Churchill War Rooms

19:30 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

Before moving to the UK, I had visited - a long, long time ago. I mean, this is pre-university visiting.

And because of this, my rememberances of things tend to be skewed a bit. Sometimes they're right and sometimes they're wrong. Which makes each and every experience a surprise. Do I remember it through a sullen teenager point of view, or did the true recollection somehow remain?

A few weekends ago with our first set of visitors in town, we set-out to test my memory of the Churchill War Rooms.

Luckily, and despite my positive memory of it, it was better than expected.

We picked the rooms to visit because a) it was close to the changing of the guards which we had just witnessed and b) it seemed a good activity for Paul, and as the only guy of the weekend, we should be nice and indulge him at least once.

The layout of the rooms is a bit odd, but I suppose what do you expect when it's underground rooms built for the war? You start off viewing some of the rooms used for meetings of the minds, then work your way through the odd maze of meeting rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, telephone operator rooms and more. About halfway through, you take a break, peruse through the Churchill Museum and then are back to the rooms. Or if you're Paul, you straggle behind, somehow miss the Churchill Museum and spend 30 minutes outside the museum waiting for your wife.

The two museums in one couldn't be more different.

The rooms are small, cramped and give you a good idea of what it was probably like way back then. Preserved as they are, the only difference is probably the lighting and maybe (or maybe not) the crowds.

The Churchill Museum is an interactive museum and probably one of the best parts of the whole thing. While it is dark so that you can see all the electronic things, you don't necessarily notice. Starting with the early years of Churchill, the exhibit follows him throughout his personal & political life, even past the times of the War Rooms. To me, of personal interest after my visit to Gallipoli was the information on the ANZAC Battles, and I was truly able to have seen both sides of the story on the attacks on the straits of Turkey.

Overall - worth a visit, especially if WWI is of particular interest to you.

Where to find it: Just off the West end of St James Park it's a short walk from either Buckingham Palace (Green Park Station) or St James Park (St James Station) with lots of signs pointing the way.

What you're looking for - a bit nondescript from the outside

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