WAR ROOM

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“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” Those immortal words were spoken by Winston Churchill as he rallied his nation to victory in World War II, and they’re just as moving today. The former British Prime Minister’s legacy includes a number of historic spots around London, but none are more fascinating than the Churchill War Rooms, a museum housed in an underground complex where Churchill and his ministers drew up the plans that would help Britain and its allies prevail against the Axis powers. As you emerge from the tranquil greenery of Saint James’s Park toward the treasury building, head just left of the staircase in front of you toward a set of understated sliding glass doors. Descend into the subterranean bunker where every article from its wartime heyday has been preserved, from the thumbtacks in the war maps to cigar ash resting at the bottom of one of Churchill’s own cigars. Guide your little ones down the hallway to the main attraction—the war cabinet room. To this day, wall-sized maps are still stippled with the comings and goings of shipping convoys and enemy positions, while primary-colored phones still sit with their handsets at a tilt, as if they could ring at any moment with news from the front. When your tour of the proper rooms has come to an end, a gallery full of interactive educational terminals for your kids—and lengthier historical pieces for mom and dad—allow extra insight onto the heart of England’s war machine.

Churchill War Rooms

Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AQ, England

44 020 7930 6961

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