Discovering World War II in London

Of all our visits to London We've always brought a little piece of history home. London besides having great museums, historical buildings and markets to fall on your back houses knowledge and history of the last World War II. We talk about places that suffered the German bombings, museums that used to serve as bunkers, a destroyer like the HMS Belfast or hangars and places where all the memory of this devastating war has been stored. We invite you to discover theWWII in London.

A little history

One of the most famous historical events during World War II in London was the relentless bombing of the Nazi Germany at the beginning of the great war, a period that caused thousands of deaths and that destroyed much of the city. That event was called Blitz, the German lightning.

London bombed

Although London prepared for these attacks by building bunkers for civilians, walls in historic buildings or placing anti-aircraft balloons He was not saved from innumerable fires and craters by the bombs in his streets.

Since September 1940, London saw in its own flesh the pain of war. The isolation of a country locked in an island did not help it become a spooky city, full of rubble and with a balance of more than 43,000 victims and more than 100,000 injured. Many historic buildings felt the heat of the flames, like the British Museum or Westminster Abbey.

IWM Imperial War Museum

You can see pictures of London bombed accessinghere.

A different visit to London

Now that we know a little more about the World War II in London, we will discover what we can see to enjoy its history close by doing an unusual tour. For this, you will need at least 3 days to enjoy all its corners, but you will be able to take the best of London in return from the perspective of the great war.

Imperial War Museum

If it is not the most important, it should be on the top of the most important war museums in the world. Already the building impresses. Upon arrival imposes its entry that is "defended" by some former canyons of the british navy.

IWM Imperial War Museum

It was founded during the First World War with the aim of not forgetting what a war is, how it impacts our lives and everything that can destroy conflicts of this kind. Today at the Imperial War Museum or IWM, you can see them from permanent collections of weapons, vehicles, maps, medals, flags, tanks or airplanes and temporary collections to the maximum detail that make it one of the best war museums in the world.

IWM Imperial War Museum

As soon as you enter the 5-storey building that houses the IWM, you can see it in the central hall, nothing less than a hardware, a genuine Spitfire, a V2 rocket used during the Blitz against London or a T-34 tank of the Soviet Union.

IWM Imperial War Museum
  • Price of admission: free
  • Schedule: open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

HMS Belfast

It is a destroyer docked on the River Thames very close to the Tower bridge. His last days before becoming a floating museum was in theNormandy Campaign at the end of World War II. Today HMS Belfast shows how life was on board at that time through the spaces where the sailors lived. From the dining room, the kitchen, the cabins and even the operating room where the radars of the time were simulated. A very interesting museum, since we don't have the opportunity to go up to a World War II destroyer.

HMS Belfast
  • Price of admission: £ 15.50 (under 16 free)
  • London Pass: Yes
  • Schedule: open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Churchill War Rooms

Cabinet war rooms was a bunker during World War II in London whereChurchill and his government took refuge during theBlitz. This refuge is located under the Treasury building and in it you can find the rooms, such as the map room, the prime minister's room and the different spaces where the government met under the incessant spray attacks of Nazi Germany.

  • Price of admission: £ 17.50 (under 16 free)
  • London Pass: Yes
  • Schedule: open from 09:30 to 18h. More info on IWM.

IWM Duxford

It is undoubtedly one of the best aviation museums that exist, and not only from World War II. Although it is not within London, it is worth this getaway to enjoy this stage with vintage aircraft, a huge hangar and air shows. The museum is located in an old WWII combat station and it turns out to be the best preserved in all of Britain. A final point has 7 hangars, so you can have an idea of ​​the size it has.

Mark Harkin Photo
  • Price of admission: £ 17.50 (under 16 free)
  • Schedule: open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. More info on IWM.

RAF Museum

It is the museum of the Royal British Air Force of London and has a huge size. It has several hangars where they exhibit more than 100 planes both warlike and civil use. Even for the little ones it is possible to ride several of them and even get in command of a classic plane, though, properly grounded.

Raf Museum by Roland Turner

The RAF Museum, although not dedicated to World War II in London, is the ideal place to enjoy a bestial aviation museum. It is located next to the town of Colindale, north of London, 30 min from the city center.

  • Price of admission: free

American Memorial Chapel at St. Paul's Cathedral

Is one of those mythical places where the WWII was lived very closely. It highlights the chapel of Jesus or American Memorial Chapel, which is located behind the upper altar. That part of the building was decimated and destroyed during the blitz bombing and later rebuilt in memory of the 28,000 Americans who died on the way or during their stay in Britain during World War II.

St Paul's Cathedral in WWII

It is possible to see their names inscribed behind the altar next to General Eisenhower.

  • Price of admission: £16.50
  • Schedule: open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.

National Army Museum

Its motto is, "you cannot understand the history of Britain without understanding the history of its army". I think we all know that British are from the most warlike countries, invaders, conquerors and colonizers of all time and therefore most of its history is also behind an army that has managed to put a small island in the North Sea in the front row.

This museum has a lot of temporary exhibitions about the history of its army. In it you can see from uniforms, weapons, maps, simulations of combat scenes, bunkers and even trenches. It is true that there is a lot of model, but they represent it so well, that you get a good idea of ​​what a war is very close.

  • Price of admission: free
  • Schedule: closed in 2016

Temporary exhibition on Auschwitz at the IWM

Practical data

Tips to save money on your visit (15% discount)

The London Pass It allows you to enjoy a lot of attractions and museums from one day to a week. With it you can access more than 60 tourist attractions for a price that starts from € 60, a bit expensive if you do not take advantage of everything it can offer you. In addition to entering “free” in many museums, it will allow you not to wait for queues, since they have special access for those who have it.

Before buying it, see if the museums fit you, since its price is high and many people do not take advantage of it. Here goes a 15% discount. TAKE ADVANTAGE!

London Pass

 Hire the London Pass

London tours

We leave you the best excursions you can do in London and in Spanish. From guided tours to sunset cruises on the Thames.

Where to sleep?

We could recommend hotels in London and even apartments. Downtown hotels are usually excessively expensive, so on many occasions we prefer to recommend apartments or hotels a little further away since transportation by bus and subway is most efficient. Besides, if you want to discover London from the perspective of World War II, it is best to stay away from the center since its museums are scattered throughout the city or north. Recommendation, a well-connected hotel in North London can be a point to live this city from a warlike point of view.

Travel insurance

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