Take the children to … Western Approaches, Liverpool War Museum | Travel

In a nutshell

With Gary Oldman Oscar nominated for his efficiency as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, the UK’s war-time chief is in focus. Churchill was a frequent customer to Western Approaches, the key bunker beneath Liverpool that has been reopened by Chester-based social enterprise group Big Heritage. It was the nerve centre to coordinate the Battle of the Atlantic and staffed primarily by Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) and Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, (WAAFs). The bunker is within the basement of an workplace constructing in Moorfields, Liverpool’s business quarter, however is simply 5 minutes from Pier Head and the waterfront. Combine it with a go to to the Terracotta Warriors on the World Museum, opening on 9 February, for a totally instructional time out.

Fun reality

Western Approaches homes the unique Gaumont Kalee Dragon projector Churchill used to look at secret battle footage. Newsreel managed by the Ministry of Information was then proven to the general public in cinemas to spice up morale.

Best issues about it

The cine information … movie projector on the museum

It captures the bulldog spirit of the instances. The self-guided path goes by a labyrinth of rooms, together with the central Operations Room with its large battle map and the Cypher Room, the place secret coded messages had been exchanged with Bletchley Park. The tour ends at a recreated 1940s Liverpool road scene, the place households can gown up in interval garments earlier than hitting the candy store. There’s a brand new room for half-term dedicated to youngsters’s video games, reminiscent of hopscotch, cup and ball, and pitch and toss with real outdated pennies. Grandparents will little doubt take pleasure in beating the children at their wartime favorite.

What about lunch?

At the low-key Naafi (canteen), a cup of tea or espresso prices 2p – because it did in 1940 – making it the most cost effective cuppa within the metropolis, maybe the nation. While sipping you may peruse wartime historical past books, or watch the video about Merseyside throughout wartime. Speaking after the Liverpool blitz of May 1941, Churchill mentioned, “I see … the spirit of an unconquered people.”

Exit by the present store?

A small store in reception has souvenirs on a wartime theme, together with Morse Code kits (£17.50) and Chocolate Edition Battleships video games (£9). Our household favorite was a Churchill-style rubber duck – full with cigar and victory signal (£5.50) – to recollect the night time the previous prime minister coordinated technique from the bath.

The recreated 1940s Liverpool street scene at Western Approaches, Liverpool War Museum.

The recreated 1940s Liverpool road scene

Getting there

It is strolling distance from Liverpool Moorfields and Lime Street railway stations, each served by the Merseyrail community. If driving, there’s pay-and-display parking on Rumford Street, reverse the museum.

Value for cash?

It’s nonetheless a bit work-in-progress however the ticket is legitimate over six months for repeat visits: £10.50 adults, £9 concessions (senior residents, college students, serving personnel and kids aged 5-16), beneath 5s free, household ticket (2+2) £30. A guided tour of the positioning for teams or people prices £20 per hour.

Opening hours

Open 10am-5pm (final admission four.15pm, closed Wednesdays).


eight out of 10. The Churchill War Rooms in London is extra well-known however Western Approaches is properly value a supporting-role nomination.


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