World War II Sites to Show the Kids
As one of the most defining historical events of the century, World War II remains and structures are dotted all over the UK. As well as these sites being great places to experience history, they’re also perfect places to educate and entertain your children on our famous War.
Dive into Britain’s rich history at one of our picks of WWII sites to show the kids.
As just one of the many Imperial War Museums dotted across the UK, this site is one of the most popular destinations for families. This northern museum is the perfect place for any young ones wanting to understand the stories and histories behind those that served in WWII. With five different exhibition displays, including poppies, an art gallery and the artefact gallery, this museum will enrich and entertain the kids at the same time. Make sure the kids fill up at lunch in their cafe and end the day with a souvenir from the trusty gift shop.
Previously home to the Countess of Pembroke, this spectacular manor holds some important war history. It was requisitioned in 1940 as the headquarters for Southern Command, a team working on the planning for D-Day. It was a regular meeting place for many commanders and officials to meet and discuss their plans. Now, the house offers a guided tour in the public rooms, with well-preserved furniture and artefacts used during the historical time. There is also a tour of the grounds available, which has an impressive adventure playground with dozens of wooden structures for kids of all ages to enjoy.
The booming Beaulieu country estate located in Hampshire once belonged to the Montague family. During WWII, the house was used as a finishing school to train up Secret Agents. Yep, that’s right! Spies from all over were taught combat and survival techniques to prepare them for war and how to disrupt the D-Day plans for the Germans. After opening its doors to the public in 1952, the Beaulieu estate is now home to the Secret Army Exhibition. Packed with spy equipment, secrets and training techniques, this is a sure visit for any kids looking to brush up on their spy skills and learn along the way.
Home to arguably the most integral event of WWII – cracking the German Enigma code, this museum holds plenty of secrets. During the midst of WWII, a team of British codebreakers set out to decipher the coded encryption of messages between the German enemies. Visit the museum and grounds and see original Enigma decryption machines and a replica of the ‘bombe’ machine. You may also recognise the exterior from shots in the modern film The Imitation Game, an adaptation set around the recreation of the events that happened in that very building.
This top-secret passageway running below Westminster was used in Britain’s war plan to house war personnel safely away from the London bombings. The labyrinth of rooms and tunnels make up what we know today as the Cabinet War rooms and Churchill museum. Famous for showcasing replica artefacts that would’ve been used by Winston Churchill himself, this IWS museum is an enlightening visual experience for the little ones. Take an hour or so to traverse around the site and experience how it would have been to live in these conditions back then.
This unique shingle beach on the coast of Lepe is famous for its historical usage in WWII. During this period, the surrounding area of Lepe and the beach was under the control of the HMS Mastodon, a crew responsible for the embarkment of troops for D-Day. As well as being iconographic in British history, the beach makes for a beautiful day out with the family, also popular among kites and windsurfers. Whilst you’re in the area, why not check out the nearby playground, perfect to entertain the kids after an educational walk along the historical beach.