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“Fascinating, and quite scary!”

York Cold War Bunker
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The York Pass Including Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Ranked #9 of 207 things to do in York
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Experience the threat of nuclear war at York Cold War Bunker! On a fascinating guided tour, learn how volunteers would have played a vital role in ensuring that Britain could survive a nuclear attack. The atmospheric 1960s semi-subterranean bunker is just as it was when stood down in 1991, and the one hour guided tour is enhanced by a short film. Summer opening (25th March - October 31st): Wednesday - Sunday, plus bank holidays, between 10am and 6pm. Entrance by guided tour only, at the following times: 10:00, 11:15. 11:45, 13:00, 14:15, 15:30, 16:45.
Reviewed October 17, 2012

I stumbled across the details for this site whilst browsing the internet one day (I had recently developed a bit of an obsession with the Cold War), and once I'd calmed down a bit I immediately booked a weekend in York to visit.

The bunker is very eerie - it's situated around the back of some new flats so really does kind of stick out. The tour is led by a guide, I don't think you can just walk around, but this is extremely helpful as you learn about things you'd probably pay no attention to, or even noticed.

A particular highlight was seeing the old technology, particularly the AWDRY machine, and the surprisingly basic, but presumably effective methods that the country would have used should WWIII have arrived. The bunker is, as you would expect, very 'cold' inside; as you'd expect a concrete box to be I suppose. It's very difficult to get down on here the atmosphere inside but through the exhibits and tour you really can get a sense of what it would have been like to man the stations if the need ever arose.

If in doubt, go anyway. I suspect you'll love it too. I can't wait to go back.

3  Thank cubbish86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RachaelBowers, Manager at York Cold War Bunker, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2014

Thank you for your review - I'm glad that you stumbled across us and I'm sure you would agree that our guides do bring the place to life.

Although the temperature in the building is a little bit lower than most buildings, when you visited our air conditioning system had broken making it colder than usual. This is fixed now so we should be at a more pleasant temperature!

If you're a Cold War enthusiast do keep checking the events page on our website as we do have other exciting ways of getting to know this special place.


Rachael Bowers.
Site Manager.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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566 - 570 of 588 reviews

Reviewed October 14, 2012 via mobile

Myself and my partner visited the Bunker on Sunday 14th and we were very impressed at the scale of the bunker and how well it has been maintained.
Once our guide let us into the facility and started our guided tour the sense of what it must have been like to live and work with the threat of Nuclear war, and the dangers of working and living in the bunker started to come alive.
The bunker is a great insight into what a lot of people must have known about but not been able to see inside. All the equipment is in fantastic condition and great to see.

were guided round the site by Rachael, (apologies if I spelt your name incorrectly) who was informative, knowledgeable and very entertaining and made our visit an unforgettable one, Thank you so much.
The Geordies

3  Thank MartinC1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

We decided to visit the War Bunker on our Trip to York, due to the great Trip advisor reviews, and we weren't disappointed. This is an unusual and interesting way to spend a couple of hours of your afternoon. The Cold War Bunker is the only Cold War Bunker in the UK open to the public, so you get an interesting insight of what it must have been like to have lived and worked there at that time. A enthralling an knowledgable tour-guide leads you through the bunker which has been left in the same condition since it was closed in 1991. You watch a sobering movie half-way through the tour, which makes you appreciate that the bunker was never actually used for nuclear attack.

2  Thank Karen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2012

This visit was very interesting as I can remember the Cold war from my school days and this is the other side how the UK was protected, from nuclear warfare.
The guide was very informative about the bunker and there is access for disable people as well. You see operations room, canteen, plant rooms.
This is well worth a visit.
As my interest in underground bunkers and tunnels.

3  Thank Kit186220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2012

Decommissioned in 1991 this cold war bunker is a throughly interesting way to spend a couple of hours at the weekend. The guided tour by English Heritage staff is very informative and explains the purpose of the bunker and how the various pieces of equipment were to be used by the staff to observe and monitor nuclear attack.

Highlights include the Operations Room which is reminiscent of something I have only seen in war films and the Ejector Room which ensures proper functioning should a heavy payload be dropped.

Having lived in York for a few years and now currently visiting from Australia I am not sure how I missed it the first time around.

2  Thank Chris C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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