If you’d like to find out more about Ordnance Survey’s efforts in both World War I and World War II, you can read our blog story on the subject.
This Victorian mansion house was the home of secret intelligence service during World War II. You can get a guided tour of the main points of interest around the site and find out how the Enigma and Lorenz codes were broken.
Perhaps the most famous part of Bletchley Park are the code-breaking Enigma cipher machines, including the Abwehr G312, and the various exhibitions and displays tell the stories of how British spies gained critical information from the Germans about their wartime plans that helped the Allied forces. There are also reconstructions of a wartime garage, post office, home front and radio and toy collections.
Bletchley Park is also recognised as the birthplace of the modern computer and where the genius mathematician Alan Turing worked on the early prototypes. A celebration of his work, along with groundbreaking examples of computing machines that changed the world can be seen at the National Museum of Computing.
The presence of Sir Winston Churchill lives on at the Kent family home he bought in 1924 and where he lived for most of his life. The house was unoccupied for most of the war because of its vulnerability to German bombing and special forces attack, but despite this, Churchill was known to have visited the house during the war years.
The house and gardens have magnificent views over the Weald of Kent and the property has been preserved by the National Trust to appear much as they would have been while he lived there. The rooms are packed with over 5 000 items of Churchill memorabilia including collections that illustrate his wide variety of interests and his own paintings.
Situated above the white cliffs of Dover, Dover Castle has protected Britain from foreign invaders for over 2000 years, and is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent castles to visit in its own right. A major new attraction has opened in 2011 to highlight wartime life underground from the Napoleonic Wars to the Cold War, and in particular, the use of the secret wartime tunnels under the castle during World War II operations.
The highlight of the secret tunnels exhibition is Operation Dynamo, showing how the tunnels were used to mastermind the Dunkirk evacuation in May 1940 (codenamed ‘Dynamo’) through walk-through state-of-the-art special effects, film footage and 60m wall projections.
Other points of interest include a reconstruction of a wartime military hospital and operating theatre and you can see fragments from Nagasaki and Hiroshima representing the time when the tunnels were used as a bunker in event of nuclear war.
The most well-known military museum in Britain has its main site at Lambeth Road, Waterloo, but there are also other centres such as the Duxford Air Museum.
The war museum is in no way a celebration of war and sensitively covers military history and conflicts around the world from World War 1 to date. It does however have extensive collections of artillery, tanks, aircraft, land and naval weaponry.
Highlights of the museum include the large exhibits gallery, secret war exhibition, children’s war, 1939 outbreak, heroes’ stories, themed art and the Holocaust exhibition.
You can find more inspiring wartime places to visit on our Leisure magazine pages.