London - Cabinet War Rooms

Nov 24th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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London - Cabinet War Rooms

Can anybody tell me how much time I need to see the Cabinet War Rooms?

I am showing a friend around London this Sunday and I want to talk a London Walk from 2.30 - 4.30 that finishes at the Cabinet War Rooms. CWR close at 6pm. Last admission 5pm. Will that be enough time??

Thanks for your help!
wilees is offline  
Nov 24th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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We spent a 2 or 3 hours, and could have spent more. The tour itself (get the audio guide, it's SO worth it) takes a good 1 1/2 hours, especially if you want to hear the extra info and is very fascinating.

At the end, there's a big interactive room with multimedia stuff that has copies of photos and documents from Churchill's life, etc, and that's where you could spend a lot of time, especially if you're a history buff of World War II in particular.

I'd go in the morning 15 minutes before it opens, so you can see all you want, then go on with your day. But don't miss it.

Happy travels

jules4je7 is offline  
Nov 24th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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That would give you about an hour and a half and that probably will be enough to do it justice. I can't remember how long we spent there...probably not more than a couple of hours. They have head sets if you want. I found it to be helpful. You of course can go as fast or slow as you want but I think you'll have enough time and if it's the only time you have a chance to get there, then certainly take the opportunity.
crefloors is offline  
Nov 24th, 2006, 10:46 AM
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It's been a while since we visited the War Rooms so I'm a little rusty on the time allowance although I would think your hour and a half would be okay and certainly better than not going.

I will say that we visited because we were lucky enough to have visited London several times and had seen all the "major" sites. I'm a history buff and we both thought the War Rooms would be interesting. They far exceeded that expectation---it was a fabulous step back in time and the audio head set was great. You really get a great sense of what it must have been like and the history that was created in those rooms. Enjoy!
MaggieOB is offline  
Nov 24th, 2006, 11:00 AM
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Thanks for the advice - if the walking tour does not run over I think we will squeeze it in before the end of the day.

I am a kiwi living in London but my friend only has a few days in london here and there and he flies in at 10am.

Maggie I enjoy history too!
wilees is offline  
Nov 24th, 2006, 11:05 AM
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< It's been a while since we visited the War Rooms >

How long - they opened another area a couple of years ago
alanRow is offline  
Nov 24th, 2006, 11:19 AM
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Oh that's right...I read about them opening an additional area. But..if it means not going at all and the visitor is really interested in going there..then the time available is better than nothing. I wasn't sure I was going to like it, OR the Imperial War Museum and went actually to humor my brother and found I was really fascinated with both places.
crefloors is offline  
Nov 24th, 2006, 01:05 PM
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An hour and a half will be enough to see the CWR but it won't give you much time to explore the abundant materials in the new Churchill Museum.

KidsToLondon is offline  
Nov 24th, 2006, 01:46 PM
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We spent between 2 and 3 hours last year, including the museum. I'd not go for only an hour, there is too much to see (though I guess if that is your only chance, an hour is better than nothing!)

nbodyhome is offline  
Nov 24th, 2006, 01:53 PM
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it's the kind of place where you can spend a lot of time if you have the time and interest. to see the basics without much detail but without being rushed, it would take about 1 hour. there are a lot of exhibits (letters, etc) that can be read, taking a significant amout of time (3 hours or so in total).
walkinaround is offline  
Nov 24th, 2006, 06:29 PM
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To answer alanRow's query--"< It's been a while since we visited the War Rooms >

How long - they opened another area a couple of years ago"

About five years ago so I assume this new area is since then. I hope to return to see this new area but still have to think if you only have an hour and a half it's better to see what you can than see nothing at all.

MaggieOB is offline  
Nov 24th, 2006, 11:14 PM
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As I recall, we spent about 1 and 1/2 hours in the Cabinet War Rooms and probably another hour in the adjacent Churchill Museum. Loved it, especially the Cabinet War Rooms!
travelgirl2 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2006, 03:40 AM
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Since 1984, the War Rooms have been on the tourist trail, though you may not think so if you came upon them unsuspectingly. They are gained from a nondescript entance set into the side of Clive Steps on King Charles Street.
In a hint to the original purpose of this unremarkable nook, an outer wall is wainscoted with sandbags.

The War Rooms became fully operational on 27 August 1939, a week before Germany invaded Poland and Britain declared war.
Under Churchill, 115 War Cabinets were convened in the bunker, or about one in ten of all such meetings. The clocks in the Cabinet Rooms have been set at 16.58, and the tables prepared as if in readiness for the Prime Minister's arrival, so that visitors can imagine that they're about to witness the grim-faced powwow which began at 5 O'Clock on the evening of 15 October 1940, the day after a German bomb badly damaged No.10 and convinced its tenant to relocate his meetings underground.

On 16th August 1945, the day after VJ Day, the officers in the War Rooms finally tidied their desks, turned the lights out after six years, and left the place in utter secrecy, as it had been throughout the war, and would remain until the 1980's.

If any Fodorites are history boffs and love reading about London's secret places, get hold of Stephen Smith's book called Underground London (Travels beneath the city street). I have just finished reading it and it's so much more than just hidden tunnels and disused tube stations. He devotes a whole chapter to the Cabinet War Rooms.
tod is offline  
Aug 21st, 2013, 11:18 PM
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I think you have the sufficient time spend in the cabinet war room. And best of luck for your journey.
johncuttsrta is offline  
Aug 21st, 2013, 11:43 PM
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uh - johncuttsrta . . . wilees went to London 7 years ago.

Is there some reason you are topping old threads?
janisj is online now  
Aug 22nd, 2013, 03:46 AM
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janis, looking at what is posted in this user's name, I'm wondering if this is a spambot at work: automated matching of text to context for some marginal apparent relevance, but actually no real point to the post at all.

In another post, there's a reference to blogs, which is a dead giveaway, since you often find them spamming blogs - and eventually if they think it's working and they can get away without being deleted, they will start spamming links.

I have reported it.
PatrickLondon is online now  

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