Tanya visits Bletchley Park

Tanya visits Bletchley Park

Tanya from Life You Deserve team Tanya Content Creator at Life You Deserve

Freelance writer. Enjoys open water swimming, biking, hiking, cooking, as well as attending readings and art galleries.

I have wanted to go to Bletchley Park for many years now, but somehow, I mistakenly thought it was too far from London to be able to do easily, and so I put it off and forgot about it entirely. 

Not only is the park just 35 minutes away by train from Euston, but it is situated mere minutes from Bletchley Station, an easy walk to the park on flat well paved roads. The entire park is extremely accessible for those with disabilities.

For anyone that has seen the films ‘The Imitation Game’ or ‘Enigma’ about the secret war work that took place here, or read the many different books on the subject, the huts will be instantly recognizable upon entry. There were originally around 16 of these huts at the height of the mission here, but many of them fell into disrepair, so there are just about 6 left now.

What I loved most was the fact that the reconstructions have been done so authentically. You can really get a feel for what life was like for those working in this busy and tense wartime atmosphere. There are conversations that are broadcast through speakers, and videos projected onto screens in many of the rooms. First-hand accounts and surviving photographs tell the story of who came here and the ways in which the codes were broken.

For people who are interested in technology, you can see the very first computer ever made, invented by the famous Alan Turing. For those who are social history scholars the period furniture and displays are fascinating. The mansion is splendid, and the architecture is well maintained. This is where the higher-ranking officers worked. Every person who was employed here had to swear an oath to keep the code-breaking war efforts a secret. They were not even allowed to share the information with close family. After the war these workers were still often too scared to speak about the role they performed, such was the level of fear instilled into them. Churchill called Bletchley Park Britain’s best kept secret.

Bletchley Park codebreakers were thought to have shortened the war by two years. Some scholars believe it even enabled Britain to win the war.

There were thousands of service men and women employed here at the height of the war. I was fortunate enough to be able to look up my grandfather ‘s record. I had been told he was deployed here to work because of his aptitude for languages and his skill as a chess master.

It was a moment of great excitement to find his name and details of his work recorded here.

I would recommend Bletchley Park for those over 55. It is a piece of living history, that connects us all to the present time. If you get tired, you can sit on the grass by the lake surrounded by the trees and relax with some refreshments. For a special treat, you can indulge in afternoon tea, a British tradition, in a room that has been converted to a restaurant in the mansion.  There is a great gift shop too. I spent about two hours at the park, but my ticket allows me to go back anytime during the next year and gain free admission.

See more details about exhibition at Bletchley Park.

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