As it was a bank holiday weekend I decided to visit the HMS Belfast. It was a Royal Navy warship, which is now permanently moored in the Thames as a museum. You’ll find it near London Bridge tube station.
It served in World War II and for around 20 years afterwards. You can explore the ship seven days a week. On the day I visited it was £10.30 for an adult ticket.
Inside you’ll find lots of scenes of life inside the ship, including the gramophone room and the kitchens. You’ll also find a few exhibitions and plenty of information for you to read about the various areas of the ship.
You’ll need to be comfortable with climbing up and down these kinds of ladders if you want to get around the ship. If you have a rucksack you’ll need to be careful when going through these openings.
You get given a map of the ship and you are supposed to follow the red arrows to get around the route. Unfortunately there are so many red arrows, often pointing in opposite directions that it is very easy to get lost. If they put some numbers on the arrows it would be much easier to follow the route.
The ship had its own surgery where injured sailors could be treated.
The average sailor had to sleep in hammocks wherever there was space for them to be hung. Often they would have to sleep in rooms full of very noisy equipment. In the photo on the right is one of the rooms that houses the shells that can be fired 14 miles by the ship’s guns.
I spent around one and a half-hours on the boat. If you were to read all the information, watch all the videos and listen to all the information on the audio guide you could double this. If you’ve never been to the HMS Belfast and you are in London it is definitely worth a visit.