The Bletchley Circle is a TV show set in the early 1950s about a group of women who worked together during the Second World War.
While the show mostly takes place in London, it occasionally flashes back to Bletchley Park during the war. Bletchley Park was the top-secret codebreaking center where the main characters worked. These flashbacks provide context for the skills and experiences of the four women.
Their code-breaking roles were highly confidential, and the extent of their work (and their skill at solving puzzles) had remained a secret from those around them. When a series of crimes occur, they work together again in an effort to solve the mysteries.
Bletchley Park is located in Buckinghamshire, England, and was home to many codebreakers during WWII, including those who worked on breaking the Enigma Cypher.
In the present day, Bletchley Park is open to visitors and is a great educational day trip from London. It takes less than an hour from London Euston by train, and is located right opposite Bletchley Railway Station.
- The Bletchley Circle on IMDb.com
- The Imitation Game (2014): This biographical drama film, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, the famous codebreaker, was partly filmed at Bletchley Park. The movie tells the story of Turing’s work at Bletchley Park and his efforts to crack the Enigma code.
- The film Enigma (2001) is set partially at Bletchley Park. “Enigma” is a historical thriller directed by Michael Apted and based on the novel of the same name by Robert Harris. The movie stars Dougray Scott, Kate Winslet, and Jeremy Northam.
Visiting Bletchley Park
A day out at Bletchley Park promises a captivating and educational experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the history of World War II codebreaking and intelligence work. Here’s what your day at Bletchley Park might look like:
Arrival and Welcome: Start your day by arriving at Bletchley Park, where you’ll be welcomed by the sight of the historic mansion and beautiful parkland. Purchase your tickets or show your pre-booked reservation at the entrance.
Introductory Film: Many visitors begin their visit by watching an introductory film that sets the historical context and highlights the significance of Bletchley Park during World War II. This film provides valuable context for the rest of your visit.
Exploring the Codebreaking Huts: Begin your exploration of the park’s key attractions by visiting the various huts and buildings where the codebreakers worked. Take time to read the informative displays, view artifacts, and absorb the atmosphere of these historically significant spaces.
Enigma Machine Demonstration: Don’t miss the opportunity to witness a demonstration of the Enigma machine. Knowledgeable guides often demonstrate how these machines were used and explain their importance in the codebreaking process.
Head to the on-site cafeteria or picnic area for lunch. Enjoy a meal or snack while surrounded by the park’s beautiful grounds. This is a great time to relax and reflect on what you’ve seen so far.
Guided Tour: Join a guided tour led by one of the park’s experts. These tours provide in-depth insights into the history and significance of Bletchley Park, offering a deeper understanding of the codebreakers’ contributions. Tours may focus on specific aspects of the site or provide a general overview.
Interactive Exhibits: Explore the interactive exhibits and activities throughout the park. These hands-on displays engage visitors of all ages and allow you to experience the challenges of codebreaking firsthand.
The Bombe Machine: Make your way to the reconstructed Bombe machine and witness a demonstration of how it was used to decipher Enigma-encrypted messages. This is a highlight for many visitors.
Museum Visit: Spend some time in the Bletchley Park Museum, where you can delve deeper into the lives of the codebreakers, view a vast collection of historical artifacts, and gain a more comprehensive understanding of the park’s role in World War II.
Souvenir Shopping: Before leaving, visit the gift shop to pick up souvenirs related to Bletchley Park, World War II, or cryptography. It’s an excellent opportunity to take a piece of history home with you.
A day out at Bletchley Park is not only educational but also deeply inspiring. It offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and gain a profound appreciation for the intelligence efforts that shaped the course of history.
- Visit Bletchley Park (Official website)
The Enigma machine was a mechanical encryption device used by the Germans during World War II to encrypt and decrypt secret messages.
It consisted of a series of rotating disks and electrical connections that would scramble the letters of a message.
To decode a message, the recipient needed an Enigma machine configured with the same settings used by the sender.
The Enigma code was notoriously difficult to crack and required significant computational efforts.
British codebreakers at Bletchley Park, including Alan Turing, played a pivotal role in deciphering Enigma-encoded messages, which contributed significantly to the Allied victory in the war.