HMS Belfast was built in 1938, taken out of battle service with the Royal Navy in 1965, and opened as a museum in 1971 as a unique reminder of Britain's naval heritage. HMS Belfast has nine decks of living history to explore.
HMS Belfast is the largest surviving example of Britain's twentieth century naval power and is moored on the Thames between Tower Bridge and London Bridge. She was the first ship to be saved for the nation since Nelson's HMS Victory due to her historical importance.
HMS Belfast is run by the Imperial War Museum London.
HMS Belfast Review
To head down to the boiler room, and other sections of the lower level, you need to go down steep, narrow, metal steps. The easiest way down is backwards but do watch your head as taller visitors may need to duck slightly.
Do remember, HMS Belfast was designed as a war ship for active service, so not as a museum. This means not all areas are accessible to disabled visitors and all visitors must take care on the steps and walkways. There are plenty of 'trip hazards' around the place but I managed to not fall and neither did my four year old.
You are pretty much left to explore as there aren't many exhibits and labels to read, and due to the tight spaces at times there are not staff at every corner. I did find a room with child-friendly interactives such as buttons to make noises and a Lego table but I don't know if I could find it again. That would be good to locate if visiting on a wet day with the kids but it was dry when we were there so we headed up the highest point - the Gun Direction Platform - and admired the views.
Under 16s go free so this is a great family destination. I was unsure if my daughter would cope with all the tight spaces and steps but she loved it and we had no accidents. And it's a wonderful place for letting your imagination take over.
I stayed for 2 hours and didn't stop at the cafe which looked like it had a nice choice of hot and cold food, plus drinks and snacks. As the weather was nice we stayed out on deck and had a few pre-packed snacks and later had lunch over at the City Hall cafe which is also very much recommended.
HMS Belfast Visitor Information
Nearest Tube Station London Bridge
Use Journey Planner to plan your route by public transport.
Tel: 020 7940 6300
Open daily except 24, 25, and 26 December.
1 March - 31 October: 10am - 6pm (last admission 5.15pm)
1 November - 28 February: 10am - 5pm (last admission 4.15 pm)
Check latest ticket prices on the official website.
Children (under 16): Free but must be accompanied by an adult.
- Visit this attraction for free with a London Pass
- Find out more about the London Pass.
- Buy the London Pass now.
Visit Duration: Allow 1.5 - 2 hours for your visit.
Official Website: hmsbelfast.iwm.org.uk
See the South Bank Photo Tour for more ideas.