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York Cold War Bunker, York

(4.8/5 based on 500+ reviews on the web)
The York Cold War Bunker is a two-storey semi-subterranean Cold War bunker in the Holgate area of York, England, built in 1961 to monitor nuclear explosions and fallout in Yorkshire in the event of nuclear war.One of about 30 around the United Kingdom, the building was used throughout its operational existence as the regional headquarters and control centre for the Royal Observer Corps's No. 20 Group YORK between 1961 and 1991. It is an English Heritage Scheduled Monument and was opened in 2006 by English Heritage as a tourist attraction.During its Cold War operational period the building could have supported 60 local volunteer members of the Royal Observer Corps inclusive of a ten-man United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation scientific warning team. They would have collated details of nuclear bombs exploded within the UK and tracked radioactive fallout across the Yorkshire region, warning the public of its approach. This example of an ROC control building is the only one that is preserved in its operational condition. The others stand derelict or have either been demolished or sold. A few have been converted to other uses like No. 16 Group Shrewsbury that is now a veterinary clinic, another is a recording studio, two are satellite and communications control centres and one is a solicitor's file storage facility.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A little gem tucked away within easy walking distance of the city centre. Our guides (Liam and Jake) were brilliant and really brought the history to life. A must see!  more »
  • I suggested this to my friends sheepishly, thinking I'd be the only one game, but everyone was enthusiastic. And we weren't disappointed! Our guide was entertaining and knowledgeable-having answers fo...  more »
  • This is a terrible place to visit, not because it's a bad venue, it's just reflects the terrible ideals it wa created for. I think everyone should visit. I think it should be mandatory. If everyone we...  more »
Google
  • A visit to this is worthwhile on two points: 1. It's fascinating 2. It's terrifying Fascinating to see how the operators inside would be expected to live and work in the event of nuclear war. Terrifying because, let's face it, it's only there to be used in the event of most of the country being wiped out in nuclear fireballs. Plus the fact it would never survive a close or direct hit and - well, those people's lives were as wiped out as anyone else's! My family found it a good visit and even the kids seemed to find plenty to think about and appreciate the fact it was designed for a time when mankind would be being particularly stupid. They asked plenty of questions which is always a good sign they're taking an interest! Fascinating to see the technology they had back then as well - seemed so archaic to what we have now. Well worth a visit!
  • A (literally) hidden gem. If you like cold war stuff, this is an excellent and very well preserved experience.
  • I went on this tour recently between the hours of 11:15 am till 12:15pm. It wasn't really as I expected and I found the tour pretty tedious to say the least, some aspects were interesting, mainly regarding the historical significance of the bunker and it's role during a nuclear war. The tour startes by walking down a small flight of stairs into a mess Hall were you are shown a small 20 minute video about the history of nuclear bombs and the famous A bomb dropped over Japan during WW2, from there you are then shown into the plant room and shown all the necessary equipment needed to keep you alive ( generator, A/C unit etc), then it's off to the operations room and finally the dorms. You only really see 3 rooms + a video on this tour, and at nearly £7 is it worth it? You decide. I think this is better suited for the older generation perhaps, but if you are interested in the history of nuclear war it's worth a visit purely for the educational aspect.
  • Really impressed. You need to be aware that they are guided tours only at selected times but well worth it
  • A must see! Unlike anything else you will see in the UK. It has the same heritage classification as Stonehenge!