HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast

Top Tourist Attractions

HMS Belfast is a Town-class light cruiser that was built for the Royal Navy. She is now permanently moored as a museum ship on the River Thames in London and is operated by the Imperial War Museum. It has a length of 187m and weighs over 10,000 tons. Construction started on 10 December 1936 and launched on 17 March 1938.

Historic Ship HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast is the most significant surviving 2nd World War Royal Navy Warship. It is the most iconic landmark in London. Moored on the river Thames, it is a part of The Imperial War Museum (IWM). It’s an attraction that a navy aspirant and admirer will not miss for anything. Originally a Royal Navy Warship, the ship’s history stretches back over 80 years and includes serving in Arctic Convoys and firing some of the first shots at the D-Day landings.

It’s a museum ship that narrates the story of life on board during the 2nd World War. One can explore this amazing ship that explains how peace and war times used to be for sailors.

Touring without a guide is still very informational to visitors, given all the descriptions and storyboards are placed throughout the ship.

Exploring HMS Belfast with The Nine Decks:

The Lower Decks:

  • With 9 decks to explore, ascend and descend ladders from the Engine and Boiler Rooms in the Lower Decks to the Flag Deck at the top of the ship. Step on to the Quarter deck to start the naval adventure.
  • Descend below the Thames waterline and test your skills at the Lower Steering Position. Visitors can take the helm and steer the ship to the destination in time for the D-Day in 1944. This is their new visual interactive experience.
  • Deep within the lower decks, one will find the machinery that powered the ship and the shell rooms containing the shells waiting to be hoisted up to the gun turret.
  • Get a sense of what life was like for the crew with a visit to the crowded living quarters where hammocks hang side by side. The galley, bakery, and provision stores show what it took to feed nearly a thousand men while the fully stocked medical centre kept the crew in fine health.
  • Listen to the HMS Belfast veterans recount memories of their time on board and discover the journey using an interactive timeline, in the exhibition ‘Serving the Seas’.

The Upper Decks

  • Head to the Upper Decks and take command of the ship as visitors sit in the captain’s chair and grab a photo as the Captain of HMS Belfast. Visitors may simply enjoy the view from the elevated position. Its 360-degree panoramic view of the city from the Upper Deck is breath-taking. This is the towering vantage point on the ship.
  • Explore the Engine and Boiler Rooms deep in the heart of the ship. Marvel at the complexity and scale of the machinery that powered HMS Belfast into the battle and experience what it would have sounded like with the engine noise soundscape.

HMS Belfast isn’t just a museum; she is an exemplary place in London and the largest item in IWM’s collections. It requires constant maintenance and repairs. Hence visitors might spot some of the skilled staff and volunteers onboard working to keep her in the best condition.

Last but not the least, discover the brand-new fully equipped, free interactive, gaming room ‘World of Warship: Command Centre’ and take the virtual helm of the Royal Navy cruiser.

The museum tour allows for people to experience and learn about life on the ship during World War II through wax figures, information boards, audio tours, pictures, descriptions, and even private tours.

Family Activities at HMS Belfast

Earning Sea-legs:  It includes Taking charge of HMS Belfast in this interactive family activity and completing fun tasks around the ship like:

  • Strategic games in which the year is set to be 1942 and HMS Belfast is virtually ready to sail. Families are needed to plot the course for the mission.
  • Test your steadiness by figuring out just how to feed 950 men on board with limited rations and even find out what kind of supplies you’ll need along the way.
  • Get to grips with the science and skills needed to survive on HMS Belfast, solve nautical puzzles and discover for yourself what life was like for the ship’s company during the Second World War.
  • Discover the operation rooms in the Nerve Centre and use interactive plotting tables to help recover a downed plane from the sea of the coast. The original radars and equipment lights are playing simulations to make the experience in the ship more like that of a sailor during its operation.

Shopping at HMS Belfast

There is a wide range of books, clothing, and great gifts inspired by the unique stories of those who served on board. There is a unique gift idea for aviation enthusiasts like aircraft keyrings, airplane models, a Spitfire Pen (made from a section of second world war Spitfire propeller blades), the exclusive Battle of Britain weekend hold all bag.

Books from wartime fiction and non-fiction on the first and second world war military history. Bags and backpacks include a selection of bags and rucksacks inspired by the 1st and 2nd World Wars.

Eateries on HMS Belfast

The Upper Deck is a destination bar with a spectacular view of London landmarks. Take a break onboard HMS Belfast with a wide range of sandwiches, kids lunch bags, hot & cold drinks, and freshly baked cakes and muffins.

A unique experience that gives a sense of what life was like for the crew as well as the throwback on how the ship was built in 1930 with high-quality engineering skills. Overall, an amazing place to visit, with a spectacular view of London.