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Britain at War Experience....options???

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Berkeley, CA
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Britain at War Experience....options???

"Winston Churchill's Britain at War Experience" at the London Bridge has gotten terrible T.A. reviews. Is there something else in London that you can recommend, especially for kids 8 and 11 that can help us experience London in war time?

thanks.

US
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for Nashville
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1. Re: Britain at War Experience....options???

The Cabinet War Rooms?

(One bit of advice I've seen here that I've kept in mind is that any tourist attraction with the word "Experience" in it is not worth visiting. :D )

Southport UK
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2. Re: Britain at War Experience....options???

Imperial War Museum perhaps?

Detroit, Michigan
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3. Re: Britain at War Experience....options???

Actually, for kids that age, the Britain at War Experience might not be all that bad a choice. : ) We went several years ago and yes, the exhibits are a bit cheesy, but there is a lot of "homefront" memorabilia worth looking at. An Anderson Shelter they can go in, manequins dressed up in clothes of the day, exhibits on food they ate and food rationing, etc...

Cabinet War Rooms and Imperial War Museum are both excellent.

London, United...
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4. Re: Britain at War Experience....options???

Definitely the Imperial War Museum, also HMS Belfast is always an interesting diversion.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Britain at War Experience....options???

I second the recommendation for the Cabinet War Rooms (which includes the outstanding Churchill Museum). The Cabinet War Rooms (which are run by the Imperial War Museum, but in a different location) are the rooms where Churchill ran his wartime cabinet. The rooms have been left just as they were when the war ended.....I think it's fascinating. If your kids are interested in wartime experiences, I think this would be a great one. No "pyrotechnics", but it's the real thing. See http://cwr.iwm.org.uk/server/show/nav.156

The attached (and included in the entry fee) Churchill Museum is also excellent. It may not appeal as much to your kids, but there are some interactive exhibits, as well as some moving audio clips of Churchill's speeches. Your kids might be interested for a short time.

Edited: 19 April 2010, 23:31
Fredericksburg, VA
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6. Re: Britain at War Experience....options???

My son, who was 10 at the time, was bored silly with the Cabinet War Rooms (hubby enjoyed it however). He liked the Britain at War Experience (actually we all did) and he LOVED the HMS Belfast. There's plenty of climbing around inside the ship and there are little vignettes set up to understand what life was like shipboard. But it is life on a naval ship.

We all thought the Britain at War Experience showed much more how regular people made it through the war. My husband is a major WWI and II buff, and he thought the BWE was pretty well done, and none of us (including me, who is definitely NOT a war buff) were bored. So even though the TA ratings may not be high, we would recommend it.

Cybored

Detroit, Michigan
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7. Re: Britain at War Experience....options???

I think if Britain at War Experience would just replace the hideous looking mannequins with some more realistic-looking ones, it wouldn't look nearly as low-budget and cheesy. There really is a lot of interesting memorablilia to look at. I remember seeing a war time wedding cake - a prettily decorated wooden cake with a little drawer in it for a small piece of real wedding cake for the bride and groom - since rations didn't permit making a whole real wedding cake. Unique stuff like that.

Illinois
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8. Re: Britain at War Experience....options???

My daughter at 10 loved the Cabinet War Rooms, it actually got her interested in history. I made her go because I wanted to, but she was really interested. Not as interested in the Churchill museum part, although she did like the table where you touch the date and a screen pops up to say what was happening. She also liked the Imperial War Museum, but not as much as the Cabinet War Rooms. We didn't go to Britain at War. I found if we did something she wanted (like a playground or park) and then something I wanted, she was more willing to do the things she didn't really want to do, went in with a more open mind, and mostly was interested in them after all.

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Britain at War Experience....options???

I would go in this order:

Imperial War Museum

Cabinet War Rooms

HMS Belfast

Britain at War Experience

I enjoy history a lot but found the Britain at War pretty cheesy. I think it would depend how interested your kids on in history.

Mesa, Arizona
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10. Re: Britain at War Experience....options???

I havent been to london in years, but I enjoyed the Imperial War Museum.

http://www.iwm.org.uk/

You can click on the info for either the Cabinet War Rooms or the Imperial War Museum (i am not sure of the diff between IWM London and IWM Duxford.)

Cabinet War room admissions: Adults are L14.95 which I though is about $21US....but kids under 16 are free.

IWM: Check the websites for the two IWM links. one seems to be free, one NOT.

Go to the "visitor" information and there is a link for a "virtual tour" = might help the kids understand it a bit better.