I’ve been wanting to visit Bletchley Park for ages and with my 7 year old doing a World War 2 project at school, Feb half term was the ideal time to visit. Once the top-secret home of the World War Two Codebreakers, it’s now a vibrant heritage attraction in Milton Keynes.
How long does it take to go around Bletchley Park?
Bletchley Park was much bigger than I was expecting. There’s an exhibition centre when you first arrive and then you move on to explore both the mansion, codebreaker huts, the grounds and garages. I’d say you’d need a good 4 to 5 hours to do it justice but your day pass converts automatically into an annual pass so if you’re not too far away you can visit as often as you like over the year. They have audio tours and guided tours too but I had 3 boys to keep track of so we just made our way round at our own pace exploring everything.
Throughout Bletchley Park you’ll find videos running or audio which is great as it gives you a really immersive feel. There are also hands on activities for kids. We bought top secret mission pack for £1 and also enjoyed decoding Morse messages and finding out more about how the Enigma machine worked.
The codebreaker huts have been set up not just with information boards but also as they would have been during WW2 with typewriters, maps, documents and audio.
As you step into the mansion house you really feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Some of the rooms have been set up as they had been busy just moments ago and that someone has just popped out to pick up some lunch. Cardigans hang on the backs of seats, teacups out and top secret documents scattered across desks.
Bletchley Park often run special events and often have something designed especially for children during the school holidays. We visited at Feb half term and took part in various family drop in activities.
Is Bletchley Park worth visiting?
Absolutely! We found it fascinating and I’d actually like to go back on my own without the kids to spend more time reading everything in more detail.
Can you take a picnic to Bletchley Park?
The grounds are lovely and on a sunny day you could easily settle down outside for a picnic. I was also impressed that they had an undercover picnic area in one of the codebreaker huts with tables and chairs.
There’s also an outdoor children’s playpark if your kids need a run around after exploring. My 3 year old thought we were going to visit a park when I said where we were going so it was great that he had some run around time too.
Is there car parking at Bletchley Park?
There’s a small car park at Bletchley Park. We visited during a busy Feb half term day and the car park was full but they were able to direct us to some free parking just a few minutes walk away. All the staff were super friendly and helpful from the car parking attendants to the receptionist.