Western Approaches is an underground bunker in Liverpool, England that played a crucial role in the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II. The Operations Room has remained exactly how as it was left when the doors were closed on 15 August 1945.
Here are some reasons why you should visit Western Approaches with kids and some tips:
Firstly though what is the Western Approaches?
Western Approaches played a critical role in the war effort during World War II as the operational command center for the Battle of the Atlantic. The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign of World War II, lasting from 1939 until 1945, and was fought between Allied naval forces and German U-boats.
As the command center for the battle, Western Approaches was responsible for coordinating the naval effort against the German U-boats that were attacking Allied shipping convoys in the Atlantic Ocean. The bunker served as the nerve center for the Atlantic campaign, with commanders and staff from the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, and Royal Canadian Navy working together to direct the convoys and hunt down the U-boats.
The bunker was equipped with sophisticated technology for the time, including radar and communications equipment, as well as large maps and plotting tables that were used to track the movement of Allied and German forces. Staff worked around the clock, monitoring the convoys and U-boat movements and issuing orders to the ships and aircraft involved in the battle.
Thanks in part to the efforts of Western Approaches, the Allies were ultimately able to defeat the German U-boats and secure control of the Atlantic, which was crucial to the success of the war effort overall. The work done at Western Approaches played a critical role in the Allied victory in World War II.
Location of Western Approaches in Liverpool
1-3 Rumford Street, Exchange Flags, Liverpool, Merseyside L2 8SZ
The bunker is located in the heart of Liverpool’s city center, making it easy to reach by public transport or on foot. Liverpool is a vibrant city with a rich history and plenty of other attractions to explore, so you can make a day of your visit to Western Approaches.
How much does it cost to visit Western Approaches in Liverpool?
It’s £13.50 for adults and FREE for children under 16.
How can you make Western Approaches interesting for kids
Get them interested in the history: Before you visit, take some time to talk to your kids about the Battle of the Atlantic and the role of Western Approaches in the war effort. This will help to build their interest and make the experience more meaningful for them.
Use the interactive exhibits at Western Approaches
The Western Approaches museum offers a unique opportunity to interact with history. Visitors can see the original control room, with its maps, telephones, and plotting tables, and get a sense of what it was like to work there during the war. There are also hands-on exhibits that allow visitors to experience what life was like in the bunker. Encourage your kids to touch and play with the exhibits to help them learn about the history in a hands-on way.
Take a guided tour at Western Approaches
Western Approaches offers guided tours, which can be a great way to learn more about the history of the bunker. The guides are knowledgeable and can answer questions that your kids might have.
Bring snacks and drinks to Western Approaches
Western Approaches doesn’t have a café or food vending machine, so it’s a good idea to bring some snacks and drinks for your kids to enjoy during your visit.
Is The Western Approaches buggy friendly?
The Western Approaches bunker in Liverpool, England is not particularly buggy-friendly, as it is located underground and has narrow passageways and tight spaces.
Although the museum is wheelchair accessible, it may be difficult to navigate with a buggy or stroller, especially during busy periods. There are steps and uneven surfaces throughout the museum, which could make it challenging to push a buggy or stroller.
Additionally, the museum does not have storage facilities for buggies or strollers, so you would need to keep your buggy with you at all times. This could be difficult, as some of the areas of the museum are quite cramped, and it may be challenging to move around with a buggy or stroller.
If you are visiting with a young child, you may want to consider using a baby carrier instead of a buggy or stroller. This will allow you to move around the museum more easily and avoid any difficulties with narrow passageways or steps.
Overall, while the Western Approaches bunker is wheelchair accessible, it may not be particularly buggy-friendly, and you may find it challenging to navigate with a buggy or stroller.
Is The Western Approaches bunker wheelchair accessible?
Yes, the Western Approaches bunker in Liverpool, England is wheelchair accessible. The museum has been renovated to ensure that all visitors, including those with mobility challenges, can enjoy the exhibits and facilities.
The museum is located underground and can be accessed via a lift. Once inside, there are ramps and level surfaces that provide easy access to the exhibits. The museum’s displays are designed to be viewed from a seated position, so wheelchair users will have no problem experiencing the exhibits.
The toilets are located at the bottom of a ramp near the reception area. These are our only toilet facilities on site at present. Whilst they do not have step access they are not wheelchair accessible.
Overall, the Western Approaches bunker is fully accessible, making it an inclusive attraction for all visitors. If you have any specific accessibility needs or questions, you can contact the museum ahead of your visit to ensure that your needs are met.
For more things to do in Liverpool with kids do read our blog post here.
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.