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The National Museum of Computing
Open today: 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Review Highlights
A hour wasn’t enough

I popped in an hour before closing as I was driving past to see what had changed in the last ten... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
krcb197
,
Fareham, United Kingdom
via mobile
Very interesting

This is Bletchley Park‘s poor relation in terms of finance but the sheer enthusiasm and expertise... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
shaunl479
via mobile
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This gem is so worth a visit that I had to leave a review. We went to Bletchley Park to see the Enigma, Colossus & Bombe machines only to find that the last two are in this museum at the back of the same site but run & charged entirely separately. My advice is - miss out BP (entry cost £20) & come here (£5). They have working exhibits of all the machines & volunteer staff who almost fall over themselves to explain how they work & are interesting & knowledgable. Absolutely fantastic & BP really seem to ignore this gem!

Date of experience: September 2019
2  Thank nick w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

An interesting place staffed by very enthusiastic volunteers who do want to share their knowledge with you. Do pick which sections you go to depending on your interest in computer history and on the age of any children as some sections and talks are very complex and can be hard to follow.

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank joyandrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This excellent little gem of a museum is staffed by enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers who clearly love their subject.

We were lucky enough to get tickets to Bletchley Park (BP) as a gift but were advised to find time for the National Museum of Computing (NMoC) as well. The two museums are on the same site but have taken radically different paths. BP has obviously had vast amounts of money spent on it and it is a great experience, with all the bells and whistles of a modern museum. (See my separate review of BP.) The NMoC is evidently the 'poor relation' and is struggling to co-exist with it's wealthier neighbour.

The NMoC is by far the better museum for the true enthusiast, with working models of original and rebuilt computers and codebreaking machines. The guided tour is a really good potted summary of the exhibits, and we were lucky to have a demonstration of a working Bombe machine (the Enigma code breaker). That said, I am a keen technical type, and my less techy husband struggled a little with the pace and detail of the tour. He loved the working machines though.

As technical types know, you can't always rely on hardware to play the game, so there is always a chance that a particular machine might not be working when you visit. This seems to be at the root of the break with BP, as the latter has displays comprising models and films of machines rather than bother with the real thing.

It would be great if the two museums could re-combine, and accept and celebrate their differences. They both have much to offer, and NMoC could certainly do with a little financial help. That seems unlikely, and it's a shame that's the case.

Whatever you do, don't miss out on the NMoC - it's the beating heart of the Bletchley Park experience!

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank GC848484
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jacquigarrad, Manager at The National Museum of Computing, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thank you very much for sharing your review

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We visited at the end of a day at Bletchley Park. I wish we had given it more time. We only allowed an hour and we’re given a very potted history if the machines so we’ll need to do yet another visit.
The museum is staffed by very enthusiastic volunteers who are keen to explain the background to the exhibits.
We saw and a Lorenz coding machine, and a working Colossus computer.
There was also an IBM 370 computer, card punch machine and printer. The last time I saw one of those was at work (ho hum).
It’s a mystery why a combined ticket with Bletchley is not available. It seems that both organisations have much to offer the other but they seem to operate totally separately.

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank Linda R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jacquigarrad, Manager at The National Museum of Computing, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on your visit.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The museum is not big but, if anything, more interesting than Bletchley Park itself. The problem is that it is poorly signposted and I'm sure many visitors to Bletchley Park are not even aware of it. Bletchley Park itself seems not to publicise it. One has to ask at the desk where the Colossus computor is situated, and then they will give you directions. Even then, there are very few signposts to show you the way.

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank Chris T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jacquigarrad, Manager at The National Museum of Computing, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thank you, we have added a map to our images which we hope will assist visiting getting to us once they arrive on the Bletchley Park estate.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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