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HMS Belfast

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The HMS Belfast was launched in 1938 and served in the Royal Navy from 1939 to 1963, seeing action in World War II, the Korean War, and then post-war exercises in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Now moored near Tower Bridge in London, the ship has been a museum since 1971, and today is part of the Imperial War Museum. With a permanent exhibition across 9 decks, plus tours and special activities for children, you can learn all about life on board a ship when you visit the HMS Belfast on your trip to London!
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Tickets

Book your tickets to HMS Belfast in advance to avoid standing in line on the day.
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London: Ticket for HMS Belfast
4.7starstarstarstarstar half(149)
 
Learn the story of HMS Belfast, once home to a crew of up to 950 men, with an entrance ticket to the iconic warship docked on London's River Thames. Explore the stories of those who lived and worked on board the ship during World War II and beyond.
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London Pass

Combine your trip to HMS Belfast with London’s other top attractions when you buy the London Pass.
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The London Pass with Access to over 80 Attractions
4.2starstarstarstarstar empty(2545)
 
Save time and money, choose from either a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6- or 10-day digital London Pass. Enjoy access to over 80 attractions and a 1-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour.
on 5 websites
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2 Day London Pass 
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View on Site
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2 Day London Pass with Oyster Travel Card 
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View on Site
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4 Day London Pass 
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More Tickets & Tours

Browse even more tickets and tours which include a trip to HMS Belfast.
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London: Top 20 Sights Walking Tour and HMS Belfast Entry
5.0starstarstarstarstar(1)
 
Explore London’s top 20 world famous landmarks. After a city walking tour, board HMS Belfast, 1 of only 3 remaining vessels from the bombardment fleet which supported the Normandy landings.
on 2 websites
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London: Westminster Walking Tour & HMS Belfast Entry 
Explore London’s famous Westminster area and see 20 of London’s must-see sights all in one tour. See Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and many more London icons. Afterward, board the HMS Belfast, one of the vessels that fought in Normandy.
on 2 websites
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Top Tips

1. Wear flat shoes and clothes which let you move freely! The 9 decks of the ship need to be navigated via ladders, steep steps, and narrow gangways. You’ll also need to pay attention when moving from room to room as you have to step over the thresholds, which were designed to keep each room watertight.
HMS Belfast
2. HMS Belfast is one of the attractions included in the London Pass, so if you’re planning on visiting more than one of London’s most popular attractions (including the London Eye and the Tower of London), you can save money by choosing the London Pass.
The London Pass
3. Make sure that you pick up the audio guide! It’s included in the price of entry, so even if you don’t want to use it to guide your whole trip, it might still come in handy if there’s anything you’re particularly curious about. It also has a special audio channel for children!
4. HMS Belfast is a very popular attraction, especially with school groups and families. Try to arrive early in the morning to enter before it gets crowded, as the vessel tends to fill up over the course of the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is HMS Belfast?

HMS Belfast is a Royal Navy ship launched in 1938 and received her commission in 1939, a month before the outbreak of World War II. The ship and her crew saw active duty in the North Sea and Arctic Circle before participating in the D-Day landings. In 1945 she was sent to Sydney to assist in the war in the Far East, but Japan’s surrender on August 15 meant she didn’t see active duty in the region during the war. The ship remained posted to stations in the Far East until the outbreak of the Korean war when she became part of the United Nations naval force. She was recommissioned for the last time in 1963, was sent to Gibraltar, and took part in minesweeping exercises in the Mediterranean, before returning to Portsmouth. Throughout the 60s and 70s, various voices lobbied to prevent Belfast from being scrapped, and in 1971 she was towed to London and outfitted as a museum before opening to the public on October 21, 1971, the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. She’s been a floating museum ever since.

What will we see inside the ship?

HMS Belfast has 9 decks open to the public, and most of them are set up to show visitors what it would have been like to live and work on a navy vessel. You’ll see sleeping quarters, the sick bay, the bakery, the gun turrets, and the laundry room, plus the Flag Deck and Operations Room, where the captain and officers would command the ship. You’ll also be able to visit Serving the Seas, a permanent interactive exhibition marking the 80-year history of HMS Belfast, and featuring stories from members of her crews throughout the years. Throughout the year there’ll also be special events, such as Ship Shape, which introduces visitors to what it takes to keep a ship in good working condition and prevent damage in the future.

Does the ship move or is it stationary?

A hole was dug in the river bed to accommodate HMS Belfast’s hull when she was first moored at Tower Bridge, but since the River Thames is a tidal river she still rises and falls as the surrounding water moves. She’s attached to two dolphins (not the animal, the man-made structure!) which make sure that she doesn’t move too much, even in the strongest tides. The motion of her rise and fall is quite gentle, and shouldn’t cause seasickness.

Will my children enjoy a trip to HMS Belfast?

Absolutely! Children aged 5 and over will enjoy scrambling up and down ladders and exploring the ship’s decks, engaging with the interactive exhibits, and listening to the special child-friendly version of the audio guide. Those visiting with very young children might find the ladders and stairs to be a challenge. Only the ‘2’ deck is accessible with a stroller, at other times small children may need to be carried, assisted, or carefully watched as they move between decks.

How long should I plan for my visit?

It takes at least 90 minutes to explore the whole ship if you’re in a rush. That being said, if you want to read all the displays, grab a bite to eat at the café, or take part in any of the activities for families, you’ll probably want to spend half a day inside the museum.

General Information

Opening Hours:

The HMS Belfast is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm with the final admission at 4 pm. The museum is closed on December 24, 25, and 26.

Tickets:

Tickets on the day cost £18 for adults (aged 16 to 59), £14.40 for concessions (those aged over 60, students, and disabled visitors), and £9 for children aged 5 to 15. Children aged under 5 can enter free of charge. Under-16s must be accompanied by an adult.

Address:

HMS Belfast
The Queen's Walk
London
SE1 2JH

How to get there:

The HMS Belfast is a short walk from London Bridge station which is served by Southern, Southeastern and Thameslink line trains, and the London Underground (Northern and Jubilee lines). London Bridge is also served by bus numbers 17, 21/N21, 35, 40, 43, 47, 48, 133/N133, 141, 149, 344, 343/N343, 381, 521, N199, and RV1. The HMS Belfast can also be reached by London Underground services to Tower Hill (Circle and District lines), a station which is also served by the 15/N15 bus route.
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