The Churchill War Rooms ★★


TK

The Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum in the underground bunker from which Britain waged World War II

A few years ago, they expanded this preserved warren of underground tunnels from which Churchill and his commanders ran the war to include an avant-garde museum devoted to Churchill's life, turning it from a fascinating third-tier London sight into one of my favorite little-known sights in the city. (They also rebranded it from "Cabinet War Rooms" to "The Churchill War Rooms.")

You don't have to be an aficionado of war or battle strategy—or even much of a history buff—to get something out of this museum, and even the only-mildly-curious will find themselves drawn in.

First, the Cabinet War Rooms. These are the underground bunkers from which Churchill and the gang ran World War II. The rooms are set up just as they were in the heat of battle, with mannequins in uniform answering color-coded Bakelite phones, moving pins in the wall maps to keep track of advancing or retreating lines, and passing urgent messages over the radio.

Churchill's private office and bedroom suite are also preserved—he spent many a night down here, running the war from a bed tray.

Down a tunnel in a neighboring underground space is the Churchill Museum, a newer exhibit dedicated to the Prime Minster himself.

The fascinating state-of-the-art displays—many using spacial recognition technology to provide interactive elements (like a touch screen, only without the screen)—give an exhaustive survey of Churchill's life and times.

Intriguingly, the curators have pulled no punches, lumping in the bad with the good to give a holistic picture of the great man.

Tips & links

Details
ADDRESS


Clive Steps, King Charles Street at Horse Guards Road (across from the south side of St. James's Park, just around the corner from Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey)

Tel. +44-(0)20-7930-6961
www.iwm.org.uk/visits/churchill-war-rooms

OPEN

Dail 9:30am–6pm

ADMISSION

£17
With London Pass: Free

TRANSPORT

Tube: Westminster or St. James's Park
Bus: 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 87, 88, 109, 148, 159, 184, 211, 453
Hop-on/Hop-off bus: Red, Yellow, Blue

TOURS

How long do the Churchill War Rooms take?

Planning your day: Many decide to drop in for 45 minutes and end up staying two hours.

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Get the London Pass

The Churchill War Rooms are covered by the London Pass.

The London Pass grants free entry to more than 60 sights across London, including such top attractions as St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, the Churchill War Rooms, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Tour, Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle, Kew Gardens, and London Transport Museum—as well as some nifty tours by bike, canal boat, and foot.

If you upgrade to the Travelcard option (an extra £9—or $16—per day) you also get unlimited rides on all public transportation (Underground/Tube, bus, and light rail).

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Churchill War Rooms and World War II tours

Here is a tour of the Churchill War Rooms from our partners:

Here are tours of other London World War II sights that do not visit this museum:

» more tours

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Churchill War Rooms
★★ ADDRESS


Clive Steps, King Charles Street at Horse Guards Road (across from the south side of St. James's Park, just around the corner from Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey)

Tel. +44-(0)20-7930-6961
www.iwm.org.uk/visits/churchill-war-rooms

OPEN

Dail 9:30am–6pm

ADMISSION

£17
With London Pass: Free

TRANSPORT

Tube: Westminster or St. James's Park
Bus: 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 87, 88, 109, 148, 159, 184, 211, 453
Hop-on/Hop-off bus: Red, Yellow, Blue

TOURS