The British military has seen a lot of action in its day. It once controlled practically the entire world’s oceans as well as administered much of the largest empire ever seen.
But we’re not here to talk about military ethics or British accomplishments and defeats. We’re more interested in the fascinating military buildings and attractions that exist in London.
And when it comes to war, we’re definitely more interested in the past than the present. Know the best Military Attractions in London
So, what are the best historic military attractions in London? Here are six of our favourites.
The Churchill War Rooms
Of all the world’s military conflicts, nothing has caused more devastation than WWII, fought between Britain and the allied powers against Nazi Germany and the axis powers. And who spearheaded the UK’s war effort? Of course, it was Winston Churchill. And, you can discover where the plotting took place at the Churchill War Rooms, which is a short walk from Buckingham Palace.
Inside the museum, you can view the Cabinet War Rooms, Churchill’s wartime bunker and a range of exhibitions that tell the tales of WWII London.
Imperial War Museum
Fancy attempting to learn about Britain’s military history in its entirety? Well, that won’t be an easy task, but the best place to start your research is at the Imperial War Museum, built in 1917. Most of the exhibits inside focus on British military history from WWI onwards.
What makes this place unique is the artwork it has on display, which offers a sombre view of the artistic response to Britain’s wars. Through the power of art, you’ll gain a glimpse into life on submarines, during bombing raids and in shelters.
Not all of London’s historic military attractions come in the form of buildings. If you fancy time travelling with a difference, go and explore the nine decks of HMS Belfast, a warship used by the British from 1936 until 1963.
Here, you can experience living in close quarters just as the brave men and women who joined the war effort had to.
The Tower of London
So far, we’ve talked about military attractions in London that focus on the world wars. But as we all know, the UK has engaged in plenty of conflicts before the entire world exploded into war in 1918. The Tower of London has had many uses since being constructed in 1097. It was famously a prison where executions took place, usually for charges of treason. But it also served as an armoury in the early 19th century. Go and take a look at the displays of uniforms and Victoria Cross medals during your stay in London.
National Maritime Museum
Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves… well, not so much anymore. But it certainly did control almost all the world’s oceans for about a century prior to WWI. How on Earth did such an island nation oversee maritime trade? By using its huge navy of course. Learn all about the story of the UK at sea by visiting the National Maritime Museum. If what’s inside doesn’t quench your thirst for history, spend a couple of hours outside admiring the UNESCO-protected building’s beautiful exterior.
Royal Artillery Museum
To end our list, let’s get back onto dry land. The Royal Artillery Museum details the story of the Royal Artillery (which you might’ve guessed), which dates all the way back to the Tudor dynasty. Cannons, guns and a multitude of other historic weapons are on display. There are also lots of interactive exhibitions that both kids and adults love.
If you’re interested in military history, make sure you check out our fantastic Wartime London Small Group Tour. It’s the perfect way to experience some of the capitals military landmarks.