York Cold War Bunker

School Visits

Discover the semi-subterranean bunker which acted as a nerve centre during the Cold War to monitor nuclear fallout in Yorkshire from 1961 until 1991 in the event of a nuclear attack.

Visits to the Cold War Bunker are available by guided tour only, and our expert-led sessions for schools have been designed to enhance the learning experience for your students.

Curriculum Links

Support your teaching across various key stages in a fun and engaging way, with a visit to York Cold War Bunker:

  • KS1-3 History: Local history study
  • KS3 History: Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to present day
  • GCSE/A/AS Level/Degree History: The Cold War, Communist Russia, World Superpowers

Expert-led discovery visit

Explore one of the best surviving nuclear bunkers in England, a time capsule of the 1960s through to the 1990s, and examine the nuclear arms race with our hands-on expert-led Discovery Visit.

Find out more

Plan Your Trip

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. You can find all our site-specific information and tools below, and further information on our what to expect page.

Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip. We also offer free planning visits once you have made a booking, plus a 20% discount on the official English Heritage guidebook for your place of choice.

Once you book your visit you’ll be sent a visit permit, which you’ll need to bring with you on the day.

Visit our bookings page to start planning your trip!

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: Very limited free parking on site: only three allocated spaces outside. There is additional free parking on Acomb Road (2 minutes' walk)
    • TOILETS: Toilets including accessible toilets are available at the site
    • SHOP: There is a gift shop selling a selection of English Heritage gifts and themed souvenirs, including books, stationery, postcards and war memorabilia. 
  • Hazard Information

    A useful tool to help with your risk assessments.


    You must meet the following ratios for leaders to students on the day of your visit when booking, and if your group is forming smaller groups while at the site:

    • Ages 4-5 (UK Reception) 1 leader for every 4 students (1:4)
    • Ages 5-7 (UK Key Stage 1) 1 leader for every 6 students (1:6)
    • Ages 7-11 (UK Key Stage 2) 1 leader for every 10 students (1:10) and
    • Ages 11-18 (UK Key Stages 3, 4, and 5) 1 leader for every 15 students (1:15)
    • For an adult learning group, consisting of individuals all over the age of 18, there are no ratios but there must be an appointed group leader
    • All ratios outlined above apply to home education groups
    • If your group consists of children aged 3 and/or 4, you must also refer to the Early Years and Foundation Stage Statutory Framework which sets out specific legal requirements for minimum ratios for this age group, to include requirements about the qualifications of the leaders
    • SEND groups must meet the minimum ratios above but may bring any additional leaders as required to adequately support their group
  • Education Site Opening Times

    We offer education visits during school term time*. Visits to the York Cold War Bunker are available by guided tour only, and our expert-led sessions for schools have been designed to enhance the learning experience for your students. Please note that free education visits are currently not available at this site. See our education opening times below for individual site information.

    *Education visits are not offered on UK public holidays or during the operation of additional fee paying public events at English Heritage sites.

    • April-October: Monday-Thursday 10:30-4pm
    • November-March: No bookings can be taken at the current time

Learning Resources

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