea hut in a green garden surrounded by trees

Orchard Tea Garden

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom (UK)[9.4 miles]

Walk or punt along the Cam to this lovely café and rose-filled garden on the banks of the river, once home to the poet Rupert Brooke, and a lovely spot for afternoon tea.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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Overview >
View of the mathematical bridge over the River Cam

The Mathematical Bridge

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom (UK)[11.9 miles]

Originally built in 1749, and rebuilt twice to the exact specifications, this bridge across the Cam looks curved, but is created from entirely straight timbers.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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Overview >
Interior of historic pub in Cambridge

Eagle Pub

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom (UK)[12 miles]

The second-oldest pub in the city, dating back to 1684, is famous for its RAF bar, where the ceiling still shows the signatures and doodles of Allied airmen, who drank at the bar between missions.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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Overview >