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Churchill War Rooms

A fascinating underground museum preserving the bunker from which Churchill's government directed the war effort.

TravelCurious Tip

The perfect activity for a rainy day.

For those with any interest in the Second World War, and Britain’s involvement in it, the Churchill War Rooms should not be missed. Located beneath the Treasury at the southeast corner of St. James’ Park, this underground complex was the nerve centre from which the war effort was orchestrated by Winston Churchill. All the furniture and equipment has been left exactly as it was in August 1945 at the war’s end, and the result is an astonishing time-capsule insight into what it was like to live and work with the hopes of a nation and a continent resting on their shoulders.

Leading from Below

Foreseeing the outbreak of war, construction on the War Rooms began in 1938, and they were made fully operational shortly before Germany’s invasion of Poland. After Churchill’s appointment as Prime Minister, he visited the complex in May 1940 and declared: “This is the room from which I will direct the war”.

A Man and his Plan

As you dip beneath the massive layer of concrete known as “The Slab”, you discover that the Churchill War Rooms actually consists of two separate museums. The Cabinet War Rooms, whose centrepiece is the fascinating Map Room, detail the strategic and tactical exploits of the war room as a whole. This is where Churchill held no less than 115 cabinet meetings, hammering out the details of Allied offensives across Europe. The Churchill Museum unpicks the life and works of the great man himself, from his early childhood to his state funeral. Particularly interesting is the large collection of passionately devoted letters he wrote to his wife Clementine, exposing the softer side of this famously tough statesman.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in London
Big Ben
The iconic Victorian clock tower of London, which has become a symbol of the city itself.
Downing Street
The home of some of the most important members of the British Government, including the Prime Minister himself.
Westminster Abbey
One of London's oldest and most magnificent churches, with a long-standing connection to the royal family.
St James' Park
A green oasis in royal London that is host to numerous ceremonies - and has a lake complete with pelicans.
Horse Guards Parade
An old tournament ground that now serves as an area for royal and military ceremonies.
St Margaret's Church
The parish church of the House of Commons, it has seen many famous weddings and burials

Related Tours

City of Spies Private Tour; Espionage in London (+ Churchill War Rooms)
Let us bring to life the enigmatic espionage history of London. 

Capital to the worlds largest empire, thriving centre of international trade and finance - London has long attracted spies . 

This exciting experience has been created exclusively to bring you on a fascinating journey through London's role in the Cold War, the origins of MI5, MI6 and Churchill's role in bringing down the Nazi regime. 

  • Experience the worlds of fiction and reality, uncovering hidden places, bunkers, luxury hotels, and fall in love with the romance and betrayal of spies.
  • Walk by the famous Caxton bar where the Cambridge Five often met their Soviet Handlers and handed over classified documents. 
  • See where Ian Fleming wrote part of the James Bond series, while working as a naval intelligence officer nearby and learn the hotel's unique spy history.
  • Discover London's rich history of espionage at St Ermin's Hotel, with meetings such as Winston Churchill's 'Setting Europe Ablaze’ occurring here in 1940.
  • Hear stories of double agents and plots to overthrow the government at some of the most powerful institutions in Westminster, including Downing StreetWhitehall, Westminster Palace, MI5, and MI6.
  • Follow in the footsteps of key double agents in the Cold War, such as Kim Philby, Donald Maclean,  Guy Burgess, and George Blake - and ask if there truly was a 'Fifth Man'.
  • Learn about the extraordinary life of Sir Mansfield Cumming, the first director of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), known as MI6. 
  • Visit the Churchill War Rooms, the stage from which Britain's World War 2 strategy was directed.

On this unique experience you will walk by and learn about many of the protagonist buildings and sites where these world changing events have taken place. Your guide is an expert in spy history and will mesmerise you with stories that seem more like Le Carré novels than real life. Of course, these stories are not confined to the Second World War and Cold War History, as Russian operatives in London continue to make splashes across global headlines.

Venture out onto the streets of Westminster and discover the area's colourful history of espionage, dirty politics and death. The toppling of regimes, battle against ideology and revolution have all been orchestrated and exercised along these streets. Revisit the setting of infamous covert operations, traitorous meetings involving double agents and murder plots. See the headquarters of MI6 secret service and New Scotland Yard past and present.  At the end of your tour, visit the Churchill War Rooms, where the wartime Prime Minister planned Britain's defiance of the Nazis.

Come enjoy this unique experience but please be discrete; the information given on this tour is classified...
Winston Churchill & War Rooms Private Tour
This enriching and emotionally stirring experience is led by an expert in this field. Gain an extensive insight into Wartime London, and be humbled by the resilience of its people.

  • Begin in the heart of London’s historic parliamentary district.
  • Learn about the impact WWII had on the English Capital and its people.
  • See the Winston Churchill memorial and partially bombed buildings from the blitz.
  • Visit The Houses of ParliamentWestminster AbbeyDowning Street and The Cenotaph.
  • See the Old War Office, MI6 headquarters and the Gurkha Soldier memorial.
  • Finish at the fascinating and spectacular Churchill War Rooms.

Begin exploring the heart of London’s parliamentary district. This was the brain and nerve centre for British and Allied forces in Europe and abroad. See the Winston Churchill memorial, and learn about his adolescence, personal life and fascinating rise to government. See partially destroyed buildings from the blitz and visit The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the Prime Minister's residence. Next visit The iconic Cenotaph war memorial, special service headquarters and Ghurka memorial..

Part ways with your friendly guide and descend into the subterranean Churchill War Rooms. An underground network of bunkers that functioned as British wartime offices, planning and map rooms. It was here that much of Allied intelligence and strategy was discussed and planned in WWII. As well as a place of refuge and shelter for government during the blitz. A truly incredible experience.

City of Spies Group WalkingTour; Espionage in London (+ free drink)
It was once the heart of the world's largest empire. It bridges the East and West. As a result, London has been the stage of many of the greatest espionage and spy stories in history. This exciting experience has been created exclusively to bring you on a fascinating journey through London's role in the Cold War, the origins of MI5, MI6, and Churchill's role in bringing down the Nazi regime.

Delve into the worlds of fiction and reality, uncovering hidden places, bunkers, luxury hotels, and fall in love with the romance and betrayal of spies. Pass by some of the most powerful institutions in Westminster, including Downing Street, Whitehall, Westminster Palace, MI5, MI6, and the Churchill War Rooms. Follow in the footsteps of Sydney Reilly, known to be the Ace of Spies. Learn about the key double agents in the Cold War, such as Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, or Guy Burgess. Hear about the extraordinary life of Sir Mansfield Cumming, the first director of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), known as MI6.

On this unique experience you get to walk by and learn of many of the key buildings and sites where events that changed the world took place. Your guide is an expert in Spy History and will mesmerise you with stories that seem more like Le Carre novels than real life. Of course, these stories are not confined to the Second World War and Cold War History, as Russian operatives in London continue to make splashes across global headlines. The experience ends with a special treat as your guide will explain the significance of Morpeth Arms pub in London's rich espionage history.
Private Walking Tour: The Temple of Detection in the Heart of Power
Beginning over one thousand years ago, the Scottish Royals made themselves at home in London where the Great Scotland Yard Hotel now stands; it also served as the first home for the Metropolitan Police, with infamous criminals being held —including suspects of the Jack the Ripper crime spree — in what is now the hotel bar. Immerse yourself in the hotel’s history on a private walking tour of one of the world’s most famous and storied neighbourhoods. On your private tour you will: 

  • Learn about the hotel’s history through its artwork — including the role the curated art plays in prison rehabilitation programs today. 
  • Step out into the neighborhood and hear about the originals of the Met Police and Whitehall’s connection to the Sherlock Holmes saga.
  • Enjoy centuries of tales of espionage including at Benjamin Franklin’s last home, where his mission was infiltrated by a British agent. 
  • See where the entrance to Harry Potter’s Ministry of Magic is set – and maybe even experience some magic yourselves! 
  • Discuss the crosshairs between which power and the British monarchy are often found — and how the stories playing out today echo back through time. 
  • Along the route, enjoy the iconic sites of the city— the Horse Guards Parade, the Palace of Westminster, 10 Downing Street, and the Churchill War Rooms - all while delighting in the  chronicled anecdotes of plots, scandals, secret passageways under the city, and war. 
  • Return to the Great Scotland Yard Hotel and venture to the 40 Elephants and enjoy a signature house cocktail. 
  • Your tour ends with a signature cocktail at the 40 Elephants Bar in the hotel, where you will be apprised of the illustrious history from which the bar has taken its name. 
Located just blocks from Trafalgar Square to the north, the Palace of Westminster to the south, and Buckingham Palace to the west, it’s of little wonder that over a thousand years of England’s history has triangulated on The Great Scotland Yard Hotel. Your starts and ends at the hotel itself, medieval seat of royalty, then home to elite civil servants and in Victorian times the Central Office of the detective unit of the Metropolitan Police, where the beautiful artwork specially commissioned by Hyatt Hotels for this celebrates famous figures, police, criminals and even modern prisoners and politicians.

 Within its walls, kings and queens have slept, criminals have been held, and spies have operated without detection. On its doorstep, the entire city of London has played out its history, as centuries of stewards have made use of the now-hotel. You will explore the creation of the modern police force, some of the heinous crimes (real and fictional) investigated on this site, and the local connections both Royal and Political here, the centre of power in the UK for many centuries. Join Travel Curious guides on a walk of world history as told through the peculiar and one-of-a-kind history of the Great Scotland Yard Hotel. 


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