Mummy says…I love the period of WWII in history and have enjoyed learning more about it as my older children have studied it for their History GCSE. I was so very excited and curious to be visiting Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, named Home of the Codebreakers.
Bletchley Park is the home of the late Alan Turing, whose life the film and book ‘The Imitation Game’ are based on. (If you haven’t seen the film, I highly recommend it, starring Benedict Cumberbatch it is a truly incredible film).
I had no idea what to expect. There is a large, beautiful mansion set in gorgeous grounds with a lake. In these grounds are huts and blocks in which the decoding work was carried out.
Bletchley Park is an absolutely fascinating place. More or less fully restored, it is a museum but with access to many of the actual huts which have been rebuilt to give visitors a taste of what life was like then. Restoration of some of the Park is ongoing.
People who worked there were transported to their hut, did their work, then were transported home. They had no idea who or what was in the other huts.
They did not speak of their work, which was in essence decoding messages from the enemy, using Enigma machines.
Bletchley Park opened in 2014 when the huts were restored. If they had not been restored before the wind storms in January 2014 they would have most probably been destroyed and lost forever. That would have have been the biggest shame, and made me appreciate this wonderful place all the more.
Pickle had a go himself using a digital interactive version, which is so much fun and shows how the machines worked, in a way which we could all understand, including the children.
There are so many fantastic interactive exhibits which all the children loved and free multi media guides with headphones, free guided tours and staff giving talks at key pieces. We all learnt so much from Bletchley Park, it is a truly unique place and I think everyone should visit to realise exactly what happened here.
There is a cafe at the entrance serving delicious coffees, hot chocolate and a range of other drinks and snacks. A gift shop has a wide range of related books, DVD’s, toys and homeware.
The restaurant next to the main house serves great value lunches, children’s meals, drinks and snacks.
We had a wonderful day as guests of Bletchley Park, and can’t wait to visit again. Thank you Bletchley Park.
Entry is £17.95 or £15.15 for concessions. Under 12’s are free.
There is usually a range of activities going on, check the Bletchley Park website for details and to book tickets online.