WW2 sites around Britain

2nd September 2022

September 2nd marks the 77th anniversary of the end of World War 2 globally, so we've rounded up some of the important World War 2 sites around Britain that are easily accessible by train. From defence fortifications on the southern front in Dorset to the Wilton House in Wiltshire where the planning of D-day took place, make sure you check out some of these great historical locations and let us know if there are any more you’d recommend.


Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, London

Hidden beneath the streets of Westminster, the Cabinet War Rooms are part of the underground bunker complex now known as the Churchill War Rooms in London where Britain’s wartime government operated during World War 2. Today, visitors can walk through the corridors from which Winston Churchill directed Britain and stop at the Churchill Museum. Open between 9.30am and 6pm, the museum tells a story through personal items and artifacts from Churchill’s childhood to his military and political career.

The closest train stations to the Churchill War Rooms are Charing Cross, Waterloo, and Victoria. To reach the Churchill War Rooms by train, ride to any of these stations and enjoy the short walk to your destination. Charing Cross station is a 9-minute walk away, while Waterloo station and Victoria station are a 20-minute walk away.



Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park was once the top-secret home of the World War 2 Codebreakers and is now a popular, interactive attraction in Milton Keynes. Bletchley Park was where agents of the Ultra intelligence project decoded secret messages from the enemy, and it has been suggested that the Bletchley Park code breakers may have shortened the war by as much as two years. Expect a fascinating day out, exploring the Bletchley Park stories through immersive films, interactive displays, museum collections, and faithfully recreated WW2 rooms.

Bletchley Park is a few minutes’ walk from Bletchley train station. You can get direct services from London Euston, Birmingham New Street and Milton Keynes.



Swanage – Dorset

The south coast of England was expected to be the location of an attempted invasion by the German forces during the Battle of Britain. As the D-Day planning progressed, the coastline changed from defensive to offensive as buildings, factories and storehouses were built to manufacture the equipment and machinery used in the landings. This also transformed the coastline with new concrete constructions sprouting up at great speed. Studland and Swanage, right next to each other on the Dorset coastline, have retained some of their fortifications which can still be visited today, as have other D-Day sites across the UK.

The nearest mainline train station to Swanage is Wareham, which is a direct service from London Waterloo.



Beaulieu, Hampshire

Beaulieu Palace is a large country estate in Hampshire in the South of England. During the war, the house acted as a ‘finishing school’ for agents of the SOE (Special Operations Executive) whose purpose was to conduct espionage, sabotage, and reconnaissance across occupied Europe and to aid local resistance. Beaulieu Estate was one of the first grand country houses to open its doors to visitors, in 1952, and since then has added a great many attractions. It is now home to the National Motor Museum with an astonishing collection of vehicles, a World of Top Gear, a James Bond collection, a monorail, rides, gardens, and much more. Tucked away on the grounds is the small unassuming original building that houses the Secret Army Exhibition. An interesting, historical attraction that appeals to the whole family.

The closest train station is at Brockenhurst where you will need to get a short taxi to get to Beaulieu.



Wilton House, Wiltshire

Wilton House near Salisbury in Wiltshire is a large country estate that has been owned by the Earls of Pembroke for over 400 years. It was requisitioned in 1940 as the headquarters of Southern Command and is where much of the planning for D-day took place. The grounds are now open for visitors – A good day out for both parents and kids, where the adults can soak up the magnificent Palladian architecture, and stunning interiors, and kids can let off steam charging around in the fresh air.

Trains run regularly from London Waterloo to Salisbury station and take 90 minutes. Buses R3 and R8 run from the station bus stop direct to Wilton.