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Tough choices

If I have to pick 2 of the 3 following places to see (two teens with us), which ones?....

Westminster Abbey
Churchill War Rooms
Tower of London

Posted by
441 posts

I agree with David, actually taking my teens there next week! Churchill War Rooms was on their list. They love history though. I haven’t been but everyone I’ve talked to says Tower of London is very cool.

Posted by
1232 posts

Tower of London and Westminster Abbey. Over 1000 years of history at each.

Posted by
5547 posts

What are your interests? That’s more important than what mine are! I would drop the Churchill War Rooms.

Posted by
27720 posts

That' really an impossible question to answer without knowing the kids and you - or at least who has which hot button.

No musts in this world - just what you and they want and what interests you.

If it were me making the choice I'd leave out the War Rooms.

But that is just me.

Posted by
4693 posts

Tower of London and Churchill War Rooms.

I find the War Rooms fascinating. They tell the story of war operations from this small underground area. They are set up as they were during the war with the large maps showing the front and stories of what life was like working here during the war. I personally found this way more interesting than walking through a church with a focus on royalty and the many famous people who are buried there, but your interests may vary.

Posted by
1250 posts

I agree this is a tough choice. However, I would let the teens make the choice. I love all 3, but my thinking is the teens might relate more to the more recent history of the War Rooms, then let them choose between the other 2. Are either of the teens girls? They might be interested in all the events held at the Abbey, such as the wedding of Wills and Kate and the funeral of Princess Diana. Or since the choices are all good, you could leave it to chance and put all 3 on pieces of paper and have one of the kids draw, then watch their reactions.

Posted by
690 posts

It is a tough choice as all three are worthwhile. Definitely the Tower of London, it is something that teens will love. Unless the teens are WW2 history buffs, I would opt for Westminster Abbey. The Abbey will touch a wide-variety of interests: architecture, history, the modern Royals. A special treat is if you can attend Evensong.

Posted by
1805 posts

The answer might be made for you according to when you are there. We were there last week for my wife to attend the Florence Nightingale celebration at Westminster Abbey. It was invitation only and the Abbey was closed to tourists that day. You can go online and check the Abbey calendar to make sure it is free on the day you want to visit.

I've been to all three and enjoyed all three. You can get a glimpse of Westminster Abbey for free if you are religious (especially Episcopal like us) by attending Evensong.

Posted by
6635 posts

I think you really need to have a lot of prior knowledge and interest in WWII to choose the War Rooms. There really isn't much to see in the way of exhibits or guns and military equipment there, just a lot of office rooms, typewriters, etc. I am very interested in WWII history and had just seen the Churchill movie, but I was ready to leave the maze.

Posted by
4665 posts

What are their ages? There's a huge difference between 13 and 19 and also their interests? If neither are into the history of Churchill and WWII then it wouldn't be such a good option not to mention the wealth of other attractions within London that may be more appealing to them.

Posted by
3304 posts

You can't go wrong! Whichever two you pick will be the right choice. Enjoy!

Posted by
1232 posts

Another thing I thought about is that it is most likely that your teens haven’t really been exposed to the world wide effort in WW II and how Britain stood alone. I didn’t get that until college, my high school WWII history basically started with Pearl Harbor. So, Churchill war rooms might not be too relevant.

But, perhaps things have changed. My history class was also used for school pep rallies as well as anti drug and anti suicide lectures, so that limited lecture time even more

Posted by
31471 posts


It would help to know a bit more about what you're all interested in and why you picked those particular sites? If you have the time, a few thoughts on some good Museums.....

  • The Tower of London has a very interesting history and the Crown Jewels are also stored there. The Yeoman Warders ("Beef Easters") provide a great tour.

  • Imperial War Museum - located in an old hospital nicknamed "Bedlam" and covers both world wars as well as other conflicts.

  • HMS Belfast - moored on the south bank of the Thames and the ship has a distinguished history. I found this to be a very interesting place to visit.

  • RAF Museum (Hendon) - easily accessible from London and has an extensive number of aircraft on display.