Western Approaches Museum – Liverpool, England - Atlas Obscura

Western Approaches Museum

The grand complex of buildings that comprise Liverpool's Exchange Flags includes a vast World War II bunker that has been frozen in time. 

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It’s easy to forget just how central to the war effort the city of Liverpool was. This command bunker was built to house the work of the Western Approaches Command, who tackled the ever-present threat of German U-Boats attacking Atlantic convoys.

During the Battle of the Atlantic, the longest campaign of the war, the command bunker was critical in reporting the movements of enemy convoys and even had a direct line to the War Cabinet in London. The Women’s Royal Naval Service and Women’s Auxiliary Air Force personnel who staffed the bunker needed total accuracy and worked on a giant map so they could report enemy movements accurately to the RAF.

Previously neglected for many years, the bunker is now under the protection of a local social enterprise group, Big Heritage, and has been preserved as it looked on August 15, 1945, the day its doors closed. It features the preserved map room, a Central Operations room, a Navy, Army, and Air Force Institutes canteen, and even a 1940s street scene.

Know Before You Go

The nearest parking is on Rumsford Street, and the nearest Merseyrail station is Moorfields. The museum opens from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., with the last admission being at 4 p.m. Tickets are £10.50 for adults and free for children under five, with discounts for concessions available also. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the site, there is no wheelchair access and access is via a staircase.


The building is signposted as 'Western Approaches' on the city's pedestrian signs, and "WWII Museum" above the door. It now contains a giant 'Shhhhhhhh!' around the side of the building which makes it much easier to find, as it does blend in very well with the streetscape.

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March 7, 2019

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