From bunkers to helicopters: military themed events for Museums at Night 2010

By Culture24 Staff | 25 March 2010
a photo of a museum lit up at night with huge guns in front of it

Some of the of the most intriguing Military themed museums, heritage sites, locations and collections are offering exclusive tours and events for Museums at Night this year. Check out our guide to some of the best announced so far, and click on the link for each event to find out more and book your place...

Winston Churchill and his cabinet were no strangers to twilight tension during the Blitz, fleeing to a top-secret refuge below Whitehall. You can follow in their footsteps this year by spending the night in their atmospheric World War Two shelter at London's Cabinet War Rooms.

What ordinary Londoners got up to during the Blitz will be explored by Islington Museum during their local history walking tour. Another wartime themed evening looks at the effects on the local people of the Isle of Skye with Crofters and the War at the Museum of the Isles.

Another Air raid shelter opens its doors in Stockport for a night of wartime home front cookery at Stockport Air Raid Shelters and Story Museum.

a photograph of a bed with a map of Europe behind it

Churchill's bed at the Cabinet War Rooms

In Weston-super-Mare air raid sirens and giant searchlights will illuminate the Helicopter Museum, where more than 50 flight simulators will recreate a thunderous air battle over the bombed ruins of Blitz-torn London.

There's another nighttime underground experience to be had at Gravesend Cold War Bunker where historians will be leading special guided tours and revealing hidden artefacts. The modern experience of warfare will also be explored at Liverpool’s FACT as part of the city's Light Night celebrations.

At the Imperial War Museum in London, Horrible Histories illustrator Martin Brown will lead an evening of illustration, and the Royal Marines Museum is offering the chance to try out night-time military manoeuvres as they plunge the whole museum into darkness to offer the thrill and tension of working in the dark.

a photograph of an underground shelter with a tea urn and

Stockport Air Raid Shelter.

Bute Museum’s late night opening will include an investigation of WWII midget submarines.

The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson is one of dozens of historic buildings throwing open their doors, revealing its myriad of tunnels and ramparts in an event culminating with the spectacular flash and roar of massed guns, cannon and mortars.

A photograph showing the main entrance of the Keep Military Museum

The Keep Military Museum.

In Dorchester there's the chance to get hands on with activities in The Keep Military Museum. With computer and digital presentations, realistic battle environments together with the exhibitions, the Museum tells the courageous stories of soldiers and their families who have served in the regiments of Devon and Dorset for over 300 years.

Colin Parr from The Keep Military Museum recommends a closer look at the museum and other Dorchester attractions with the virtual Dorchester tour from the Dorchester BID Company. You can also access the tour at the bottom of The Keep Military Museum's homepage.

a photograph of two field guns firing at dusk

Fort Nelson.

A final mention has to go to RAF Holmpton whose Underground Ghosts tour is now sold out, but those lucky (or unlucky) enough to be part of it are in for a night to remember. We’ll say no more but see our spooky round up for more ghostly goings on during Museums at Night 2010.

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Museums at Night events are being added all the time so don’t forget to check the Museums at Night homepage to find out what’s going on near you.

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