Imperial War Museum, London

Posted On February 9, 2011 

With five different addresses in England of which three are in London, the Imperial War Museum aims at spreading a comprehensive understanding of the modern war along with its impact on the society. It is a British national museum that was established in 1917 at the time of the First World War. Since then until today, the museum provides a brief record of the horrible battle that led to many sacrifices of UK and her Empire. Previously acted as the Bedlam hospital that was an infamous mental asylum, the building is now the home of the archives of personal as well as official documents, videos, films, photographs, and oral history recordings along with the large art collection, vast library, military vehicles and aircraft instances, and other artifacts.

Go for the highlighted tour of the main galleries in the Imperial War Museum featuring the Museum’s Sound and Document Archives. On your way, know about 40 key exhibits as well as hear to the men’s and women’s experiences, who made history. Certainly, I am speaking about the audio guide that starts from the Information Desk and lasts for 1 hour 45 minutes for small fee.

All the exhibits are scattered nicely on the building’s six floors. On the Lower Ground, you will come across the First as well as the Second World War exhibits of which the main highlights are Trench Experience and the Blitz Experience. Start from the First World War exhibit in your left so that you do not miss anything. Here, it is a bit confusing to roam around, but walk in the direction of the arrows and remain in the left. On the Ground floor, there are large exhibits of which the Polaris missile as well as five aero planes such as the uncommon Mark I Spitfire hovering from below the glass domed roof is the main highlight. Also explore the Children’s War here. On this floor, there are tourist facilities such as a cafe and shop.

On the First floor, exhibits such as the Secret War for pre-teens and Survival at Sea reside, while the Second floor is the home of the art galleries. Floor 1 also houses a British lofty bomber plane fuselage that is exciting for one and all to climb through. Kids will love doing so for sure! The Third floor houses the Holocaust Exhibition great for the teens, but not for children under 14. On the Fourth floor, exhibits display the crimes against humanity, which are not suggested for children under 16.

At the main entrance, steep steps are there, which might make your travel a bit tricky. So, if you are a wheelchair-bound visitor, take the Park Entrance on the side. The entire building of the Imperial War Museum is accessible via the two elevators along with an additional lift devoted to the Holocaust Exhibition. As photography is permitted, you can do so, suggestively from Floor 2 for the best views.

The shop at the museum offers a sale after a temporary exhibition, which means you can get some merchandise reductions. The Cafe is good for snacks as well as children’s meal. Highchairs are also on offer here, which are at the back of the last room. When you come to visit the museum and if the weather is fine, do spend some time on the grounds where kids can play and you can relax in a small café.


Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ

Nearest Tube Station

Lambeth North


10 am to 6 pm daily

Closed on

24, 25, and 26 December


Free, but fee might be charged for special exhibitions.

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