In the late 1930s, war was looking inevitable. The German Luftwaffe was a formidable threat, and the government knew that London would face air raids in the event of war. It was therefore necessary to disperse the government throughout the London area. The Churchill War Rooms were created on the eve of World War II as a command center for the British government. Construction on a bunker beneath the treasury building began in 1938. It was in operation by the time the war began at the start of September 1939.
The war rooms became home to Winston Churchill and his cabinet. From here they ran Great Britain during the war. After the armistice, it was closed down, but continued to be maintained, and small group tours were available by appointment. In 1982, the war rooms were taken over by the Imperial War Museum, and officially opened to the public in 1984.
For history buffs, this is one of the coolest and most informative museums in London. There are interviews with the people who worked there during World War II. The audio guides are detailed and fantastic, and all the employees are friendly and knowledgeable. There is also a lot of information about Winston Churchill, one of history’s most fascinating figures. A visit to the Churchill War Rooms is a definite must.
Address: King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AQ
Metro: Westminster (Jubilee, District, Circle)
Hours: Daily 09:30-18:00
£12.80 Students/Seniors (60+)
Free for children under 16.