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Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes

4.6
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Must see · Historic Site · Tourist Spot
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Bletchley Park is an English country house and estate in Bletchley, Milton Keynes (Buckinghamshire) that became the principal centre of Allied code-breaking during the Second World War. The mansion was constructed during the years following 1883 for the financier and politician Sir Herbert Leon in the Victorian Gothic, Tudor, and Dutch Baroque styles, on the site of older buildings of the same name.

During World War II, the estate housed the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), which regularly penetrated the secret communications of the Axis Powers – most importantly the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers. The GC&CS team of codebreakers included Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, Hugh Alexander, Bill Tutte, and Stuart Milner-Barry. The nature of the work at Bletchley remained secret until many years after the war.

According to the official historian of British Intelligence, the "Ultra" intelligence produced at Bletchley shortened the war by two to four years, and without it the outcome of the war would have been uncertain. The team at Bletchley Park devised automatic machinery to help with decryption, culminating in the development of Colossus, the world's first programmable digital electronic computer. Codebreaking operations at Bletchley Park came to an end in 1946 and all information about the wartime operations was classified until the mid-1970s.

After the war it had various uses including as a teacher-training college and local GPO headquarters. By 1990 the huts in which the codebreakers worked were being considered for demolition and redevelopment. The Bletchley Park Trust was formed in February 1992 to save large portions of the site from development.

More recently, Bletchley Park has been open to the public, featuring interpretive exhibits and huts that have been rebuilt to appear as they did during their wartime operations. It receives hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. The separate National Museum of Computing, which includes a working replica Bombe machine and a rebuilt Colossus computer, is housed in Block H on the site.

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Bletchley Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
7,603 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Amazing place. Loved every minute. Can’t wait to visit again soon. Staff helpful and happy. Clean, affordable. 
    Amazing place. Loved every minute. Can’t wait to visit again soon. Staff helpful and happy. Clean, affordable.  more »
  • We loved this trip, it is a full day and still we did not see everything so will go back later. When you arrive from the outside it could not prepare you for the interesting and historic things... 
    We loved this trip, it is a full day and still we did not see everything so will go back later. When you arrive from the outside it could not prepare you for the interesting and historic things...  more »
Google
  • A great exhibition of life behind the scenes of the propaganda machines of the world. Regardless of your thoughts on a war, this is a great story of humans solving problems, interactive, informative and worth a days ramble around the site. We'd just like to thank everyone for an outstanding day, my daughter bought a Virgin Experience ticket for myself (I have been trying to get here for the last many years), we popped in at 12:00, bought a guide book (which turned out to be back to front, I liked that more, followed the form of Bletchley), we then left at 17:10 (apologies), our guide was amazing, informative, humorous and got the group working, 14:00 tour, 24/03/21. We were so pleased that Bletchley Park staff/volunteers all seem to enjoy their work and it is noticeable. Thanks again for a great visit.
  • Bletchley Park was the UK biggest secret during WWII. It still remains one of the best secrets as a place to visit. If you thought the movies were good you really need to visit Bletchley and see how really amazing the truth actually is. It is totally staggering what they did in those small huts. But what is great about Bletchley in 2022 is that they have restored the site, and kept the 1940’s feel of the whole site. Everything from the huts to the cafes and toilets are in theme. There are lots of video, interactive and information to make it a great visit. As other people have said keep the tickets, they are valid for a year. It may take 2 or 3 visits if you want to read everything. One of the best sites in the UK to visit, even my partner who hates “war stuff” loved it.

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