We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“an out of the way novelty visit”

York Cold War Bunker
Ranked #7 of 209 things to do in York
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
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 December 14, 2012

As English Heritage members we went on a special group though there are some days open to nonmembers. The tour was fascinating and the young lady guides were brilliant on all aspects of the volunteer observer corps there 1961-1991. You get a bus there best from railway station or theatre royal and it it is an hour and a half well spent nb for those who grew up in cold war spooky and sometimes frightening times

1  Thank cornishpasty672161
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (617)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
All reviews
"english heritage"
in 84 reviews
"nuclear attack"
in 38 reviews
"guided tour"
in 81 reviews
"short film"
in 30 reviews
"recent history"
in 31 reviews
"royal observer corps"
in 25 reviews
"modern history"
in 15 reviews
"housing estate"
in 15 reviews
"guide jake"
in 12 reviews
"operations room"
in 11 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 70 reviews
"cul de sac"
in 7 reviews
"tours run"
in 7 reviews
"fascinating insight"
in 18 reviews
"excellent guide"
in 8 reviews
"hidden away"
in 13 reviews
"city centre"
in 25 reviews

593 - 597 of 617 reviews

Reviewed November 25, 2012 via mobile

Went on on a Sunday with my young son who is 10. You can't just walk in and all tours have a guide which last an hour. It was £10 for us both and the English Heritage guide was knowledgable. It's a very interesting insight into Cold War Britain. Just a tad expensive for what it is.

1  Thank sidmackem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
See more reviews
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.

Travelers who viewed York Cold War Bunker also viewed

York, North Yorkshire
York, North Yorkshire

Been to York Cold War Bunker? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing