What can I expect on the day
It's historic aviation all the way with an Oxfordshire airfield tour or these Civil War tours! Your meeting point for these fascinating aerial tours is Bicester Heritage. Your pilot will meet you and introduce you to your mode of transport for these tours - a wonderful vintage Tiger Moth biplane.
These tours are really rather special. Focussing on the rich aviation and Civil War history that surrounds Oxfordshire, they offer the chance to experience history in the air. You’ll get an utterly unique viewpoint on everything from discrete RAF bases, to country houses that became Parliamentarian strongholds during the 1600s.
The airfield tours operate as 30 and 45 minute flights. Oxfordshire was awash with RAF stations during the Second World War and whilst some still have an RAF presence, others are operating as private airfields, whilst many have simply disappeared. Or have they? Looking down on the countryside from the air you can still see the vestiges of WW2 Oxfordshire. Run down control towers, abandoned aircraft hangers and even tarmac runways with the familiar criss-cross pattern can all easily be spotted from the air.
You can discuss your preferred flight path of these Oxfordshire airfield tours with your pilot on the day, but it could include flying over the likes of RAF Upper Hayford (a former USAF airbase with distinctive clusters of aircraft shelters), RAF Croughton (a European comms centre for the USAF ), RAF Barford St John (instrumental in Sir Frank Whittle’s development of the jet engine) and RAF Westcott, where the sound of Vickers Wellingtons for bomber training used to fill the sky.
If the Roundheads vs the Cavaliers is more your thing, you will love the Civil War tours. On a heading to Edgehill, where the very first battle of the Civil War took place in 1642, you’ll pass over Banbury. Legend has it Oliver Cromwell briefed his Parliamentarian troops here before taking on the Royalists at Edgehill the next day.
You’ll also see Cropredy Bridge, where there was a bitter battle in 1644, with the Royalists led by King Charles I himself facing the Parliamentarian regiments on the other side of the River Cherwell. Another highlight is Broughton Castle, a Parliamentarian meeting place until it was besieged by Royalists, which is still the family seat of the Fiennes family today.
Whether you book an Oxfordshire Airfield Tour or the Civil War Tour, your flight is sure to be filled with historical sights and all with the added bonus that you’ll be gazing down at everything from the open cockpit of a genuine military trainer Tiger Moth.
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