Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England, United Kingdom. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England.
The castle was used as a prison since at least 1100, although that was not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat.
The Tower of London was besieged several times and controlling it has been important to controlling the country. Under the Tudors, the Tower became used less as a royal residence, and despite attempts to refortify and repair the castle its defences lagged behind developments to deal with artillery.
In the First and Second World Wars, the Tower was again used as a prison, and witnessed the executions of 12 men for espionage. After the Second World War, damage caused during the Blitz was repaired and the castle reopened to the public. Today the Tower of London is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions. It is cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a World Heritage Site.
The collective term Crown Jewels denotes the regalia and vestments worn by the sovereign of the United Kingdom during the coronation ceremony and at other state functions.
Many of these descend directly from the pre-Reformation period and have a religious and sacral connotation. The vestures donned by the sovereign following the unction, for instance, closely resemble the alb and dalmatic worn by bishops, although the contention that they are meant to confer upon the sovereign an ecclesiastical character is in dispute among Christian scholars.
Houses of Parliament & Westminster Abbey
The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Its name, which derives from the neighbouring Westminster Abbey, may refer to either of two structures: the Old Palace, a medieval building complex that was destroyed by fire in 1834, and its replacement New Palace that stands today. For ceremonial purposes, the palace retains its original style and status as a royal residence.
The Palace is one of the centres of political life in the United Kingdom; "Westminster" has become a metonym for the UK Parliament, and the Westminster system of government has taken its name after it. The Elizabeth Tower, in particular, which is often referred to by the name of its main bell, "Big Ben", is an iconic landmark of London and the United Kingdom in general, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city and an emblem of parliamentary democracy.
Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, and often extended to refer to the clock and the clock tower, officially named the Elizabeth Tower, as well. Elizabeth Tower holds the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world and is the third-tallest free-standing clock tower.
It celebrated its 150th anniversary on 31 May 2009, during which celebratory events took place. The tower was completed in 1858 and has become one of the most prominent symbols of both London and England, often in the establishing shot of films set in the city.
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, and one of the Royal Parks of London, famous for its Speakers' Corner.
Hyde Park covers 142 hectares (350 acres). To the southeast, outside the park, is Hyde Park Corner. Hyde Park is the largest of four parks which form a chain from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, via Hyde Park Corner and Green Park (19 hectares), past the main entrance to Buckingham Palace and then on through Saint James's Park (23 hectares) to Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall.
Piccadilly Circus & West End
Piccadilly Circus is a road junction and public space of London's West End in the City of Westminster, built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the major shopping street of Piccadilly. In this context, a circus, from the Latin word meaning "circle", is a round open space at a street junction.
Its status as a major traffic intersection has made Piccadilly Circus a busy meeting place and a tourist attraction in its own right. The Circus is particularly known for its video display and neon signs mounted on the corner building on the northern side.The Circus is close to major shopping and entertainment areas in the West End.
The West End of London contains many of the city's major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings, and entertainment venues (including the commercial West End theatres). Taking a fairly broad definition of the West End, the area contains the main concentrations of most of London's metropolitan activities apart from financial services, which are concentrated primarily in the City of London.
Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, built around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. At its centre is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. There are a number of statues and sculptures in the square, with one plinth displaying changing pieces of contemporary art. The square is also used for political demonstrations and community gatherings, such as the celebration of New Year's Eve.
The name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), a British naval victory of the Napoleonic Wars over France. The original name was to have been "King William the Fourth's Square", but George Ledwell Taylor suggested the name "Trafalgar Square".
Nelson's Column is a monument in Trafalgar Square in central London built to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The monument was constructed between 1840 and 1843 to a design by William Railton at a cost of £47,000. It is a column of the Corinthian order built from Dartmoor granite.
It was refurbished in 2006 at a cost of £420,000, at which time it was surveyed and found to be 14 ft 6 in (4.4 m) shorter than previously supposed. The whole monument is 169 ft 3 in (51.6 m) tall from the bottom of the pedestal to the top of Nelson's hat.
The four identical bronze lions at the column's base were not added until 1867. They were originally supposed to be carved from granite.
In 2011, consultants for the Greater London Authority reported that tourists climbing onto the backs of the lions have caused considerable damage and recommended banning tourists from climbing them.
The column also had a symbolic importance to Adolf Hitler. If Hitler's plan to invade Britain, Operation Sea Lion, had been successful, he planned to move it to Berlin.
Buckingham Palace is the official London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focus for the British people at times of national rejoicing and crisis.
Originally known as Buckingham House, the building which forms the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1705 on a site which had been in private ownership for at least 150 years.
The Buckingham Palace Garden is the largest private garden in London.
The state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public each year for most of August and September, as part of the Palace's Summer Opening.
South Bank & London Eye
The South Bank is an area of Central London, England located immediately adjacent to the south bank of the River Thames. It forms a significant tourist district in central London, stretching from the Design Museum in the east to the London Eye in the west. A series of central London bridges connect the area to the northern bank of the Thames, including the more recent Golden Jubilee and Millennium pedestrian bridges.
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames in London, England. It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually.
Science & Natural History Museums
The Natural History Museum and Science Museum are two of three large museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington.
The natural History museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 70 million items within five main collections: Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Zoology.
The museum is particularly famous for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons, and ornate architecture.
The Science Museum attracts 2.7 million visitors annually. Like other publicly funded national museums in the United Kingdom, the Science Museum does not charge for admission. Temporary exhibitions, however, do usually incur an admission fee.
The Science Museum now holds a collection of over 300,000 items, including such famous items as Stephenson's Rocket, Puffing Billy (the oldest surviving steam locomotive), the first jet engine, a reconstruction of Francis Crick and James Watson's model of DNA, some of the earliest remaining steam engines, a working example of Charles Babbage's Difference engine (and the latter, preserved half brain), the first prototype of the 10,000-year Clock of the Long Now, and documentation of the first typewriter. It also contains hundreds of interactive exhibits. A recent addition is the IMAX 3D Cinema showing science and nature documentaries, most of them in 3-D, and the Wellcome Wing which focuses on digital technology. Entrance has been free since 1 December 2001.
Borough Market is a wholesale and retail food market in Southwark, Central London, England. It is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London, and sells a large variety of foods from all over the world.
The wholesale market operates on all weekday mornings from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., but the retail market operates only on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The market, which has focused historically on fruits and vegetables, has in recent years added stalls dealing with the fine food retail market, including some of the market's most famous traders Artisan Bakers DeGustibus, Furness Fish & Game Supplies, Peter Gott and Sillfield Farm, and the Spanish company Brindisa.
The View From The Shard
The Shard is an iconic, landmark building on the London skyline, designed by Master Architect Renzo Piano. At a height of 1,016ft (310m), the tallest building in Western Europe, The Shard redefines London’s skyline and will be a dynamic symbol of London, recognisable throughout the world.
The View is situated at the top of The Shard, on floors 68, 69 and 72, and almost twice the height of any other viewing platform in London. Prepare to embark on a multi-sensory journey to 244m (800ft) above one of the greatest cities on Earth. On arrival at Level 00, you will be drawn into the tapestry of London with glimpses of the city laid out before you. Travelling skyward in two high-speed ‘kaleidoscopic’ lifts, you’ll swiftly reach Level 68 - a cloudscape above the world.
Then journey to Level 69 where the view is revealed and London opens out before you. Here, in the sky above London, you’ll experience an astonishing 360 degree, 64km (40mile) view over the city and beyond where the past, present and future of London will be unfurled beneath you, brought to life in multimedia displays.
For the best view in town, ascend to Level 72, at 244m, the highest public level of The Shard. You’ll be exposed to the elements with sounds of the city around you. Looking up, you’ll see the shards of glass that form the top of this skyscraper as they disappear upwards into the sky.
The View is currently open from 9am-10pm daily until October 2013. From October 2013 the opening hours will be: Sunday-Wednesday, 10am-7pm; and Thursday-Saturday, 10am-10pm. All tickets are dated and timed, so we advise pre-booking to ensure an unpressured, premium quality experience.
The entire experience is enjoyed at your leisure, queue and crowd free with no time restriction on your stay.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour
People the world-over have been enchanted by the Harry Potter films for nearly a decade. The wonderful special effects and amazing creatures have made this iconic series beloved to both young and old – and now, for the first time, the doors are open for everyone at the studio where it first began. You'll have the chance to go behind-the-scenes and see many things the camera never showed. From breathtakingly detailed sets to stunning costumes, props and animatronics, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London provides a unique showcase of the extraordinary British artistry, technology and talent that went into making the most successful film series of all time.
Secrets will be revealed.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter offers visitors the ultimate opportunity to step on to authentic sets, discover the magic behind spellbinding special effects and explore the behind-the-scenes secrets of the Harry Potter film series. Walk the original stone floor of the iconic Hogwarts Great Hall, encounter animatronic creatures and wander down Diagon Alley.
Located at the Studios where all eight films were produced, the Studio Tour showcases the incredible British talent, imagination and artistry that went into making the impossible a reality on screen. Visitors will relive the magic through the eyes of the filmmakers who brought the Harry Potter film series to life.
St. Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's, with its world-famous dome, is an iconic feature of the London skyline. Step inside and you can enjoy the cathedral's awe-inspiring interior, and uncover fascinating stories about its history.
There's so much to see and discover at St Paul's. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Climb the Dome
Climb up the dome to the Whispering Gallery and try out its unique acoustics; a whisper on one side can be heard clearly 100 feet away. Climb 271 more steps and reach the Golden Gallery at the very top of the dome where you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views across London.
Go on a touchscreen multimedia tour
Fly-through videos of the dome galleries and zoomable close-ups of breathtaking mosaics and paintings will help you see more of St Paul’s than has ever been possible before. Multimedia Guides and Guided Tours reveal all about the history, architecture and daily life of the cathedral.
Discover the crypt
Make your way underground and explore the Cathedral’s foremost burial place. In the crypt lie some of the nation’s heroes including the Cathedral’s architect Sir Christopher Wren as well as the magnificent tombs of Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington.
Travel back in time in an immersive film experience
Our 270° film exhibition, Oculus; an eye into St Paul's,brings 1400 years of history to life. Oculus takes you on a journey through the history and daily life of St Paul's Cathedral.Virtual access films take visitors up to the dome and galleries without leaving the ground.
Treat yourself to afternoon tea
Relax after your visit with quintessentially English afternoon tea in The Restaurant at St Paul’s. You can enjoy delicate sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, a sumptuous variety of cakes and perhaps a glass or two of English sparkling wine.
Tower Bridge Exhibition
A visit to Tower Bridge Exhibition is the most exciting way to explore and experience the most famous Bridge in the world. Within the Bridge's iconic structure and magnificent Victorian Engine rooms there is plenty to see and do!
After watching a new animated video about why Tower Bridge was built, guests can walk into the high level Walkways, 42 metres above the River Thames. This offers visitors the chance to admire stunning panoramic views of London, spying such popular landmarks as St Paul's Cathedral and the Monument to the west and St Katharine's Dock leading to Canary Wharf to the east.
The East Walkway houses the exhibition 'Great Bridges of the World' - this photographic exhibition features over 20 Bridges, each of which represents a breathtaking feat of engineering. In the south tower a short video shows the construction of the Bridge, before guests proceed to the West Walkway where they can view our brand NEW exhibition, 'This is London'. Here, visitors can admire copies of over 60 iconic illustrations and excerpts from painter and illustrator, Miroslav Sasek's classic children's book, 'This is London'.
Continue on to the original lifting machinery in the Victorian Engine Rooms, complete with sounds and smells that transport you back in time to the Bridge's origins. You will also experience a virtual Bridge lift, providing you with a unique view of the Bascules being raised. And currently on display is 'Art at the Bridge #4', our brand NEW exhibition in partnership with Southwark Arts Forum.
A final visit to the Gift Shop before leaving allows the chance to take home a memento of your day.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London
At Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London visitors can marvel at an unbelievable collection of jaw dropping artefacts from across the globe – many of which were collected by the ultimate explorer Robert Ripley himself.
With over 700 astonishing exhibits, galleries and interactive experiences spanning across 6 floors, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London celebrates the weird, wonderful and bizarre in all its forms, which are sure to excite, delight and thrill the whole family.
Want to see how will you measure up to the world’s tallest man? Or come face to face with a rare collection Amazonian shrunken heads? Will you dare to venture into Ripley’s Marvellous Mirror Maze and defeat the Impossible LaseRace?
Fun Things to do at Ripley's Believe it or Not
- Checking your height against the world’s tallest man
- Taking a peek at real fossilised dinosaur eggs
- Losing your friends and family in Ripley's Marvellous Mirror Maze
- Testing your skills in London's largest LaseRace
- Marvelling at an 8-foot match stick model of the Titanic
- Coming face to face with a prehistoric shark jaw
- Pulling funny faces next to the 'mule faced lady' and 'the crocodile man'
- Laughing as you try to conquer the spinning Black Hole
The Emirates Air Line (cable car)
The Emirates Air Line (also known as the Thames cable car) is a cable car link across the River Thames.The Emirates air line not only provides a much needed river crossing in east London, but it also affords spectacular bird's eye views of the city. The cabins provide 360 degree views taking in the City, Canary Wharf, historic Greenwich, the Thames Barrier and the Olympic Park.
The Emirates Air Line has a cable span of 1,100 metres boasting three soaring helix towers. Passengers cross the River Thames travelling at heights of 90 metres between two terminals, improving connections between two world class attractions - the O2 and ExCeL, whilst in close proximity to existing Tube and DLR systems.
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum & Tour
Explore the game's evolution from a garden party pastime to a multimillion dollar professional sport played world-wide: with exciting interactives and films, easy-to-use touch screens, and audio guides in 10 languages, people of all ages can experience the artistry and athleticism that is modern tennis.
Highlights of the Museum include:
- The glittering Championship Trophies.
- A 'ghost' of John McEnroe which appears in the very changing room he once used! Watch as he speaks about the game and his legendary opponents. See a 360° panoramic preview of the McEnroe Exhibit.
- Film and video footage, which take visitors right into the action of some of the most memorable and exciting tournament matches.
- An extensive, unsurpassed collection of tennis memorabilia dating back to 1555.
- Museum Gallery with fascinating displays drawn from the vast collection.
- CentreCourt360 the new viewing experience of Centre Court, located right by the grass, with touch screen interpretation and two fun interactive galleries.
- Take a 360° panoramic preview of the Museum, the Museum Entrance, The Tunnel and the Interactive Consoles.
The brand new 3D art film 'Viewpoint',a unique cinematic experience which captures the sights, sounds and people of Wimbledon through its split narrative. The film opens on Centre Court during the final game of the 2012 tournament, focusing on the players in action. The audience is then seamlessly led from this central scene to the world of some of the rich characters that make The Championships the magnificent occasion that it is.
Treasures from the first Championship in 1877 to the most recent are on display, including equipment, clothing, and mementos belonging to the greatest players to set foot on Centre Court.
See the generous donations from the great players of today, as well as the outfits of the most successful champions of the Wimbledon Singles tournament, including Pete Sampras and Martina Navratilova. Spot the outfits from Roger Federer and Andy Murray, as well as from the 'Woodies', one of the greatest doubles tennis partnerships of all time.
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a story of two palaces: a Tudor palace magnificently developed by Cardinal Wolsey and later Henry VIII, alongside a Baroque palace built by William III and Mary II.
Tudor Palace and Henry VIII
When he died in 1547 Henry VIII had more than 60 houses, but – in the second half of his reign – none were more important to him, nor more sumptuously decorated, than Hampton Court Palace. Today you can visit as one of Henry’s courtiers, adorn a Tudor cloak to visit Henry’s Apartments, see his stunningly recreated Imperial Crown in the Royal Pew before sneaking below stairs to visit his vast Tudor Kitchens where banquets were prepared for 1,000 people at any one time. Discover Young Henry in the exhibition charting his relationship with his first Queen, Katherine of Aragon.
Baroque Palace and William & Mary
The splendid apartments of William and Mary who ruled jointly at the end of the 17th century are a beautiful and elegant reminder of the decadent Baroque period. They offer tremendous views of the magnificent gardens.
Relax in over 60 acres of the beautiful Hampton Court Palace gardens that run down to the River Thames, featuring sparkling fountains, glorious displays of over 200,000 flowering bulbs and 750 acres of tranquil royal parkland.
There is much more to see such as the Young Henry exhibition, the Triumphs of Caesar by Andrea Mantegna and our costumed interpreters.
Madame Tussauds London is a major tourist attraction located in Central London, housed in the former London Planetarium. It is famous for recreating famous people and celebrities, in wax.
Set up by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud, it is the original Madame Tussauds attraction, having been situated on Marylebone Road since 1884.
Madame Tussauds London houses wax sculptures of all of the world's major celebrities, with new figures being added all the time.
London & the Royal Family
Kensington Palace unveils a palace of secret stories and public lives. Visitors arrive through beautiful landscaped gardens evoking a past when Kensington was countryside. Arrive in the entrance hall to start your journey through the magnificent Kings and Queen’s State Apartments. Filled with stories of two royal courts; the Stuarts and the Hanoverians, uncover what you would have worn, how you should behave and how to succeed in the heady atmosphere of the palaces state apartments.
Victoria Revealed, a fascinating exhibition, set within the rooms Victoria grew up in as a child, explores her life and reign through her own words. Imagine how she felt at just 17 years old on her first day as Queen at Kensington Palace, discover her romantic side through letters and gifts exchanged with Prince Albert and take a peep at moments of family life with her children and grand-children.
A new glossy and glamorous exhibition, Fashion rules: dress from the collections of HM Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret and Diana Princess of Wales explores the story of the monarchy in the 20th century featuring rare and exquisite dresses from The Queen, Princesses Margaret and Diana, discover how the royal figures and fashions were representative of the spirit of each decade. Surrounded by contemporary photography, film and music the visitor will get a real sense of the 1950’s through to the 1980s, decades in which the clothes were worn and how they reflected and inspired everyday fashions.
The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace
The Queen's Gallery hosts a programme of changing exhbitions from the Royal Collection. It was constructed forty years ago out of the bomb-damaged ruins of the former private chapel. The Gallery underwent extensive refurbishment and expansion to celebrate The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and was reopened by Her Majesty on 21 May that year.
The £20-million expansion of The Queen’s Gallery was the most significant addition to Buckingham Palace in 150 years. The project was funded entirely by the Royal Collection through public admissions to the official residences of The Queen (Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse) and through associated retail activities. The project involved stone masons, wood carvers, fibrous plaster and scagliola workers, copper and bronze workers, specialist joiners, blacksmiths, specialist painters and cabinet-makers.
The Queen’s Gallery was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in May 2002, as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations. It hosts a programme of changing exhibitions from the Royal Collection.
Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace
A Royal Mews is a mews (i.e. combined stables, carriage house and in recent times also the garage) of the British Royal Family. In London the Royal Mews has occupied two main sites, formerly at Charing Cross, and since the 1820s at Buckingham Palace.
A 45 minute tour introduces the work of the Royal Mews and are led by the Wardens, dressed in their striking red and navy livery. The staff are responsible for all road travel by The Queen and members of the Royal Family, whether by historic carriage or modern car. You hear how the Mews serves The Queen in the performance of her official duties and prepares for major State and ceremonial occasions, from the State Opening of Parliament to royal weddings.
During your visit to the Mews, you will see some of The Queen’s horses that draw the coaches and carriages in the Mews. The Cleveland Bays are used to escort newly appointed High Commissioners and Ambassadors to their audience with The Queen, when they present their formal credentials from their country’s Head of State.
Coaches & Livery
The Royal Mews houses the royal collection of historic carriages and coaches, which you may see in use during your visit. Among the vehicles on display are the Irish State Coach, in which The Queen travels to the State Opening of Parliament, and the Australian State Coach, which combines traditional craftsmanship with 20th-century technology to provide heating and remote-controlled windows.
Available in 10 languages the tour introduces the fascinating history of the Royal Mews and provides a lively insight into how the Mews operates today. Along the route, staff who live and work at the Royal Mews talk about the roles they play in the day-to-day activities of the Royal Household.
World War II London
Churchill War Rooms
Visit Churchill War Rooms to discover the original Cabinet War Rooms, the wartime bunker that sheltered Churchill and his government during the Blitz. Explore the historic rooms to experience the secret history that lives on underground. Discover the stories of those who worked underground as London was being bombed above them, and then find out more about the life and legacy of Winston Churchill in the interactive Churchill Museum.
Undercover: Life in Churchill's Bunker
Find out what it was really like in the Cabinet War Rooms during the war. Hear about the conditions underground, the camaraderie, the secrecy, the fear of attack, and the experience of working in close proximity to Churchill. Undercover: Life in Churchill’s Bunker uses oral histories, film interviews and personal objects to tell the stories of some of the hundreds of staff who worked in the secret headquarters.
The Churchill Museum
Uncover the man behind the image at the Churchill Museum, the only major museum in the world dedicated to the life and legacy of Sir Winston Churchill. Using cutting-edge technology and multimedia displays, Churchill’s story is brought to life, starting at the high point of his career – his appointment as Prime Minister on 10 May 1940.
Hear extracts from Churchill’s rousing wartime speeches as you stand on the squares to activate Churchill’s voice delivering now-familiar phrases such as ‘Blood, toil, tears and sweat’ and ‘We shall fight them on the beaches’. Nearby stands the original No. 10 door that Churchill walked through after becoming Prime Minister.
The Cabinet War Rooms
You’ll begin your journey at the War Cabinet Room, where Churchill and his inner circle plotted the war. See the chair in which Churchill presided over meetings, the scratch marks on the arms bearing witness to the intense pressure he was under at these times.
As you go deeper into the warren of rooms, you’ll discover how life and work continued underground, from top-secret conversations between Churchill and Roosevelt in the Transatlantic Telephone Room to more domestic concerns in the Churchills’ Kitchen.
Explore HMS Belfast’s nine decks to discover the stories of life on board this warship during the Second World War and beyond. Imagine sleeping in one of the tightly packed hammocks during duties in Arctic waters, or being stationed deep in the bowels of the ship when she opened fire in support of Allied troops on D-Day. Venture into the interactive Operations Room, and immerse yourself in the midst of a battle in our Gun Turret Experience.
Life at War
While on board, you can discover what it was like to serve in the far-flung places HMS Belfast visited during her years in active service. From convoy duties in icy Arctic conditions during the Second World War to patrolling waters in support of retreating troops during the Korean War, delve beneath the surface of the ship’s history to explore her adventures at sea.
Don’t miss our thrilling Gun Turret Experience: A Sailor’s Story, 1943, which transports you back in time to the Battle of North Cape on Boxing Day 1943, in which the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst was sunk by Royal Navy warships, HMS Belfast among them. You can experience what it would have been like to be in the heart of the action on the day of the battle as lights, imagery, smoke effects, vibrations, sounds and smells recreate the intense atmosphere inside a cramped gun turret.
Life on Board
During her time at sea, HMS Belfast was home to crews of up to 950 sailors. Today, you can discover what life on board was like for them. From eating and sleeping to healthcare and dentistry, the ship functioned as a floating community as well as a mighty warship, providing for the daily needs of her crew during long months at sea.
Among the many rooms where domestic tasks such as laundry and baking bread took place, the Ship’s Company Galley (kitchen) was the most important of all, churning out hundreds of meals daily for a hungry crew.
Discover how HMS Belfast works, from the Engine Room deep in the bowels of the ship to the Operations Room and Compass Platform, the nerve centre where the captain controlled the ship at sea.
The horsepower of HMS Belfast’s engines at top speed is equivalent to 1,000 family cars – visit the Engine Room to see the scale and intricate workings of the engineering needed to drive the ship. Also hiding deep beneath the ship’s waterline are the Shell Rooms, the most heavily protected of all the compartments on board from both shell fire and aerial bombs.
On the upper decks, as well as enjoying the elevated vantage points for fabulous views up the Thames, you can see the places where intelligence was gathered and decisions about enemy engagement were made.