New ‘wings’ trail to mark RAF 100

One of the 'wings' situated near Lincoln Cathedral.
One of the 'wings' situated near Lincoln Cathedral.

The chance to explore the Sleaford area’s historic connection to the RAF on bike is being made possible thanks to a new ‘wings trail’ project.

To celebrate 100 years of the RAF and the county’s close links to aviation, eight new cycling and walking trails have been created across Lincoln - with two in the Sleaford area.

The launch of the RAF '100 Voices' project in Lincoln. The 'wings' in the Sleaford area are set to be put in place in the coming days.

The launch of the RAF '100 Voices' project in Lincoln. The 'wings' in the Sleaford area are set to be put in place in the coming days.

Called 100 Voices, the trails will feature 100 captivating RAF stories from military men, women and civilians. Each will be presented on an iconic ‘wing’ marker at 100 different locations across the eight trails.

There are four family-friendly walking trails and four cycling trails, ranging from easy off-road routes to more challenging long distance routes.

The two taking in villages around Sleaford are:

l The Handley Page trail. This is a 45 mile circular cycle route taking cyclists from the city and up Cross O’Cliff Hill to ‘The Heath’ - home to operational airfields at Waddington and Digby and the world famous RAF College, Cranwell.

An archival photo from RAF Digby - which also marks its 100 year anniversary this year.

An archival photo from RAF Digby - which also marks its 100 year anniversary this year.

The Handley Page Type O was an early biplane bomber used by Britain during the First World War. The Type O was the largest aircraft that had been built in the UK and one of the largest in the world.

On this trail, cyclists can uncover 16 ‘voices’ including disused airfields and war graves, as well as learn about the several generations of royals who have trained at RAF Cranwell and the histories of RAF Waddington, Digby and Cranwell.

l The Tiger Moth Trail.

For cyclists who don’t mind cycling a longer distance there is this 55 mile circular trail.

This again begins in Lincoln, and will take participants out along the Water Rail Way - an off-road cycle route to Woodhall Spa.

After going on to Coningsby - home to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - cyclists will return via the RAF Metheringham Heritage Centre and the Cemetery at Scopwick.

The route back to Lincoln is over ‘The Heath’, home to many airfields during the Second World War. Passing through Bracebridge Heath, cyclists can make a detour to visit the International Bomber Command Centre. On this trail there are 13 ‘voices’ to discover including the story of John Magee, the young Canadian author of the famous poem ‘High Flight’. Cyclists can also visit the ‘Dambusters’ 617 Squadron Officers’ Mess at Petwood Hotel.

For more details on all of the trails visit www.visitlin
coln.com/100voices/trails