Until 1993, Bletchley Park was a fairly inconsequential, pretty dilapidated stately home and few knew its secret history. Now, thanks to films such as Enigma, The Imitation Game and ITV’s Bletchley Circle, it is fast becoming a household name, making it the perfect time to visit.
Bletchley Park was the centre of code breaking in the Second World War. The country’s top minds worked here intercepting the German’s communications and then deciphering them for the Allies. The most famous was, of course, Alan Turing who is credited with helping to create the first ever computer, cracking ciphers and, some believe, shortening the war by two years! He has his own part of the museum dedicated to him where there is also a 3-D film explaining how they reconstructed his famous machine.
You’ll be able to visit the huts and offices where over 900 men and women worked tirelessly throughout the campaign. These have all been lovingly recreated and many of the exhibits have interactive elements that kids will love.
The finer details of how machines like Enigma, Collussus and Turing’s Bombes actually worked may be lost on younger minds but it’s perfect for history lovers, puzzle enthusiasts and computer whizzes. The museum gives you a personalised iPod with a brilliant commentary for all areas of the site that also helps bring the place to life.
The exhibition about The Imitation Game is in the main house which is open to all. It’s perfect for movie buffs and Benedict Cumberbatch fans. You can see some of the costumes both he and Keira Knightley wore along with loads of props used in the film. There is also reconstruction of the bar where you can pose for a photo (though sadly not get a drink!). Try Hut 4 instead where the cafe is.
There is so much to see we suggest you make a day of it. Moreover, your ticket allows you a free return visit within 12 months so if you don’t get to see it all first time round then make a date to go again.
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