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Churchill's Cabinet War Rooms

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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Published June 21st 2012
London has a marvelous public transport network, but I like to do my sightseeing on foot where possible to help get my bearings in a city that I visit. This is one of a series of easy walks around London which will help you get more familiar with the sights, and is perfect for first time visitors, backpackers, and people on a budget.

You can find a longer walk along the River Thames, taking in the London Eye, Ye Old Cock Tavern (opened in 1549), Temple Church and St Paul's Cathedral here.

This walk starts at London's Westminster Tube Station, and gives you a brief insight into Churchill's Cabinet War Rooms.

churchill cabinet war rooms
Churchill's Cabinet War Rooms

In anticipation of war with Germany, in 1938 construction began of a large underground safe refuge for senior Government members and staff, and Armed Forces Chiefs of Staff. Within days of the declaration of war, the Cabinet War Rooms were operational and the Map Room was manned around the clock by Armed Forces personnel.

cabinet war rooms churchill
Entrance to Cabinet Room

During the Second World War London was bombed frequently, and additional heavy concrete roof reinforcement was hurriedly added to ensure safety and allow the War Rooms to be expanded. Facilities included meeting rooms and dormitories for staff, while senior officers and politicians were allocated small private bedrooms.

cabinet war rooms bedroom office
Combination Bedroom & Office. Cabinet War Rooms

In 1984 the War Rooms were finally opened to the public for the first time.

cabinet war rooms communications room
Communications Room. Cabinet War Rooms

To start this walk, first find the map here.

Simply turn right on Bridge St on leaving Westminster Station and continue up Great George St to Horse Guards Rd. Walk along the side of St James Park until you reach King Charles St and turn right on to it. You will find the entrance to the War Rooms a short way down at Clive Steps.

prime ministers office cabinet war rooms
Prime Minister's Office. Cabinet War Rooms

So did you enjoy the walk? Were the Cabinet War Rooms worth visiting? Please pass on the benefit of your experience in the comment box.
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Why? See the underground rooms where Britain fought a war
When: Open daily 9.30am - 6pm Last admission 5pm Closed 24, 25 and 26 December
Phone: 020 7930 6961
Where: Churchill War Rooms, Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AQ
Cost: Adults 16.50. Child (under 16) Free. Concessions 13.20 (Senior, Student, Disabled)
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