Solway Aviation Museum
Solway Aviation Museum
5
Saturday
10:30 AM - 3:00 PM
About
The Museum is open Saturdays until the end of December. We have some exciting new exhibits demonstrating the close ties that existed between the RAF and the City of Carlisle. We're also home to a collection of aircraft, aviation artifact's and displays some reflecting Britain's position as a world leader in aircraft design and innovation and the main developer and manufacturer of a reliable jet engine. The museum's primary objective is the preservation of our Aviation heritage, its display and interpretation. Take a nostalgic journey back to Wartime Cumberland or climb aboard a Vulcan Bomber and experience the conditions the crew faced that would have had to deliver Britain's nuclear deterrent in the 60's. The museum is a Registered Charity and is run by a dedicated team of friendly and enthusiastic volunteers who give up their free time to painstakingly restore many of the exhibits. Through their love and knowledge they are preserving aviation history for generations to come.
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  • Helen F
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing
    Fantastic day here, very well organised and informative. Incredibly knowledgeable volunteer staff (ex services) will guide you through the exhibits( got to go in a Vulcan) their anecdotes and real life experiences add a certain magic. Certainly worth a visit for all ages. Love that you arnt herded into a ridiculous price gift shop post tour. There is a shop and the coffee is £1 and cracking.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 9 May 2023
  • wendyfoster
    Seahouses, United Kingdom8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful museum!
    Visited today for the first time after seeing one of the volunteers on Bangers and Cash! Lots of planes to see and you can actually climb into the cockpit of some. The Vulcan is amazing and the staff really friendly and knowledgeable. Indoor displays are well thought out and interesting. Not expensive at all - it is well worth the admission price. Highly recommended.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 June 2023
  • ElaineF19
    14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Absolutely brilliant museum. Highly recommend a visit.
    We had an absolutely fantastic afternoon visiting this museum. All the volunteers are brilliant and very knowledgeable we thoroughly enjoyed chatting to them during our visit. There are.lots of planes to see outside but the highlight is definitely the Vulcan and being able to go inside it was amazing. To do this as part of the very reasonable concession admission price of £4 was unbelievable. The guide book is also extremely good value at just £1. We spent far longer than expected here as there was so much to see. The inside displays are really interesting and chatting to the volunteers we found out so much additional information. You can also get a drink and snacks whilst there and the quality and value of the items in the gift shop is really good. If you are anywhere near here I'd highly recommend visiting.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 28 June 2023
  • richard
    Berkshire, United Kingdom6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Plane Museum
    Well worth our 100mile trip to get there. Spent 4hrs here, lots to see and do for everyone. The Vulcan tour was the best part, amazing plane. You can go inside some of the planes, lots to tell you about the history of each. Excellent value for money.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 July 2023
  • dawn1965_12
    Barrow-in-Furness, United Kingdom14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent Museum
    Spent a great few hours at the museum looking around all the excellent exhibits and aircraft. Even got to sit inside the Vulcan XJ823. Well done to all the volunteers who are doing an amazing job. Definitely worth a vist
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 9 July 2023
  • ianquickfall
    Worcester, United Kingdom82 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Valuable contribution to the many attractions of the Lake District.
    Excellent museum manned by enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers. The tour of the Vulcan was conducted with impressive regard for safety by an experienced ex RAF Wing Commander. The Sea Prince is something of a rarity and it was good to see representatives of the RAFs maim post war fighters. Meteor, Hunter, Lightning and Phantom. More power to this museum. It deserves the volunteers to enable it to increase its opening hours.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 16 July 2023
  • ray-tHm
    Gosforth, United Kingdom59 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An Impromptu Visit
    We visited the museum on a whim. We were out and about along Hadrians Wall and saw the sign. This place is a treasure ground of interesting aircraft history. They also have real planes including a Vulcan B2 Bomber. We were lucky enough to have a 15 minute guide in the cockpit of the Vulcan. There are other planes as well including the Lightning. This is a great visit for children and adults. Highly recommend it.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 July 2023
  • Nick C
    14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great little cold war aircraft museum.
    Great range of aircraft and information, but small enough to not be overwhelmed or need a whole day. Guides are volunteers; all the ones I spoke to were very knowledgeable and friendly. The star attraction for me was being able to visit the flight deck of a Vulcan, but some other favourites as well. Overall quite an experiance, and would definitely visit again. Enough hands on activities to keep kids engaged (not that I had mine on this visit)
    Visited July 2023
    Written 4 August 2023
  • Mandy P
    89 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic informative place, even in the rain.
    Fabulous visit, so much information to read and things to see. Staff so knowledgeable and so pleasant. Some displays are interactive and are so informative. And then the planes.... we could get up close and even in some of the planes, hubby was in his element. And then the Vulcan..... it is absolutely huge, unbelievable even when you stood underneath it.. and you can go in cock pit. Guides are so clued up and knew everything about the plane. Absolutely fabulous visit, the entrance charge is ridiculous, £6.50 each.... should be a lot lot more, need to keep these places going as they a mountain of info for all. I am not a big plane fan but I thoroughly enjoyed it and hubby was like kid in a candy shop
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 August 2023
  • Chris O
    Huddersfield, United Kingdom8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Tally ho!
    We had to visit as soon as my young son found out this place existed. He's obsessed with aviation and this was a refreshing change from gluing my sausage like fingers together trying to build his airfix kits. This museum is fantastic, the volunteers are so enthusiastic and passionate about the aircraft. They might not always remember each others names but they have fantastic knowledge about the exhibits. Their are a couple of the aeroplanes that you are actually allowed to climb into. It is entirely at your discretion whether or not you make the noises of a jet engine while pretending to "scramble" but what sort of person actually sits in a jet fighter and doesn't pretend they're flying it?! Surely the highlight of the visit however, is the opportunity to tour a Vulcan bomber with the finale being the climb up the ladder into the cockpit. Once inside Derek (a volunteer) captivated my son and I with an engaging description of the flight, operation and crew roles. Thank you Derek. I further amused myself by shouting down to my wife and daughter who had decided to stay in the runway that they needed to move from underneath because we were going to drop a bomb. They actually moved, oh how we laughed. Brilliant museum.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 August 2023
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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles497 reviews
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405
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79
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TCfromWST
Edinburgh, UK4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
It has been a long time since I last visited the museum and the Team have done a great job in creating an informative and interactive museum which captures the impact that the RAF had around Carlisle. The exhibits are well maintained and the staff are friendly and welcoming - well worth a visit if you are in the area.
Written 26 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

paulnL1059VB
67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
Had a cracking morning wondering around the collection. I absolutely loved it!
Highlight for me was the tour of the Vulcan cockpit (still attached to the aircraft) by a lovely lady with Vulcan earrings. It was refreshing to actually be able to move around and touch, rather than looking through perspex.
Unfortunately it's not in a public transport location but it is well worth a visit. All of the staff were very friendly.
Brilliant! 👌
Written 16 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alex
London, UK52 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
This museum has an outstanding selection of planes kept in good conditions, members of the staff are knowledgeable and engaged. It's a place to visit and to go back to! You can spend an entire afternoon and more there!
Written 16 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DFB
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
Wonderful museum that made the 17 yr old history buff extremely happy. It kept the younger sister and the GF entertained as well. Friendly knowledgeable staff and volunteers that have great stories. Lovely place to spend a few hours if you are near Carlisle
Written 11 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marc W
Bracknell, UK138 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Solo
I had heard about this museum from others and it sounded great and so I arranged a road trip holiday just to see it. Because of this I stayed locally the night before and arrived early.

It's a part outdoors and part indoors museum. You start off in the main building where you purchase your ticket and then there are various exhibitions in several rooms, including various WW2 subjects, the history of what it now known as Carlisle Airport and the very interesting history of the local area's participation in Britain's short lived space program plus many other interesting displays. Next you head outside and at this point I headed straight for the Vulcan which is set away from the other aircraft. There some very friendly and enthusiastic will give you a tour of the aircraft both inside and out. Surprisingly this is included in the cost of entry which is already very reasonable but becomes extremely cheap when you have the tour as well. It's worth heading to it early as it's a popular aircraft and quickly becomes busy.

The rest of the aircraft and other vehicles are a very interesting selection and some you can actually climb into. Among the support vehicles on display is Spiny Norman, an ex Vulcan crew bus, made famous on the tv show Bangers and cash. The museum have fully restored him and done an excellent job. The name comes from a Scout group who were a former owner after he retired from RAF duties.

There's still more as there's another building with a selection of smaller aircraft and other exhibits.

I really enjoyed my visit and it was well worth the very long trip I made driving most of the length of England. If you are in the area and you have any interest at all in aviation then it's a must visit.
Written 3 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tongland1
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Fantastic place, friendly approachable staff who are incredibly knowledgeable on the display items. Very reasonably priced and excellent close up access to displayed aircraft and other exhibits. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Written 2 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Frank M
Motherwell, UK240 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
I'd planned to visit the museum for some time and took advantage of some free rail tickets with Avanti. I did, however, pick the worst time to travel during Storm Babet which didn't impact on getting there, just home afterwards.

I arrived at the museum about 10 a.m. and was delighted to find that all outdoor exhibits, including the wonderful Avro Vulcan, were easily accessible and I had an uninhibited wander around all of those by the time the museum opened at 10.30 am.

From even before opening the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. I was there on my own, paid entry, also bought a guide and booked for a 20 minute session in the Vulcan, all for a fantastic senior citizen price of £5.

As I'd arrived so early I was fortunate that I was the only one on the first guided flight deck visit of the Vulcan and had a full 20 minute session with my guide explaining the internal workings of each of the crew and the massive array of equipment that had to be monitored and worked. The Vulcan, in particular, is in fantastic condition.

The entrance contains a small shop filled with aviation materials including Airfix and Corgi models, plus magazines, books and various other collectables.

I happily browsed through a box of old postcards featuring many long extinct airlines or liveries. Very cheap at 20p although I'm now £11 lighter.

In the main building there are lots of well-placed displays covering all aspects of military aviation including parts saved from crash sites, uniforms, and many models of military aircraft used over the years. Also are a bomb shelter mock-up, information on RAF Airfields around Cumbria, Radio equipment room, and a Carlisle Airport room in pre electronic days.

The small aircraft display is in an adjacent building and, whilst compact, is well laid out and features a number of both military and a few interesting civilian aircraft including one of my favourites - The Flying Flea.

The café in the main reception is limited to - mainly - tea and coffee - so ensure you bring your own eats, especially if coming with the kids - and only a few tables. This is not detrimental to a visit at all, though.

In addition, I'd advise anyone visiting, especially during wet or rainy periods, to wear trainers or waterproof walking shoes or boots as the some of the external aircraft displays are on grassy areas.

I'd suggest your visit will take about 90 minutes to 2 hours normally but would depend on how busy the museum was.

Future plans are to move the Avro Vulcan into one of the hangars at the airport and may be joined by a modern RAF fighter but that's for the future.

Kids will love it too. Apart from access to the Vulcan a couple of other aircraft normally have access too.

Please remember the museum is run - very well - by a friendly group of volunteers, so be kind. Please spend your money there - it all helps with the maintenance of the aircraft, the buildings and the grounds.

If you are there with kids - no matter their age - please ensure they respect all the displays and equipment.

Dogs are allowed but only externally and must be kept on a lead, especially as the airport is active. Please also ensure dog mess is removed.

Enjoy your visit.
Written 21 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Patricia H
Northaw, null, United Kingdom81 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
We were the first to arrive and they opened promptly at 10.30am. We paid for our tickets and as we were doing so they asked us if we wanted to do the Vulcan Experience which we did and did pretty much straight away. Derek was very knowledgeable about the Vulcan and was able to answer our questions and we had an interesting conversation with him after climbing down from the plane. The museum is next to Carlisle Airport and the army were practicing touch down in a Lynx helicopter so we were party to a mini air display! The museum was fascinating to go around and the staff in the museum were also very knowledgeable. We thoroughly enjoyed the day out! It is a very well kept museum and well worth a visit.
Written 15 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tim C
Warwickshire, UK32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
I'd spotted this place earlier in the year before it opened for the summer and vowed to return to get a closer look at the amazing Vulcan Bomber. So a trip up to see an old friend who lives nearby was a good excuse. I was not disappointed. I managed to get inside the Vulcan and yes it is a throwbak to the Cold War years of the 50's and 60's! The rest of the collection is again based on late 50's and 60's warplanes with some newer additions - Phantom, Jaguar being examples. The museum is a fascinating collection of Cold War items and displays including an interesting exhibit on nearby Spadeadam where the UK's Blue Streak programme was tested/developed and is now an Electronic Warfare range!
The volunteers are knowledgeable, friendly and very enthusiatic about their museum and help make it a great experience.
Well recommended if you are close and need a break from looking at Lakes and hills!
Written 13 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LadyGail62
Worthing, UK111 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
From arrival through to departure the volunteers are amazing and so knowledgeable. They welcome you warmly, tell you all that you need to know about the museum and offer some very comprehensive information about the various exhibits. Hubby did the Vulcan cockpit "tour". The main planes are all outside. There is a block dedicated to aircraft restoration. Back at the reception, there is another section dedicated to things such as the home front, the Dambusters, civil aviation, RAF Spadeadam.
I'm not a plane buff but I found it interesting. There are toilets available, the reception staff can serve simple coffees and teas. If you need an Airfix kit then the gift shop is likely to satisfy.
A very interesting visit.
Written 29 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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SOLWAY AVIATION MUSEUM: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Solway Aviation Museum

Solway Aviation Museum is open:
  • Sat - Sat 10:30 - 15:00



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