HMS Belfast: FAQs

August 11, 2019 9:26 am

What is HMS Belfast?

HMS Belfast is perhaps the most important and famous Second World War Navy warship still in existence. Commissioned just before the Second World War broke out, Belfast acted as a part of the British blockade against Nazi Germany and escorted Arctic convoys bringing supplies to the Soviet Union. She supported the D-Day landings and saw action during the Korean War.

Nowadays, she’s a ship museum, permanently moored on the River Thames. A ship with a history that tells the story of the Royal Navy in the 20th century, she is now an iconic London sight and a popular tourist attraction.

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D-Day | #HMSBelfast | On this day, 75 year ago, 156,000 allied troops landed on the beaches of occupied #Normandy. HMS Belfast is one of only 3 bombardment vessels to survive. Casualties were treated on-board and they spent 33 days supporting the landings, firing over 4,000 6-inch and 1,000 4-inch shells. This was the last time she fired her guns in World War II. The gallant actions of British, US & Commonwealth forces secured a bridgehead that enabled the liberation of Europe from Nazi domination. Called #OperationOverlord, today it is more usually referred to as D-Day. The forces landed on five beaches, with parachute and special forces dropped in before the main assault. D-Day was, and remains now, the largest combined land, sea and air operation in history. By the end of the 6th of June 1944, 10,000 allied casualties had been taken. The relative stability that we have enjoyed since then is as a direct result of their sacrifice, as well of all those gave their lives to fight the forces of fascism. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them. // #DDay #DDay75 #WW2 #WorldWar2 #remember #remembrance #wewillrememberthem #lestweforget #respect #veterans #thisislondon @imperialwarmuseums @britisharmy 📸 @mrlondon

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What can I see aboard HMS Belfast?

Visitors get access to all nine decks of HMS Belfast. With many rooms fitted out with artefacts in situ, you’ll get a taste of what daily life looked like aboard the famous ship and learn the stories of individuals who served on her.

The ship is divided into three main sections. The first, Life On Board the Ship, reveals the experience of living and serving at sea. You’ll see the sick bay, galley, chapel, mess decks and ship laundry, with the personal belongings of crew member and original objects used aboard the ship telling the stories of daily life.

Next up is the Inner Workings section, which show’s you all the important processes and jobs taking place below the waterline. The primary electrical, mechanical and communication equipment is down here, and you gain a real insight into the daily and emergency remits of different crew members. The final section is Action Stations, which is based on the upper deck and includes the operations room, the main gun turrets and the Admiral’s bridge.

Alongside the different open ship areas, HMS Belfast features exhibitions relating to the role of the ship and the challenges facing those who lived aboard her. Permanent exhibitions housed aboard the ship include HMS Belfast in War & Peace, and Life at Sea.

When can I visit?

HMS Belfast is open from 10am to 6pm every day, with last entry at 5pm. The museum is closed on December 24th, 25th and 26th.

How much does it cost?

An adult ticket costs £18 if you buy it in person on the day. You can make a small saving if you book online. Children (between 5 and 15 years old) cost £9, and concessions (Over 60s, disabled, student) £14.40. There are also family ticket deals available: 1 adult and up to 3 children costs £31, while 2 adults and up to 6 kids is £46.

But, ladies and gentleman, entry to HMS Belfast is totally free with the London Pass.

How do I get to the HMS Belfast?

The best way is by tube, with the nearest station London Bridge. It’s on the Jubilee and Northern lines. It’s also the closest mainline train station. Just head to down to the River Thames and you’ll see Belfast. Tower Hill tube station is just across the road too. It’s served by the District and Circle lines. A huge number of bus services stop at London Bridge and around the surrounding area. Check Transport for London’s Journey Planner to find the easiest bus option for you.

Is it accessible for people with disabilities?

Some of it is. Areas below deck are unsuitable for those with limited mobility and wheelchair uses. However, the main deck, quarterdeck, boat deck and cafe are all accessible. So you’ll be able to see the laundry, ship’s chapel, bakery, galley, petty officer’ mess, sick bay, dental surgery and the arctic mess decks. Assistance dogs are welcome.

Is there an audio guide?

Yes there is and it’s available in English, French, Spanish and German.

Can I get a bite to eat while aboard?

Yep, at weekends and during school holidays, there’s a cafe onboard. The cafe sells sandwich, kids’ lunch boxes and freshly baked pastries and cakes.

And Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has teamed up with HMS Belfast museum to open a branch of his River Cottage Deli. They sell ecologically-minded fare, including freshly made sandwiches, focaccia and a wide variety of salads.

If you fancy a drink after your visit, head up to the Botanical Bar, a cocktail bar with fabulous views across the Thames and of the Tower of London.

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HMS Belfast #hmsbelfast #london

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Any further questions, let us know the comments below. Of course, HMS Belfast isn’t the only major attraction lined up along the Thames.

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