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Second World War

A Short History of The Cabinet War Rooms

Second World War

A Short History of The Cabinet War Rooms

During the Second World War, a group of basement offices in Whitehall served as the centre of Britain’s war effort. The complex, known as the Cabinet War Rooms, was occupied by leading government ministers, military strategists and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Weather news board in Churchill War Rooms
IWM HU 43777

Inside Churchill War Rooms

Women at the switchboard in Churchill's Bunker
Undercover: Life in Churchill's Bunker

Churchill War Rooms

Permanent

Churchill With Tommy Gun
Churchill Museum

Churchill War Rooms

Permanent

View of the Map Room at Churchill War Rooms
IWM SITE CWR 567
Cabinet War Rooms

Churchill War Rooms

Permanent

Activity

Operation Black Door

Activity

Operation Black Door

26 November 2020
Churchill War Rooms
It’s the height of the Second World War. You are needed as part of Churchill’s top-secret workforce for a covert mission in his hidden headquarters, deep under the streets of Westminster. Join us for an after-hours immersive experience within Churchill War Rooms.   
A corridor in the Churchill War Rooms

Support Us

As a charity, now more than ever IWM needs your support to ensure we can continue to tell personal stories and experiences of conflict for current and future generations to come. 

A Balloon Site, Coventry
© IWM (ART LD 2750)
Donate Now
Make a donation to IWM and help us to tell the stories of those affected by conflict, launch our ground-breaking exhibitions and deliver our world-class learning programmes. 
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Become an IWM Member
Help tell stories that deserve to be heard by supporting us as a member and uncover a host of benefits including free standard admission to Churchill War Rooms, HMS Belfast and IWM Duxford.
A volunteer talks to young visitors to Imperial War Museums
Support Us
Discover the many ways you can support our historically important sites and world-leading collection.

Top Five Churchill War Rooms Shop Products

Top Five Churchill War Rooms Shop Products

We have hand-picked some of our best sellers from the IWM online shop that will keep you entertained and captures the spirit of Churchill War Rooms.
CWR product 22147 bust
©IWM

Churchill and the 1945 Election

Churchill and the 1945 Election

Winston Churchill is arguably Britain's greatest wartime leader, having led Britain from its 'Darkest Hour' in 1940 all the way to victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. So why, just months after VE Day, did he lose the 1945 General Election?

Discover some of the hidden stories of Churchill War Rooms

A caricature of Adolf Hitler drawn onto a map in the Chiefs of Staff Conference Room . © IWM SITE CWR 456.
Winston Churchill
9 Secrets from Churchill War Rooms
Discover some of the hidden stories of Churchill War Rooms. 
Joy Hunter, a typist in the Churchill War Rooms during the Second World War, sits behind a desk
Second World War
Joy Hunter on life as a typist at Churchill War Rooms
Joy Hunter was a typist in the Churchill War Rooms during the Second World War. She recalls what it was like to see Winston Churchill at work - and tells the story of one memorable evening with the film loving Prime Minister! 
Second World War
How Sugar Cubes Reveal Churchill War Rooms Well Preserved Past
When IWM took over the Churchill War Rooms in the early 80s, three sugar cubes were discovered, hidden away in a desk drawer of the Map Room.

Step back in time

Step back in time

Walk the labyrinth of rooms and corridors that stretch below Westminster that sheltered Winston Churchill and his war cabinet from the German bombing raids, and explore the Churchill museum to learn the story of his life and legacy

London's Hidden Gem

A man walking through a dimly lit tunnel in Churchill War Rooms
©IWM

London's Hidden Gem

History was made in Churchill War Rooms – the underground nerve centre that allowed Britain’s leaders to plot the allied route to victory during the Second World War. Step back in time and walk the top secret corridors of the Cabinet War Rooms.

Get up close to artefacts revealing Churchill’s personal and political journey in the interactive Churchill Museum, which uncovers the influences and pressures that shaped his life, leadership and legacy.

How long will you stay?

People using the interactive displays in the Churchill Museum at Churchill War Rooms
© IWM

How long will you stay?

We recommend you give yourself at least 90 minutes to look around the Churchill War Rooms. However, with our on-site café and the amount of information to be found in the Churchill Museum, lots of people come for half a day or more.

Please note that queue times are longer during peak periods such as weekends and school holidays.

Explore Churchill War Rooms

JOIN IWM TODAY - BECOME A MEMBER

Join IWM membership

JOIN IWM TODAY - BECOME A MEMBER

Help us continue to tell stories that deserve to be heard by supporting us as a member and uncover a host of benefits including free standard admission to Churchill War Rooms, HMS Belfast and IWM Duxford.

Learn more >

Location

Churchill War Rooms with exterior sign
Address

Churchill War Rooms
Clive Steps
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AQ

  • St James's Park
  • Westminster

Facilities

  • Accessibility

    We are committed to ensuring Churchill War Rooms is accessible to as many visitors possible. If you have mobility issues we recommend you make your way to our front entrance via Birdcage Walk by St James Park. Once inside, the historic Churchill War Rooms is wheelchair accessible throughout.  For more information please follow the link to our accessibility guide below.

  • Shopping at Churchill War Rooms

    Our shops offer a wide range of inspiring and unique gifts, from books, clothing and accessories to vintage posters, homeware, toys and souvenirs, all inspired by our collections and the stories they tell. Shop in branch or online using the link below.

     

  • Eating and Drinking

    Our café specialises in classic British food, home-cooked pies, stews and tarts alongside a range of deli sandwiches and fresh seasonal salads.  Open daily from 10am-5pm with last orders at 4.45pm, hot food served until 3pm. Please note our Café is only available with admission to the museum.

  • Donations

    IWM is a registered charity and relies on your support to help us preserve our unique collections for future generations. To help us preserve our collections you can donate cash or make a quick and easy contactless donation with a credit or debit card by tapping it at various locations around the museums. Alternatively you can donate online now on the link below. Thank you for supporting IWM.

  • Filming and photography

    You are welcome to take photos and video at our museums for personal, non-commercial use but please refrain from using flash or tripods. Our museums can get busy at times and we therefore ask that you do not film people without their permission. Please observe signage indicating where photography and filming is not permitted.  

     

  • Audio Guides

    Audio guides are included in your admission price and provide an intriguing insight into Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms.

    You can choose to use your own headphones that will connect to our audio guides via the 3.5 mm standard jack.

    Choose from the various language and descriptive audio guide options: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, Portuguese, Mandarin, a family guide and a descriptive guide for visitors with visual impairment.

  • Lockers and Luggage

    We are unable to store luggage as unfortunately we have no cloakroom lockers. As our corridors are narrow we ask visitors not to bring in rucksacks or other large items, such as suitcases.

     

  • Safety at IWM

    The safety of our visitors and staff and the preservation of our collections are of the upmost importance to IWM. We therefore kindly ask that you allow sufficient time on entry to our museums for our staff to complete their security checks to ensure this is maintained. Please do not bring any prohibited items with you as they will be confiscated. If you see any unattended bags or packages or have concerns about security issues on your visit please report this to a member of staff.  

  • Floor Plan

    To help you plan your visit in advance, please see the below link where you can download a copy of the Floor Plan.