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“Why the allies won the war!!”
Review of Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Bletchley Park, Home of the WW2 Codebreakers, was once Britain's best kept secret and is now a vibrant heritage attraction open daily to visitors to learn how the Codebreakers' breath-taking achievements helped shorten WW2 by up to two years.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 1 July 2014

My wife and I and two friends drove the 50 odd miles up the M1 from London to visit the most
secretive location in England during World War 2. In Station X in Bletchley Park , Alan Turing
the greatest British scientist since Isaac Newton and his fellow codebreakers broke the
ingenious Enigma machine cypher used for German high-level communications. The German
operators had 159 million million million different possibilities. And yet Turing and his colleagues
managed to decipher what Hitler was saying to his subordinates!!1
Visiting Bletchley is absolutely riveting. You are taken back it time. It makes me shiver just writing about it. At one time there were up to 9000 staff working there, mostly women and
one Mavis Lever was responsible for cracking the code which enabled to British navy to utterly
destroy the Italian navy because she broke the code knowing where it would be! Mavis was only
19 years old.
You are shown the huts where the codebreakers did their work and you can test yourself on puzzles to see if you can break codes! The rooms are just as they were between 1939- 1945
On the walls you can see vitual displays and a visit to the past and hear the codebreakers talking.You see the bycicles they rode, the cars and motor bikes. You are taken back to the forties!
People come from near and far to visit London and the rest of the UK. They see Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament , Buckingham Palace etc etc. In my opinion Bletchley Park Station X
is the number one attraction in the UK.
And what become of Alan Turing? He committed suicide after the war, hounded because of his homosexuality.He killed himself by injecting cyanide into an apple and eating it. But we remember this genius the inventor of the computer by something named in his honour, lets see if you can decipher that!! And the 19 year old lass Mavis Lever? She only died late last year.
And the Germans NEVER worked out what was going on in Bletchley Park.
It only takes 50 minutes from Euston in central London to get to Bletchley by fast train and Station X is across the road from Bletchley railway station.

1  Thank LondonBarry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 July 2014

This is a must see attraction. Go on a guided tour first then take your time looking at all the exhibits - lots of reading. Also the museum oc computing is very interesting try and get one of the volunters to take you round and explain everything. We didn't have enough time there and could have done with another day.

1  Thank Angela K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2014

Having been vaguely aware of the work done at Bletchley Park during the war and the code breakers, I thought I might be visiting some old sheds. But, it was a very well-organised and beautiful place, with so much history. It was very well laid out, with guided tours or hand-held multi-media options. The huts had been restored and it was eerie to walk through them, with the coders' clothes, papers, even voices and images appearing on walls. The museums explained how the machines worked, and some were interactive. It raised my respect for the many people, mainly women, who worked and lived there, in barrack-like conditions, under top secrecy for many years. This is well worth a visit and is suitable for children over 10 years. Set in lovely grounds, the Park has lots of car-parking, but is most easily accessed from London via train, as the station is just across the road. Take the day and see everything.

2  Thank DublinHillwalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2014

I made my second visit to Bletchley Park in June this year, the day After the Duchees of Cambridge had visited to open new displays. In the 6 months since my previous visit much has taken place here in the way of improvements and added attractions such as interactive displays giving some idea of the complex work that was carried out here which undoubtably shortened the second world war. It is difficult to explain the feeling you get from a visit to this place of wonder, here very clever and intelligent members of our society puzzled their brains to beat the expertise in message coding of our greatest enemies, and succeeded. A visit here makes you proud to be British and see at first hand how "necessity is the mother of invention" from a Heath Robinson lash up of electronics the Computer was born, intricate mechanical devices were made in haste by manufacturers to do mechanically what would have taken decades to do manually. As Mr Churchill ordered every piece of equipment to be broken up into hand size pieces after the war, it is surprising that so much has been able to reproduced to show future generations what occured at this hallowed place. Please do go and visit.

4  Thank Johng59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 July 2014

This is a special place for many people. For all of us who want to discover the roots of computing that pervade our modern life experience; for those who wish to know how the Allies really won the war; and for those who want to see how a museum should present itself to the public without reducing the message.

Bletchley Park is an impeccable experience, and far removed from the perception of museums as being places in which to see things. This is place where you engage at many levels and in which you are placed into the WWII together with the thousands who worked here breaking the codes of the German, Japanese and other war machines.

There was a risk that this entire site would be converted into low-cost housing by one previous government, but fortunately this same government discovered that they did not own this site and the family that did own it donated it for posterity for future generations. And with funds made available from Lotto and other sources the site has been turned into an dynamic museum of the highest professional order for the public.

There are critiques that modern museums are pandering to the public and watering down the message to push through as many people as possible, but in this case, and as a computer scientist and mathematician myself, I found the experience accentuating my knowledge and being truly informative and a worthwhile trip. I will be back again and hopefully many times.

Among the highlights are (1) the Volunteers who were all impeccably dressed and highly informative on the minutiae of the history of the code breaking activities in WWII. They were all happy to be there and none are paid for their services.The park keeps a very small group of permanent staff with volunteers making up the bulk of the support personnel. (2) The park ground, in immaculate condition, as they welcome the visitors on the walk up to the house. (3) The restored huts, with the audio and video support to reconstruct the conditions of the flow of the information as it became useful for the military strategists. (4) The audio/video units, which are modern and appear to be iPods in a casing with a simple and effective interface to enable anyone, with no training, to use these and to obtain short (2-3 min) videos covering the different sections and tours. (5) The entrance and reception area, completely understated from the outside, which opens up to a perfect introduction to the site prior to the start of the tours in the park. (6) Desks with embedded interactive screens which are used to show the processes and equipment in details through touch based navigation. The equipment is placed into old-style desks which largely hides the technology and emphasises the message.

My one critique is that there is perhaps too much information available and that this creates a kind of "noise" which needs to be decrypted during a talk. We have the audio/video guides, the tour guides, and the audio and video within many of the rooms. But perhaps that is part of the experience, that we ourselves need to discover the information we need from the variety of sources available.

My lasting memory is that of standing in the office of my hero, Alan Turing, to whom we owe so much, not only for the war effort, but for the insights and the application of these insights, on both sides of the Atlantic, which led to what we know today as computers, computer programming, and artificial intelligence.

2  Thank rogerlayton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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