Known for the giant Big Ben, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, its nightlife, and shopping places; London is a famous tourist attraction. London houses plenty of museums to explore its 2,000-year history, culture, art, and architecture. Among all the famous places and museums, Churchill War Rooms is the place if you want to explore the history of World War II.
The Churchill War Rooms is a secret underground headquarters where Prime Minister Winston Churchill lived and worked during WWII. The rooms are now a part of the Imperial War Museum and served as a wartime bunker for Churchill.
Here is a guide to plan a visit to the Churchill War Rooms museum in London for a hassle-free visit.
Churchill War Rooms in a Nutshell
|⏰ Suggested Duration:||2-3 hours|
|☀️ Best Time to Visit:||Morning or Evening|
|💜 Must See:||The Map Room|
|🎟️ Churchill War Rooms Ticket:||€25|
|🚆 Closest train station:||Charing Cross|
The War Cabinet Room
The Map Room
Churchill’s Siren Suit
Things to know
Number of visitors per year: 4 million
Number of Cabinet rooms : 30
Depth of Churchill's Bunker: 40 Feet
Opening Hours And Address
09:30 AM to 06:00 PM (Monday to Sunday)
The last entry is allowed till 05.00 PM
Address : Clive Steps, King Charles St, London SW1A 2AQ, UK - 9
What are the Churchill War Rooms
The Churchill War Rooms is a secret underground headquarter and one of the 5 parts of the Imperial War Museum. The secret tunnels were used by Prime Minister Churchill and his government officers. These headquarters were used during World War II for meetings and to provide summaries for King George VI
It located in the former underground government bunker that sheltered Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his cabinet during the Blitz of World War II. The war rooms are now a museum that tells the story of Churchill's leadership during the war.
Walk through the underground headquarters to see where Churchill and his War Cabinet met. Go through the Cabinet War Rooms that saved Churchill and his officers during the Blitz. Reveal the stories of people, places, and events of WWII through the wide collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs.
Best way to buy Churchill War Room Tickets
The Churchill War Room tickets are available here. You can buy tickets that will grant you access to the museum. The admission to the Churchill museum ticket also opens gates and access to audio guides, a cafe, a souvenir shop, and much more.
Why you should visit Churchill War Rooms
- Live through WWII history and explore the riveting contribution of Churchill.
- Explore the history and see the life of Churchill through the 2,250 documents, photos, records, letters, and film clips.
- Get to know Churchill's childhood (1874-1900), his political career (1900-29), and his life after the war (1945-65).
- Visit the Broadcasting Room to see the broadcasting equipment for Churchill to make stirring speeches.
- Pass through the Map Room, Office-Bedroom, and War Cabinet Rooms, which were used to fight against the Nazis.
- Get a glimpse of how life would have been during the times of World War II.
Top 10 things to see inside Churchill War Rooms
#1. The War Cabinet Room
Few places in the world take you back to the era of the Second World War; the War Cabinet rooms are one of those places. Walk through the corridor and get a glimpse of the Second World War. These rooms were housed by government ministers, the military, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Experience how life would have been like in the war times and how they planned the war.
#2. The Map Room
Few places in the world take you back to the era of the Second World War; the War Cabinet rooms are As the name suggests, the room was used for informative work and Maps. The room was used all day to pass the information to King George VI and Prime Minister Churchill. The Map room was always occupied by at least one Royal Navy, Army, and Royal Air Force officer and had strictly limited access. Explore the room and see tiny pinholes, markers, and map walls. Read the reports and charts that were left behind in the battle.
#3. Churchill’s Office-Bedroom
Prime Minister Churchill had his personal room in the Cabinet War Rooms, which was set next to the Map Room. He used the rooms to host meetings, fetch information, and make war plans. Get to the room to see where Churchill took his day naps. You will also see a desk equipped with a microphone that was used for communication and linked to the Broadcasting Room. Watch Churchill’s bedroom which was the only luxurious room in the building.
#4. Room 60 - BBC’s Broadcasting Room
To broadcast the speech and information, Churchill planned a BBC Broadcasting Room. The BBC room was an equipment room that was connected to the Broadcasting House, Maida Vale studios, and Churchill’s bedroom. See a private Transatlantic Telephone Room, where Churchill used to speak in secret to the President of the United States. Churchill made four wartime broadcasts from the Cabinet War Room that was next to his office bedroom.
#5. Churchill Artifacts
Discover the life and war journey of Churchill and listen to the stories of staff who spend their time here.
- His childhood (1874-1900)
Churchill was born on November 30th, to the American socialite Jennie Jerome and Lord Randolph Churchill. He graduated as a cavalry cadet from Sandhurst Royal Military Academy in December 1894. Soon after, Churchill was on his journey in the British Army.
- His entry into politics (1900-29)
Churchill entered politics in 1901 when won his first election in February. He got into the House of Commons. After that, he got married in 1908 to Clementine Hozier who was the daughter of Sir Henry Hozier and Lady Blanche. Churchill was appointed the First Lord of the Admiralty or Civilian Head of the British Navy by the Prime Minister in 1911.
- His political exile (1929-39)
During this duration, Churchill left politics. He was on the first lecture tour in the US in 1931. However, soon in September 1939, Churchill was called to serve in government.
- Churchill’s time as Prime Minister(1940-45)
When Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty, soon in 1940 he became Prime Minister. When the war started, Churchill gave his first speech to the crowd. On this day, he gave his ‘Finest Hour’ speech in June 1940 which inspired the British people to fight.
- His life after the war (1945-65)
After the Second World War, he won and was elected as Prime Minister for the second time. He became the First Lord of the Treasury during 1951-55. Churchill won the “Nobel Prize for Literature” in 1953. He served as an MP and gave 60 years to Parliament until he retired from politics. Churchill died on 24 January 1965 and was granted a state funeral by HM Queen Elizabeth II.
#6. Churchill’s Siren Suit
The Churchill Siren Suit was a one-piece garment with breast pockets to keep a cigar and a belt. Churchill used to call them 'romper suits'. The suits were comfortable and could be worn all day long. The Siren Suits were worn by both children and adults and were very comfortable to wear during the shelter.
#7. Working for Winston Section
During the Second World War, history was made in Churchill War Rooms. The underground area was occupied by Britain's leaders and workers to plot the victory. Relive the moments of planning during the Second World War.
#8. Kitchen in Churchill War Rooms
Visit the kitchen at the Churchill War Rooms museum to see how meals were cooked during the Second World War. See the pots and pans from the era that belonged to Winston's cook - Georgina Landemare, who offered her services during the war times.
#9. The Transatlantic Telephone Room
Discover a secret cupboard room hidden as a private toilet. In this hidden cupboard room, Churchill used to talk and discuss secret matters with the President of the United States. At the time of the Second World War, this was the cutting-edge technology of the day.
#10. Audio-Visual Displays
Explore the historic Churchill Rooms London with a two and half hours visit. Take 90 minutes to explore Cabinet War Rooms with audio and video visuals. Take part in the visit and watch the different displays and exhibitions inside Churchill War Rooms. Watch the historic images, artifacts, and interviews of the staff.
Uncover the life of Churchill to know his life and legacy at one of the best war museums UK. Learn about history and how Winston Churchill and his team led Britain to victory in the Second World War.
History of the Churchill War Rooms
In 1936, the British government ordered a temporary emergency government center. The officers suggested a suitable site was the basement of the New Public Offices (NPO). The building was located on the corner of Horse Guards Road near Parliament Square. Under the supervision of Ismay and Sir Leslie Hollis, the broadcasting equipment, communication equipment, ventilation, and reinforcement were installed in the building in June 1938.
During the war, the two rooms were majorly used, one is operational, the facility's Map Room and Cabinet Room. When Churchill became the Prime Minister, and when he visited the Cabinet Room in May 1940, he declared "This is the room from which I will direct the war".
Churchill War Rooms - Design
- The Churchill War Rooms has been welcoming visitors and history lovers since 31 May 2012. Apart from being a historic landmark, the museum design is a fusion of architecture and sculpture.
- During the Blitz, the switchboard operators and typists had to remain underground day and night, sleeping between shifts
- During the war times, in the underground, 'sunburn' was common. Once a girl forgot to put on the goggles and nearly went blind.
- While 115 cabinet meetings were held here, Churchill made four speeches from his underground bedroom.
Churchill War Rooms Opening Hours
The opening Churchill war room hours are from 09:30 AM to 06:00 PM every day. The last entry is allowed till 05.00 PM. The museum remains closed on bank holidays and Christmas.
Visit the museum in the morning hours from 09:30 AM to 12:00 PM or evening from 04:00 PM to 06:00 PM to explore peacefully.
Best time to visit Churchill War Rooms
May to August is the best month of the year to visit the Churchill War Rooms. However, the November to March months are considered the quietest time of the year to visit the place. If you are one of those who want to explore the museum when there is less crowd, then buy Churchill war rooms tickets for early morning hours.
How to reach the Churchill War Rooms?
- By Tube:
Reach Westminster or St James’s Park (District and Circle Line) to reach Churchill War Rooms by Tube. 17
- By Train:
If you are choosing Train as the transportation to reach Churchill War Rooms, then arrive at Charing Cross which is a 10-minute walk. You can also reach Victoria (a 15-minute walk) and Waterloo (a 20-minute walk).
- By Bus:
Lines 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 87, 88, 109, and 148 will take you to Churchill War Rooms.
- By Car:
Reaching Churchill War Rooms by car is the most convenient and fastest way to reach here.
The nearest parking to the Churchill War Rooms are Abingdon Car Park and Trafalgar Car Park.
Churchill War Rooms Facts That You Probably Didn't Know
- Do you know that Churchill War Rooms are two completely different museums? The two museums are Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum. The Cabinet War Rooms show the underground complex that was used by the government and the Cabinet War Rooms show Prime Minister Churchill’s life.
- Although it is said that 115 cabinet meetings were held here, not all the meetings were attended by Churchill.
- The first meeting held here was in October 1939 under Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.
- In 1945, the rooms were closed and reopened in the 1980s by the Imperial War Museums as a tourist attraction.
- Sunburn was quite common during wartime and artificial sun lamps were installed. The workers needed to stay in front of the lamp.
Accessibility/ Disability Facilities in the Churchill War Rooms
- Churchill War Rooms are wheelchair accessible.
- Wheelchairs are available on site for visitors (subject to availability).
- A lift is available for disabled visitors to the historic rooms.
- Toilet facilities are available at the basement level.
- A free hand-held audio guide is available with an earpiece for those who have hearing-impaired issues
Restaurants near Churchill War Rooms
An ideal place for those who want to experience pub dining in London. The place serves international beers with delicious cuisine.
Step into the restaurant to experience the best ambiance and vibe. Select and try some new dishes from the Alpine-inspired menu.
Famous as “pub on the Thames”, this restaurant is located opposite the London Eye. Enjoy delicious dishes and views of the London Eye with Tattershall Castle River.
Not like any other Indian restaurant, this restaurant has outstanding food with books lining the walls. The team of 18 chefs makes mouth-watering food.
Things to do around Churchill War Rooms
1Duck Island Cottage Garden
The garden was a hunting ground for St James's Park and Charles II converted it to a baroque park. The park was destroyed in 1771 and rebuilt after 1840 in the Arts and Crafts style.
Also known as the Exchequer, the HM Treasury is the department of the Government of the United Kingdom. The department is responsible for handling the Online System for Central Accounting and Reporting and is a major tourist attraction in London.
3Guard's Division Memorial
The memorial is in the memory of Guardsmen who died in World War I. Designed by H. Chalton Bradshaw, it was unveiled in 1926. You can see the small hole in the sculpture that was got damaged by German bombs during WWII.
4St. James's Park
Offering views of Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the London Eye, St. James's Park is famous for flora and fauna. The park is home to ducks, geese, and even pelicans and is an ideal place for nature lovers.
Churchill War Rooms- Facilities & Services
- There is a washroom facility in the basement for visitors.
- You can relish your taste buds at on-site restaurants that remain open from 10.00 am to 05.00 pm. The restaurant serves authentic classic British food and home-cooked pies.
- Visit the on-site shop to buy unique gifts and souvenirs. The shop offers a wide range of books, clothing, accessories to vintage posters, homeware, toys, and much more.
- The descriptive audio guides are available in various languages. You can choose from English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, Portuguese, and Mandarin.
- Audio guides are available at the audio-guide desk (subject to availability).
Churchill War Rooms - Reviews
Churchill War Rooms very interesting on the history of the use of these deep rooms by Churchill his cabinet and military advisors. Then the exhibition on Churchill's live and political career is very well curated and presented.
- William, Headout, January 2022
Our trip to London's Churchill War Rooms was very seamless, with our QR codes in hand. We appreciate the hassle-free arrangements!
- Julie, Headout, May 2022
Check out more Churchill War Room reviews here.
Insider tips to know before visiting Churchill War Rooms
- Photography is allowed during Churchill War Room tours. However, tripods and commercial photography are not allowed in the rooms and museum.
- There are no locker rooms at the site. It is advised to carry small bags.
- Carry a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the visit.
- Look for friendly and knowledgeable volunteers who will be wearing red uniforms. Make the most of your day and time.
- The opening time of the cafe is 10.00 am to 05.00 pm with the last orders at 4.45 pm. Also, order hot food until 03.00 pm.
- Access to the Café is only available with Churchill war rooms tickets to the museum.
The Churchill War Rooms are a series of underground tunnels and rooms in London, used during World War II as the headquarters of the British government.
The Churchill War Rooms are located in central London, near the Houses of Parliament. The best way to get there is by public transportation.
Admission to the Churchill War Rooms is £17 for adults, £9 for children ages 5-15, and free for children under 5. There are also discounts for seniors, students, and groups.
The Churchill War Rooms are open daily from 9:30am to 6:00pm. Last entry is at 5:15pm.
The Churchill War Rooms consist of a series of tunnels and rooms, including the Map Room, Cabinet War Rooms, and Churchill Museum. Visitors can see original war-time artifacts, hear recorded speeches by Winston Churchill, and learn about the role London played during World War II.