Winston Churchill is arguably the U.K.’s most famous prime minister due to his leadership and stirring speeches during the Second World War. The Churchill War Rooms are on the actual site where Churchill operated during that momentous time. Planning a visit here may be a bit daunting if you also have to do historical research. So I, a London expert, have gathered information on tickets, admission, and time-budgeting, plus a brief history of these rooms. You might also be interested in our Churchill War Rooms Guided Tour.
Pro tip: Bookmark this article in your browser so you can circle back to it when you are in or around the Churchill War Rooms.
What We’ll Cover
- Visiting Hours and Admission
- How Long to Budget for Your Visit
- What To See in the Churchill War Rooms
- Tour Options
- Places to Eat Nearby
- Churchill War Rooms Facts and History
Churchill War Rooms Visiting Hours and Admission
Starting April 2022, the Churchill War Rooms will be open every day, 9:30 am – 6 pm. Ticket prices rise after April 1, 2022.
Ticket prices after April 2022: Adults (Ages 16-64), £26.35, Children (Ages 5-15), £13.15, Children under 5, free entry. Concessions priced at £23.60 are available for those over 65, students, and the disabled. Free admission for one personal assistant accompanying a disabled person.
If you’re visiting before April 1, 2022, the visiting hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 9:30 am – 6 pm. Ticket prices are Adults (Ages 16-64), £25; Children (Ages 5-15), £12.50; and Children under 5, free entry. Concessions priced at £22.50 are available for those over 65, students, and the disabled. There’s also free admission for one personal assistant accompanying a disabled person.
How Much Time to Budget for the Churchill War Rooms
Short answer: 2 hours 30 minutes
It’s possible to go through the War Rooms and the museum in an hour and a half. But if you wish to read every interactive display attentively and study each item closely, it will take around 3 hours and 30 minutes. Therefore, 2 hours 30 minutes will give you ample time to absorb a considerable amount of info and see all the exhibits at a comfortable pace.
For example, you may want to spend an hour and a half in the Cabinet War Rooms, where Winston Churchill directed the war effort. This is, obviously, a very important section of the bunker. Furthermore, the Churchill Museum will take around an hour.
What to See in the Churchill War Rooms
- The Cabinet Room
- The Churchill Museum
- The Map Room
- The Transatlantic Telephone Room
- Recordings of Churchill’s Famous Speeches
- Churchill’s Personal Letters
- Churchill’s Bedroom
- Maze of underground corridors
Churchill War Rooms Guard Tour Options
Our tour option will walk you through the authentically preserved 75-year-old secret underground bunker where Winston Churchill led the Allied war effort. We have a friendly historian on hand to guide you through the war leader’s inner sanctum. You’ll see the actual War Cabinet Rooms and learn about the top-secret decision-making that directed the D-Day landings and historic coordinated actions with Roosevelt’s United States and Stalin’s Soviet Union.
Places To Eat Nearby
The War Rooms have their own cafe, but there are other eateries nearby, some of which have interesting political and royal connections.
Churchill War Rooms Cafe
Homemade sandwiches and sausage rolls, also soups and stews. A selection of hot and cold drinks.
Address: Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AQ | Hours: Wed – Sun, 10 am – 5 pm | €€€
Storey’s Gate Cafe
This building was originally the home of Edward Storey, who was King Charles II’s Keeper of the King’s Birds. Now it’s a perfectly located cafe selling snacks, sandwiches, paninis and soups. The breakfast, lunches, juices, and beverages tend toward the healthy and green, so you’ll find the likes of sustainably sourced coffee here.
Address: Birdcage Walk, Westminster, London SW1A 2AE, UK. | Hours: Mon – Sat, 9.00 am – 5.30 pm | €€
One Twenty One Two Restaurant
Situated in Whitehall in Westminster’s political heart. Exquisite fine dining, but fish and chips are also on the menu!
Address: 2 Whitehall Court, SW1A 2EL London | Hours: Mon – Fri, 7:00 am – 10:00 pm; Sat – Sun, 7:30 am – 10:00 pm | €€€€
Churchill War Room Facts and History
- The War Rooms were fully operational and ready to receive Churchill, the Cabinet, and British military chiefs on August 27, 1939.
- The rooms were used 115 times during the war, most often during the Blitz and V-weapon attacks.
- The rooms are protected by a concrete slab three meters thick.
- All the typists and switchboard operators were women. They sometimes worked overnight and slept in a basement called The Dock.
- To stave off health problems caused by the lack of sunlight underground, staff had to strip to their underwear and stand in front of a purpose-built sun lamp.
- The telephones in the War Rooms were inscribed with warnings about the need for secrecy, particularly when using phones.
- The War Rooms opened in 1984, and the Churchill Museum opened in 2005.
- After the Japanese surrender in 1945, the War Rooms were closed on August 16, 1945.
- Parliament decided to make it a historic site in 1948, and preservation work to the Imperial War Museum began in the 1970s.