Touring the Churchill War Rooms in London

posted by Sharon Odegaard 30 Comments
Churchill War Rooms London office

You will discover that touring the Churchill War Rooms in London is a fascinating experience that immerses you in history. The War Rooms still exist in an underground complex that served as the nerve center of British wartime operations during World War II. A tour of the War Rooms takes you along the hallways where the English planned their strategy. The offices look just as they did in the 1940s. Everything from the war years sits in place, from the furniture to the colored map pins to the red and green telephones.

Begin exploring in the underground bunkers

Exploring the underground bunker, twisting through darkened hallways. You see the cramped living quarters, the fascinating map room, and the communications center, giving you a sense of what life was like for those who worked there.

Churchill War Rooms

Churchill War RoomsChurchill War RoomsChurchill War RoomsChurchill often worked 18-hour days. So he had a room to stay in the bunker. His wife also had a room here, as did his staff.Churchill War Rooms

Churchill War RoomsPeruse the exhibits in the large museum

A museum on the life and work of Churchill is now in the building, next to the War Rooms. Follow the arrows showing the direction of the tour, and about midway you will enter the museum. It’s a well done museum telling of an eccentric leader. He wouldn’t allow his staff to whistle, for example. And he took a nap in the afternoon, making it clear he was not to be disturbed. Churchill War Rooms

Learn about leadership from the life of an expert

Churchill has long been studied as an example of leadership in wartime. The museum exhibits give insight into the leadership and decision-making process of Churchill, one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. The displays are in chronological order. So, you can start with Churchill’s youth and go forward. Or you can skip to WWII, if you are short on time.

Churchill, who had served his country before WWII, came in as Prime Minister in May 1940. By the beginning of June, 400,000 Allied troops sat on the beaches of Dunkirk in France, pushed to the edge of the water by the Germans. Today, historians look at the successful evacuation of these soldiers as a turning point toward Allied victory. The British army was saved instead of captured. The U.S. took notice and immediately started sending supplies to Britain. And Churchill gave one of his most memorable speeches:

“We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

Winston Churchill silhouetteThe museum offers interactive exhibits, multimedia displays, and informative panels that help visitors understand the significance of the events that took place in the War Rooms.Churchill War Rooms museum with hat display

Re-enter the bunker area and head to the map room

The real heart of the bunker is the offices where the war planning took place. My favorite parts of the War Rooms are the maps that show with stick pins and string the plotting of troop movements. An entire war was planned without computers. The detailed maps will amaze you.Churchill War RoomsChurchill War Rooms

Churchill War RoomsChurchill War RoomsChart of flying bombs from Church War Rooms London

The War Rooms served as a hive of activity throughout World War II. Fortunately for all of us history buffs, they were left for years as they were on the day the war ended. They opened to the public in the 1980s. So you and I today can walk in the steps of the war leaders and imagine that dark and uncertain time. Churchill War RoomsChurchill War Rooms

Churchill War Rooms

Planning your visit to the Churchill War Rooms

The nearest tube station to the War Rooms is Westminster. Head to the Treasury building in the Westminster area. The building itself looks like any other office building. Churchill War Rooms

 

The War Rooms are open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Buy tickets online before you go, if your plans allow. You can just show up, but you may be stuck waiting in a long line. And why waste time in London? Tickets are 27.25 pounds for adults, 13.60 pounds for children 5 to 15, and children under 5 are free. Many visitors find the audio guides provided at the Churchill War Rooms are informative and helpful.

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30 Comments

Carol at

I really love this post Sharon. This is the kind of place I look for in most cities I visit. The history of WWII always remind me of my mother and father. He spent 18 as superintendent of a ship building yard building ships after Pearl Harbor. He only went home every 2 to 3 days and slept in his chair at work. Tough times.

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jesh StG at

This would be a movie Hubby would like to see – so much history!. Many people could thank Churchill – not liked in his time, but a man of action! Thanks for alerting All Seasons, Sharon! – Duinkerken -just a few hours South of where I grew up as a child…

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Tamar Strauss-Benjamin at

Oh wow – this would be amazing to see in person! Thanks for sharing with us!

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Life Images by Jill at

this looks like a fascinating place to visit. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie Dunkirk. Happy travels, and thank you for stopping by my blog last week.

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Kelleyn Rothaermel at

I have to see this movie! Need to see when it is playing here in Germany. How fun that you got to go to the war rooms. We named our son after Churchill. He was such a great statesman.

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Jackie at

This has been on my bucket list for quite a while. Think I need to plan a trip to London!

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Mersad at

Such intersting insight into this piece of history. Thanks for linking up with Through My Lens.

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Photo Cache at

What an interesting post.

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Fun60 at

You have captured the main areas of the war rooms really well. It is a place we worth visiting.

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A Shutterbug Explores at

Sharon I was just there last June ~ fascinating place and so full of history and life like ~ Wonderful series of photos ~ ^_^

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Marie-OR at

A place I know we would have to see! We love history so much, and WWII is fascinating. Loved your detailed post. We are also looking forward to seeing the movie.

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// Heidrun at

Wow… I enjoyed this Post again for the Tuesday theme IMAGE-IN-ING.
HEIDRUN

https://happy-hour-with-picts.blogspot.de/2017/07/liebe-auch-im-sommer.html

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Bill at

Now that is a place I want to visit superb

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Molly at

I have never visited here but as we are so close to London we should really change that

Mollyx

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Katy at

Ah Sharon, the Churchill War Rooms are within walking distance of our house and I still havent been. My husband would love this and your post is a great reminder to get him to go. Thanks for joining #FarawayFiles

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jill at

We took our kids to visit family friends in England when they were teens. We let them each choose something they wanted to do and my WWII buff son chose Churchill’s War Rooms. It wasn’t high on my list – but I’ll tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed it – and learned something to. I’d highly recommend it!

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Ruth | Tanama Tales at

Very interesting post! I like places like this (and enjoy learning more about WWII). Thanks for suggesting the movie. Sounds like stuff I like and we do not have tons of plans for the weekend. #TPThursday

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Esther at

Thank you for the post! So interesting. Churchill was definitely an interesting leader. The best GB could’ve had for WWII, though he also made some world-altering decisions in his day. I am so putting this museum on my list for my next London visit.
#TravelPhotoThursday

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Megan - Truly Madly Kids at

I’ve heard that this place is brilliant. I know my son would love it. We recently went to the Imperial War Museum which was also fascinating. #farawayfiles

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Anisa at

I had heard about the Churchill War Rooms before but didn’t really know what it was. It sounds really fascinating and I guess I need to get out and see the movie! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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Hilary at

Wonderful post, and so timely! I’ve not made it to this yet, but plan on it next time I’m in London! #farawayfiles

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Lolo at

I definitely want to see Dunkirk and I have wanted to visit the Churchill War rooms forever but haven’t made it there! Next time I’m in London!! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

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Anda at

I have a fascination with World War II and I would definitely love to visit the Chrchill War rooms. Maybe this would be a good reason to return to London. Thanks for letting me know about “Dunkirk”. I want to watch it. #TheWeeklyPostcard

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Michele {Malaysian Meanders} at

We visited the Churchill War Rooms when we were in London last summer. I agree that it’s fascinating that it was kept frozen in time for long. Great photos and details of your visit there.

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budget jan at

It’s great that these war rooms have been kept as is. It’s quite intriguing. Thanks for linking up with Travel Photo Thursday.

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Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) at

What a great museum. Obviously such an important time in world history, it’s good to see it preserved for the generations. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing the Churchill War Rooms! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard

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Jay Artale at

It blows your mind to think of the decisions and activities that took place here. My husband has been wanting to visit here for years – so we’re planning a trip to London and will reserve tickets to make sure we go this time around.

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Wendy Lee at

We saw the Churchill War Rooms when were in London last year. What a fascinating museum! I highly recommend it to anyone visiting London.

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