Looking for Alan Turing in London

Benedict Cumberbatch, sitting centre, is Alan Turing in the film The Imitation Game.

Benedict Cumberbatch, sitting centre, is Alan Turing in the film The Imitation Game.

The success of historical drama The Imitation Game has provided yet another chance for movie tourism in the UK.

Interest in the film's protagonist, Alan Turing, has soared following the Oscar-nominated film's release, and tourist numbers at Bletchley Park, where Turing broke the Nazis' Enigma code to help the Allies win WWII, are expected to surge.

Inspired to learn more about the legendary codebreaker? Here are the London stops where you can find signs of Turing and the movie that tells his story.

CODE BREAKER: Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.
Supplied

CODE BREAKER: Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.

TURING'S BIRTHPLACE

Alan Mathison Turing was born on June 23, 1912 at a hospital in Maida Vale, in west London.

In the 1930s, the property was turned into the Colonnade Hotel.

An English Heritage blue plaque was unveiled at the site on June 23, 1998, which would have been Turing's 86th birthday. 

Getting there: The closest Underground stop is Warwick Avenue, and the hotel is just a one minute walk.

IN STEEL

 A short walk from his birthplace, Turing is immortalised in steel as one of three former and current Paddington residents.

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The sculpture of Turing stands outside the Church of St Mary at Paddington Green alongside author Michael Bond and his most famous character Paddington Bear, and Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole.  

Getting there: The figures are just a five-minute stroll from the Warwick Avenue Underground.   

SCIENCE MUSEUM

The museum previously hosted an exhibition dedicated to Turing - both his codebreaking success and his lasting influence in computing science.

Among the items still on show at the museum is the Pilot ACE computer - one of the first stored-program computers and what is considered the most significant existing Turing artefact.   

Getting there: The museum is in South Kensington in central London. It is open every day from 10am until 6pm, and entry is free.   

BLETCHLEY PARK

OK, so it's not actually in London, it's about 80km northwest.

But a one-hour train ride from Euston gets you within a two-minute walk of The Imitation Game's primary setting, which has a lot to offer fans.

The site was bought in 1938 to be used by the Secret Intelligence Service during the war, and was the scene of Turing's success in solving the Nazi's Enigma code.

It is in the midst of a massive restoration project, but is still open daily for visitors.

Multimedia guides for all ages provide a history lesson on the once-secret spot where the WWII codebreakers worked.

There are a range of exhibitions, including Turing's office and the restored Codebreaking Huts, where tourists can get a feel for what wartime Bletchley would have been like.   

Prices: Adult - £16.75. Children aged 12-16 - £10. Children aged under 12 - Free   

ALDWYCH UNDERGROUND STATION

This disused station features in The Imitation Game when people flee to the underground train network to escape bombs dropping on London above them.

The central city station was closed in 1994, but is frequently used as a filming location, and is also seen in movies including Atonement and 28 Weeks Later.

Walking tours of the station are held sporadically.

Be warned, there is no working elevator. It's 160 steps down. And up.    

Tours: The tour is extremely popular, so places sell out quickly. This winter the tour has run from Thursdays to Sundays for people aged over 16. The cost is £25 per person.

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