If you are looking for a unique experience that combines history and politics, a visit to the Churchill War Rooms should definitely be on your itinerary. The rooms are a maze of underground tunnels and rooms located beneath the streets of Westminster.
This historic site is where Winston Churchill and his government worked tirelessly during World War II to plan and strategize their next moves.
History The Churchill War Rooms
The Churchill War Rooms were originally built in the late 1930s as a bomb-proof shelter for the government in case of air raids during the war.
However, it was not until the outbreak of the war in 1939 that the rooms were fully operational. Churchill himself used the War Rooms as his main headquarters for the duration of the war.
The War Rooms consist of several rooms and chambers that were used by the Prime Minister and his team during the war. These rooms have been preserved in their original state. They now serve as a museum for visitors to learn about Churchill’s life and his role in the war.
What to expect
One of the most impressive rooms in the War Rooms is the Cabinet Room, where Churchill held his cabinet meetings. The room is exactly as it was during the war. There are maps and charts covering the walls and a large wooden table in the centre.
It is easy to imagine the tension in the room as Churchill and his team made decisions that would shape the course of the war.
Another notable room is the Map Room, where the war was monitored 24 hours a day. The room is full of maps and telephones, with operators taking calls and tracking the progress of the war.
The walls are also covered with pinholes, marking the locations of enemy ships and submarines.
As you explore the War Rooms, you will also get a sense of what life was like for Churchill and his staff during the war.
The rooms are cramped and stuffy, with little natural light or fresh air. You can see where Churchill’s bed was located, as well as the tiny kitchen where his meals were prepared.
In addition to the main rooms, the Churchill War Rooms museum also contains several exhibits that give more context to the war and Churchill’s life.
One exhibit is dedicated to the life of Churchill himself, with artefacts and information about his childhood, his political career, and his personal life.
Another exhibit focuses on the role of women during the war, highlighting the important work that women did to support the war effort.