Last week, were invited to stay at a new hotel in the Shoreditch / Hackney area of London. With this, we decided to take advantage of the rare opportunity of being in London and visit a few new places. After seeing someone we follow visit the Imperial War Museum we decided to tick this one off our list.
The Imperial War Museum in London is one of five Imperial War Museums in the UK. It’s also one of the many places in London that’s FREE to enter. On this occasion, we decided to visit the museum located in Lambeth Road.
Sharon has always been interested in World War II. This is because a number of her family members were born during the Second World War. Likewise, T has always had a keen interest in different vehicles and planes. Therefore, visiting somewhere like The Imperial War Museum made perfect sense. We’ve never visited before, but had heard lots about the amount of things to see and do.
Located a short walk from Big Ben and Westminster, the museum has a number of exhibitions about historic wars. From World War 1 & 2 and the Cold War to The Battle of Britain and D-Day. It also features more modern-day “contemporary” conflicts. There’s also unique exhibitions, such as one detailing the Women in Wartime.
The museum spans across 5 floors, which can be accessed via stairs or a lift. Each floor circles around the main concourse and atrium that boasts several military planes and vehicles. Located within the museum as well are also a number of gift shops; selling everything from memorabilia to toys, as well as a cafe serving hot meals and snacks. There’s also a locker and luggage room on the ground floor.
The museum itself is very very impressive.
There’s lots to interact with and read, however I would say that some of the content is probably a bit mature for a six year old. Whilst T enjoyed his visit, and was able to learn a number of valuable facts about wartime history, there were some exhibitions that weren’t entirely appropriate. The Holocaust Exhibit on the top floor, for example, had an advisory age recommendation at the start of the tour. Likewise, other exhibits displayed sights and sounds that unnerved him somewhat.
That being said, the sheer number of vehicles seen on display, as well as other exhibitions such as gallery exhibits, made up for anything T wasn’t able to (or didn’t want to) view. Once we were finished with our tour, we also got to enjoy the green space that surrounded the museum; including a small play park and the Tibetan Peace Garden!
The Imperial War Museum is certainly not something to be missed. I would, however, recommend visiting when children are either a little bit older than ours. Alternatively, when they’re perhaps learning about the subject in school so that there’s context.
We arrived at the museum around 10:30am and easily spent the majority of the day here. With this in mind, it’s well worth the travel; especially as it’s free to enter.
Have you been to the Imperial War Museum? Do you agree with our review? Let us know!