Delve into the depths of one of London’s most important eras—the 267 days between September 1940 and May 1941 when German forces made over 70 air raids on the city, known as the London Blitz. During this 3 hour tour Churchill War Rooms Tour, led by a historian, we’ll explore daily life in London during World War II and the impact of war on the city. We’ll look closely at the daily life of Londoners during the war, and focus closely on the figure of Winston Churchill and the key decisions that he made.
Churchill War Rooms Tour
From the Great Fire in 1666, to the Blitz bombings during WWII, the City of London has been bruised and battered, yet continues to rise up time and time again. One of the worst nights was the Sunday between Christmas and New Year's Day, December 29, 1940, when the warehouses and offices were empty and people were at home enjoying Christmas break. That night affected both the physical structures and mental attitude of Londoners, for years to come.
Our tour starts at the Churchill War Rooms and, after a brief introduction, we’ll delve right into the daily operations in this high security bunker. Together, we’ll hear the story of how in 1938 the New Public Offices building, with its strong steel frame, large basement and strategic location, was selected to host the most secretive and important office of WW2.
The discussion will focus on Winston Churchill, his crucial role and ability to cement the 'Big Three' Alliance with Russia and the United States. We’ll take in the famous Map Room, the techniques used to communicate with the outside world, and examine at how the Cabinet War Rooms became remained operational from 27 August 1939 until 16 August 1945, when the lights were turned off in the Map Room for the first time in six years.
"I ended the tour having walked the Blitz, felt inspired by the resilience of the British population."
Day to Day Life in London
After our visit, we’ll emerge at Whitehall, shifting our narrative to other public figures and normal Londoners of the time. We may continue our walk through the famed neighborhood, taking in the Guards Chapel, which was bombed by a V2, and Buckingham Palace. Here we will discuss the role of the Royal Family during WWII, from the famous speech of 1939, when King George VI spoke to the people of Britain and the Empire about the bombing of Buckingham Palace and the active role that the Queen had in supporting Londoners during their darkest hours.
After your three hour tour with one of our expert docents, you will come away with a deeper knowledge at the havoc caused by the Blitz of London and how the local community came together to restore the city to its former glory. You’ll also gain insight into Winston Churchill and his legacy as a political strategist, and mythical figure in history.
What is a private tour?
Our private tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party. They are designed to provide a learning experience that is completely tailored to you and your traveling companions. Private tours give you more flexibility with scheduling (you decide when the walk best fits in your trip), the ability to tailor your itinerary (we'll work to match the itinerary to the interests and dynamics of your group), and more personalized time with your guide.
What is a semi-private tour?
Our semi-private tours cover many of the same itineraries as our private tours, but they place you with other travelers in groups of 6 or less. They operate on a pre-scheduled calendar, and are designed to provide an opportunity to engage with and learn from other travelers. Most of our semi-private tours require at least three (3) participants to run, although there is some variation from walk to walk. However, there is some variation from walk to walk. As you sign up for a tentative walk we display the minimum number required in order to confirm.
Does the London Pass cover the Churchill War Rooms?
The London Pass does include access to the War Rooms, but not skip-the-line, which is essential in order to take full advantage of the three hours, so pre-purchased tickets are required.
How much time do we spend in the Churchill War Rooms?
We generally spend about one hour in the War Rooms. If you are interested in a more in-depth, exclusive visit, we can arrange private before and after hour visits to the Churchill War Rooms. Contact our office for more information.