Visiting the Imperial War Museum in London

The Imperial War Museum


Tucked away in a SE London neighborhood off Lambeth Road is the Imperial War Museum. Although it has a fairly intimidating name, this museum is easy to get to and thoroughly enjoyable.

The Imperial War Museum, to be technical, is a system of museums throughout the United Kingdom including the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms and the HMS Belfast. For the purposes of this article though, we are focusing on the IWM London.

The museum is a quick and easy walk from Lambeth North tube station and is set in a beautiful park setting.

What is most interesting is that the museum building was formerly the central portion of Bethlem Royal Hospital, or Bedlam. That’s worth a visit on its own! The museum started in 1920 and has been housed in its current location since 1936 and the collections encompass all military campaigns involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War.

Some of the highlights include a remarkable collection of war time posters with such classic taglines as “Keep Calm and Carry On,” a current exhibition about life in the trenches and a jaw-dropping collection of war machines.

Plan on spending at least a few hours here as some of the permanent exhibitions are quite thorough and fascinating. Also plan on visiting another Imperial War Museum facility in London, the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms located near Westminster.


(Special exhibitions may charge an admission fee)

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

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