CHURCHILL WAR ROOMS
London’s Secret Underground Command Center
“We will fight them on the land, we will fight them on the beaches, we will fight them from our secret basement underneath the treasury building…” Okay, Sir Winston Churchill didn’t exactly mention that last part. That would have been giving away too much probably, but it is indeed true that much of Churchill’s war effort during World War II was carried on from a collection of storage rooms and hallways underneath Her Majesty’s Treasury Ministry building between Whitehall and Horse Guards Road. The Churchill War Rooms now make for a must see visit to London.
The claustrophic spaces where Churchill and his ministers strategized while the bombs fell outside in the blitz evoke those dangerous and world changing days. The Churchill War Rooms Museum is the world’s first major exhibit dedicated to life of Winston Churchill presenting his personal story from the adventurous young days in South Africa through five periods of his remarkable life, as maverick politician, war leader and cold war statesman.
Winston Churchhill & Battle of Britain
The war rooms demonstrate what is was like to work and survive underground, consisting of the War Cabinet Room, Churchill’s bedroom, map room, kitchen, and Churchill’s Chiefs of Staff room, where the connection to the outside world was a the indespensible telephone. The BBC also has a small room where they broadcast carefully crafted war reports. A free audio guide is available in 8 languages and the war rooms are wheelchair accessable. There are lectures and events with schedules on the website, and private tours with staff can be arranged (but quite expensive).
Visiting Churchill Cabinet and War Rooms
The entrance to the Churchill Cabinet War Rooms is at the Clive Steps on King Charles Street. The easiest way to find it is to go along Whitehall to the horse guard on duty (see Household Cavalry Museum), stop to take a picture, of course, and then follow the sign through the passage. The venue is open daily from 9:30 to 6 pm, but the last admission is at 5 pm. Admission to the Museum and War Rooms is £18 for adults, £14.40 for seniors and students, £9 for children 5-15. Family Tockets are available. (These prices include a voluntary donation for preservation.) The Churchil War Rooms are part of the Imperial War Museums with incluse the HMS Belfast (see HMS Belfast War Ship Museum) and the IWM of London.
For more Winston Churchill you can visit his cherished home of Chartwell, south of London in Kent or his birthplace Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire a few miles from Oxford. Or to see the wartime armored train named for the great "Battle of Britain" Prime Minister go up to York (see York National Rail Museum). © Bargain Travel Europe
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Churchill War Rooms
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