Time required to visit Bletchley Park

Old Sep 14th, 2015, 07:04 PM
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Time required to visit Bletchley Park

I am travelling to Europe next January, and we are going to use London as a gate (flight are much cheaper to London, for some reason) and we will stay 3 days in London, we will use the first 2 to visit the city, and on the third day I would like to visit Bletchley Park, but I have a doubt that I can't find the answer to... On the third day we will need to be on St. Pancras to get on the 17:05 Eurostar to Brussels, to continue our European journey, so I need to know if there will be enough time to visit bletchley park + small lunch + (optionally) Colossus and the Tunny Gallery and be back in London to get the Eurostar (we will leave bags in St. Pancras, to save time), also which train to get to London to arrive in time, considering Euston and St. Pancras are fairly close, I was thinking the 14:46 - 15:27 service (too early?).

Thanks in advance
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Old Sep 14th, 2015, 08:43 PM
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I wouldn't try it on your departure day -- you'll want to be at St Pancras 40-45 mins ahead and if there is a disruption on the line or your train is cancelled you'll be out of luck. Why not go to Bletchley Park on your 2nd London day?
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Old Sep 15th, 2015, 12:01 AM
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There is a lot to see at Bletchley Park and to fo it justice, you need to allow several hours. Have a look here:
https://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/con.../outlined.rhtm
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Old Sep 15th, 2015, 01:55 AM
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BP is just across the road from Bletchley railway station - the way most of the Enigma cracking team arrived! So easy-peasy to visit.

You need to be at St Pancras at the very least 30 minutes before your Eurostar without a 20 minute delay or cancellation missing the train - so need some time in hand to be on the safe side, your proposed 90 minutes should be enough.

And yes, if you make an early-ish start you'll have plenty of time to see BP, and I love it, it's only 15 miles from where I live and I've been several times, you're clearly interested in the subject so go for it. Shame not to!

If you really want 101% peace of mind, here's a cunning plan:

(1) Buy a one-way ticket London to Bletchley at the station on the day. (2) in advance, buy a one-way from Bletchley to 'London St Pancras International (CIV)' at www.loco2.com (make sure you choose the version of that destination with the '(CIV)' on the end, that's important. You collect this at the station from the self-service machines. Do it as you pass through Euston on your outward journey.

With a ticket to London International CIV you are 100% covered if there's a delay or cancellation to the UK train causing you to miss your Eurostar. If that happens, you'll be rebooked on the next one at no charge.
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Old Sep 15th, 2015, 03:34 AM
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I needed most of a day just for Bletchley. The National Museum of Computing, which has the Colossus and Tunny exhibits, took me a further three plus hours on a separate visit. But I was reading all the info available and chatting to the docents, it would obviously be possible to go faster.
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Old Sep 15th, 2015, 03:59 AM
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Far be it from me to disagree w/ the absolute best authority/resource re rail travel (if you have't check out his seat 61, site it is a must for anyone taking trains). I do agree -- I'd go for it . . . Just not on the day you have a non-refundable/non-changeable Eurostar ticket. If things run to normal -- you'd be able to get a semi-good overview of Bletchley Park and get back into London in plenty of time.

But to be on the safe side -- go on day 2 instead of day 3. That way if things go pear shaped you won't miss your train to Brussels.
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Old Sep 15th, 2015, 06:56 AM
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Thanks for all the responses.

So you guys really think I should visit BP on the second day?
Because as much as I like WWII stuff and computer history, I want to enjoy as much possible of London City too, considering our plane arrives at Gatwick 12:30, and the time to get from gatwick to the hotel and checking-in, the best part of the first day is gone (also considering we're going in winter, which is only about 8 hours of daylight).

I do not worry much about time to catch the Eurostar as I would arrive back in London 90 min in advance and London Midland has a good enough reputation for timetable.

The third day is enough to visit London then? I would not do all the city, just the classic city of london, westminster, london bridge, HMS Belfest (obligatory) and the buckingham palace.
Would the third day be enough to visit all of it? Or should I stick with BP?
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Old Sep 15th, 2015, 07:30 AM
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Bletchley can go on for practically ever - and the rate new stuff's being added, you won't find terribly helpful guides of what's worth seeing on the web.

Without a defined time to leave, you'll inevitably let it go on for the whole day. And, fascinating though Bletchley is to the Call the Midwife generation (where I live, any intelligent woman over 85 is assumed to have worked there but still thinks she's not allowed to talk about it), there really is more to see in London, and doing Bletchley on day 2 really means you've only got half a day on day 3.

Take MIS61's advice. Get a CIV ticket and organise your day so you leave for the 1446: there are a couple afterwards that, changing at Milton Keynes, would still get you to St P on time, but I think - subject to MIS61's confirmation - you need to be on a train due into Euston an hour before the Eurostar departure for the CIV guarantee to kick in.

Get to BP by 0930. With a bit of self-discipline, 5 hrs is fine - though you'll struggle to see the Museum of Computing as well in the time. Eat (miserably) at the Bletchley cafe. Or save yourself for gorging on the takeaway food found all over St P - but nowhere after you've checked in, so one of you buys the takeaway while the other's retrieving the left luggage..

I really wouldn't worry about light that much. Much of exterior London looks better in the gloom and streetlamps: most of what you're likely to find interesting is inside anyway.
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Old Sep 15th, 2015, 07:34 AM
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How much time have you spent in London previously? If the answer is none, I would skip Bletchley on this trip - get your WWII fix at the Churchill War Rooms. There is just so much to see in London.
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Old Sep 15th, 2015, 05:28 PM
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If you have never been to London IMO do NOT go to Bletchley. Go to the Imperial war Museum and/or the Churchill War Rooms instead and spend every minute you can IN London.

Save BP for your next visit when you have 6 or 7 days in London.
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