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“Excellent !!”
Review of Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Bletchley Park, Home of the WW2 Codebreakers, was once Britain's best kept secret and is now a vibrant heritage attraction open daily to visitors to learn how the Codebreakers' breath-taking achievements helped shorten WW2 by up to two years.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Excellent !!”
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We visited on a cold day in December and received a very warm welcome from everyone we met. Informative, entertaining and a really good day out.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank HelenH1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
124 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Great place to visit, but could be better.”
Reviewed April 1, 2013

Having always been interested in the story of the code breakers of Bletchley Park, we weren't disappointed with our trip there. We opted for the guided tour, planning to use the personal guide tapes on our next visit (the entrance fee includes other trips to Bletchley). The groups are very big, but we could always hear the guide. However, we probably visited on one of the coldest days of the year, and many in the party had assumed that the tour would include walking in and out of warm buildings. It was all outside, and lasted about an hour, so I would recommend dressing for all weathers if choosing the tour. I have to agree with the previous reviewer ITALH - much could be done to add more atmosphere to the site. I think the wartime costumes could be a good idea. There is a 1940s post office on site where postcards with special stamps may be posted, with a Bletchley post mark. We enjoyed our hot soup and roll in one of the huts. The service was quite slow - more staff needed. Next time, if weather permits, I'd take a picnic.
A fascinating place to visit, enjoyed equally by our party of two 60 year olds and two 30 somethings. We saw several families with young children who seemed to be having a good time too. I think the whole place is being improved, with help from grants etc. It will be even better soon I'm sure, but I would still recommend it for a fascinating and informative day out. I wouldn't want to see too many changes to the huts as they seem to be just as they were originally. I could imagine the hum of voices and tapping of keys, so feel it would be wrong to make too many changes. We already have many 'theme' parks - but this is the real thing . May sound very corny, but I left the place feeling proud to be British, and with tons of admiration for the wonderful men and women who worked there during WWII. I will go again, taking my grandchildren.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Janice T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
109 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Enigma”
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We visited Bletchley Park last week 22nd March 2013. You are outside a lot of the time so would be good if you can pick a nice day if possible! It is very interesting and the guided tour makes it more personal and more understandable. There is lot to see as well and your ticket enables you to go back again within the year to see anything you missed so there is no extra charge other than 1building which houses an exhibition about the history of a computer this you have to pay for but the cost is minimal. There are also some added extras like an old fashioned Toy shop which is worth a look and Post office which is workable and you can buy stamps and post your letters or cards! There are many original buildings still to be renovated so a lot of work is still going on but it should be brilliant when finished. I just hope they keep it as original as possible. You certainly get the feel of the 1940's era it would be a good venue for a war time event with people dressed up in costume and a Glenn Miller band and professional dancers doing the jive! I would certainly go to that! Restaurant is good with lots of choice of food and drink. All in all a good day out.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jackie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
63 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Slightly ramshackle, lots to see, interesting, but confusing!”
Reviewed March 31, 2013

The museum unfortunately doesn't explain the story of Bletchley Park in a coherent way. This is a real shame as it could be a fantastic day out.

The site as a whole is a slightly ramshackle collection of different museum collections, staffed by enthusiastic volunteers. This includes the brilliant Enigma machine; displays on daily life in WW2; a collection of old wireless radios; an old post office with stamp displays; a cinema and collection of old film projectors/cameras; the Churchill collection; the story of pigeon communication; a historic car collection; a display of model ships; the computing museum; and the beautiful old mansion building and garden.

There is a LOT to see here (at least, when all the displays are open) - we spent 3.5 hours here and didn't see everything - but the place clearly suffers from a lack of funding and a lack of coherence. The signage around the site isn't great, the map is not very helpful (doesn't tell you what's in what building, except for the cafe) and sadly many of the displays are just very wordy and not written in an easy-to-understand way. The staff are enthusiastic and helpful, and there were some great stories told in the exhibition display panels about double-crossing spies, but many of the exhibits are very dry and shown in a confusing order. For instance the first thing I saw was a display on the Enigma machine and how it worked (and how - in some technical detail - it was re-built); without knowing what it was, what it was for, or why it was here.

I came away feeling like I'd been bombarded with facts; it's a shame as the collections in themselves were interesting. But the place doesn't live up to what it could be. There's such an exciting story to tell about the place, I just don't feel the museum told it very well!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank sunstarrr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Bletchley park, missing a trick ?.”
Reviewed March 31, 2013

Overall a fascinating place to visit for those interested in the Enigma code breakers, specifically Alan Turing, obviously a genius years ahead of his time.
During our tour of the park both my wife and I thought that with a few tweaks Bletchley could be transformed into a real 1940's wartime experience
For example :-
The mansion was completely empty apart from some posters and commemorative photos, why not have it furnished as the codebreakers would have found it in1939 ?.
Have one car park for staff and customers out of sight of the park as the nostalgic effect and atmosphere is lost due to modern cars being parked all over the place.
Why not have the staff dressed in authentic costume from the time ie. restaurant staff wearing NAAFI uniforms with perhaps Vera Lynne as background music.
The gentleman on the gate could lose his hi-vis jacket and wear a proper sentry / guards uniform from the era.

I believe that they are increasing the admission fee from £12 to £15, they already charge £3 for parking on your way in !!!! .

Without sounding too critical, with simple enhancements this could be transformed into an authentic wartime experience.

Helpful?
2 Thank ITALH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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