Bletchley Park was where Britain’s codebreakers, including Alan Turing, worked during World War II to crack the German’s encrypted communications. As well as providing vital intelligence to the allies, they also developed techniques and equipment that helped kickstart the development of computers after the war. The site is now open to the public as a kind of museum. I’d been meaning to go for ages and in September this year a weekend came around where I didn’t have anything else on. This post contains some thoughts on my experiences there and a few tips for visitors.
After entering and buying your ticket you can pick up a multimedia guide, which is a customised iPod Touch inside a rubberised case, with an app that offers various video clips. These clips are supposed to be watched at various points around the grounds. I actually found that the clips didn’t bear much relation to the locations. But the videos were well produced and were very interesting, with a mixture of technical information about the work done at Bletchley Park, personal recollections from people who worked there, background information about the relevance of their work to the war effort, and other information. There is also a map in the app, but it’s not very good, so I bought a guide book for £5 which has a good map on the back. The guide book is also really interesting and full of extra information. Continue reading