We have wanted to visit Bletchley Park for a while now having heard so much about it, so last weekend we did just that. Located in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, Bletchley Park was the top secret code breaking establishment during the Second World War and home to the worlds first electronic and digital computer. Now a popular tourist attraction, engaging and educating visitors from all over the world.
There is so much to see and do at Bletchley Park for both adults and children, from exploring the codebreaking huts and The National Museum of Computing (small additional charge), to enjoying fascinating exhibitions and interactive challenges.
The current exhibition located in the Mansion is The Imitation Game, a film about Alan Turing’s achievements at Bletchley during the Second World War and certain scenes from the film were actually filmed in the ballroom of the Mansion.
The beautiful landscape has also been restored to its WW2 appearance and you can hear atmospheric snippets of conversation, laughter and bicycle bells, giving you an idea of how it would have sounded during that time. Several rooms in the Mansion have also been dressed WW2 style, taking you back in time.
Bletchley Park holds many regular events. You could spend an evening watching films in the open air cinema, indulge in Afternoon Tea in the Victorian Mansion, or treat yourself to a fabulous 1940’s inspired vintage makeover.
There are many hands-on and interactive puzzles and challenges to do, which both adults and children can enjoy, including trying to intercept a radio message, deciphering codes and encoding your own secret messages. There is also a worthwhile one hour, outdoor, guided walking tour available, although I would say this is probably more beneficial for adults than children, due to the level of information given. There are also multimedia guides available, to help you get the most from your visit.
This was a fantastic place to see and explore and I would highly recommend it as a fun and educational attraction. I particularly loved walking round The Imitation Game exhibition, which included some fabulous props and costumes from the film.
Our daughters especially enjoyed all the interactive challenges and of course going in the gift shop at the end. To make it even more worthwhile, our family tickets are valid for 12 months, so we can visit as many times as we like! Happy days.
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