Kids in London – Churchill Cabinet War Rooms

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Posted by KimT on Friday 16th of September 2016




With the launch of the new five pound note – featuring Winston Churchill – there’s a heightened interest in visiting the dark, underground rooms at The Churchill Cabinet War Rooms in Westminster. And as the warm weather fades for another year, you need somewhere to entertain the kids that is dry.

It’s a few minutes’ walk from Westminster tube station – and that walk is filled with marvellous views of Big Ben, Whitehall and all manner of historic statues. And the passing red London buses and black cabs.

Whilst it probably won’t appeal to the tiniest of small people, plenty of kids aged over eight or so will have done some school work on Churchill and the Second World War. Any everyone is just a little bit interested in military intelligence. Even the low tech kind – how did they do all that without computers?

As you wander the dark and dusty rooms underground, looking like dull Government offices, it is possible to imagine the corridors filled with busy people on urgent errands. Your imagination is helped along by the occasional statue of a man in uniform. And photos and explanations about aspects of the war.

As the corridors twist and turn, separate chambers and secret rooms are revealed. You can’t help being drawn in. For small people it must seem like an exciting and mysterious underground maze.

There’s a permanent display in the museum about the life of Churchill where you can listen to extracts of his famous speeches. The map and operations rooms have been left exactly as they were in 1945. There are plenty of staff on hand to offer help and insight.
There is, of course, a shop at the end of the tour – filled with Churchill and war time memorabilia – and lots of bulldog stuff. St James’ Park is nearby so you can start or end your trip with some fresh air and exercise.

The Churchill War Rooms are part of the Imperial War Museum http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/churchill-war-rooms Opening hours are 930am-6pm. Tickets are £19/£17.25 for adults and £9.50/£8.60 for children over five. Family tickets from £30.20 to £45.30.

The IWM was reviewed by Kids in London in 2012 http://www.allinlondon.co.uk/blogs/showblog.php?post=1993

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