One of the city’s more peculiar tourist attractions, York Cold War Bunker was in active service between 1961 and 1991. Staffed by Royal Observer Corps’s No. 20 Group, it was built to monitor explosions and radioactive fallout in Yorkshire in the wake of a nuclear attack – and then alert the public to the danger.
The two-storey, semi-subterranean structure is the only one in the country preserved in its operational condition, others having been demolished or sold off and converted. Designed to be self-sufficient once the apocalypse had begun, there are dormitories, a canteen, air filtration system and a cutting-edge 1980s computer system.
The Cold War Bunker is located a little way out from the city centre in the Holgate area of York. If you’re travelling by car their are some parking spaces available. If you need to use public transport the No. 1 bus leaves from just outside York Station and stops near to the end of Monument Close – where the bunker is located.
Between 1st April and 30th September opening hours are 10am till 6pm Wednesday to Sunday. In October it shuts at 5pm and during the rest of the year – November to March – the bunker is only open on Saturday and Sunday. Guided tours begin on the hour.
English Heritage Membership costs £54 and you get free entry for up to six children accompanied by an adult member. If you take the kids to Clifford’s Tower as well, it’ll almost have paid for itself in one visit to York.