Winston Churchill’s Britain At War Experience

Gas maskWinston Churchill’s Britain at War Experience is a hidden gem just down the road from the London Dungeon near London Bridge station.

This permanent exhibition explores life for everyday citizens in Britain during the Second World War.

You can huddle under an Anderson shelter, see real wartime bombs and hear children’s experiences of evacuation.

You may have been stuck on the Tube before, but can you image sleeping down there? The underground tunnels were one of the places Londoners sheltered during the air raids of World War Two. With no toilets, people had to relieve themselves on the tracks – and by all accounts, things became rather stinky!

After the main exhibition, we entered a dark, smokey room to see the ruins of a bomb-hit building. Sirens, flashing lights and even body-parts brought home just how much damage the bombs did.

For me, the most fascinating aspect of the exhibition was finding out how people managed to carry on and make the best of things despite rationing and the ever-present fear of being bombed.

For example, couples getting married at the time would have to make do with a cardboard wedding cake as food was in short supply. Cake companies would hire out a replica cake for the day, and if you were lucky, there’d be a small drawer inside with a tiny slice of real cake to enjoy.

If you like retro-style postcards, magnets and badges, I’d also recommend a trip to the gift shop afterwards. You can even pick up a replica ration book.

Or if you’d like to try a 1940s Christmas this year, take a look at the Imperial War Museum’s Wartime Christmas Pudding recipe.

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  1. Claire says:

    This museum is excellent. Lots of interactive stuff and things you don’t see everywhere else like wartime clothing. You’re even allowed to try on a selection of gas masks!

  2. bluecheese says:

    what about the imperial war museum? its bigger better and free

  3. Claire says:

    I’ll have to check out IWM !

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