London is known for its glorious past, the city has been a part of many wars from the old pages of history. This gives London an impressive military strength that you need to explore when you are visiting this vibrant and rich in history and heritage city of London. Popular for its museums, most of which are free for you to visit, London features several military museums. These museums display the history of Britain’s military power, it’s artillery, ammunitions and stories of the first world war.
In these military museums you will find great exhibitions, displays and some gripping stories of the times. Plus, most of these museums are free to visit. So, if you are history or military enthusiast London offers a number of museums and exhibitions that will help you fully explore the military history of this country.
Here’s a list of places, museums, events and exhibitions you can witness and visit in London if you are military and heritage fan.
In London, you can get a fine glimpse of the military by attending the following events:
Trooping of the colour:
This takes place to celebrate the official birthday of the Queen in the month of June. It is a traditional ceremony in which the military showcases its full pomp and pageantry with Trooping the Colour and Horse Guards Parade. This annual event features military officers, horses and musicians from the household division in their ceremonial uniform. This ceremony is attended by the Queen herself. You can buy the tickets to witness this royal event in the month of June.
Changing the Guard:
This royal change of guard ceremony is free to witness, as it takes place right outside the Buckingham Palace. This traditional ceremony is also known as Guard Mounting. It commences at 10:45am and lasts for around 45 minutes with actual handover taking place at 11am. The guards here are dressed in their traditional uniform that is red hats and bearskin hats. Considering the popularity of this event, where the old guards change duties with the new ones, you must reach this spot early so that you can secure yourself a good viewing spot outside the gate of the Buckingham Palace.
Performed on the Wednesday and Thursday evenings preceding the Queen’s Birthday parade in June, this ceremony is a precision drill is a sunset pageant. This event is also attended by the Queen or a senior member of the British Royal Family. This drum call ceremony is a must visit and is a musical delight for the spectators.
Imperial war museum:
Another museum that is free to visit, beautifully exhibits the lives and stories of people whose lives were impacted during the war times. Here you will find on display intriguing documents and object from war times along with art, sound and films displaying several heroic stories. The galleries showcase everything from the first world war to the present-day military scene. You can witness galleries and permanent exhibitions that include the Lord Ashcroft, moments from the Second World War, the Holocaust exhibition and more.
Where: Lambeth Rd, London SE1 6HZ
Timings: Monday-Sunday 10 am to 6 pm
National Army Museum:
This museum is also free for all its visitors. Located in the heart of the city, it has five stunning state-of-the-art galleries. In this interactive museum you can learn and explore everything about the army. Galleries depict stories from the British Civil War till the modern day today. From the lives, uniforms, strategies of soldiers and the overall Battle tactics and technology used in different eras, this is place will fully educate you about the British Army.
Where: Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4HT
Timings: Monday- Sunday 10 am to 5:30 pm
Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks in Central London:
A chapel specially dedicated to the royals is located in the central part of London and hold the weekly Sunday service at 11am. The only Royal Military Chapel in London, the chapel features a professional choir and the finest military musicians. This is the religious home of the Household Division.
Where: Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, Westminster, London SW1E 6HQ
Timings: Monday-Sunday 10 am to 4 pm
Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum Knightsbridge, London:
Popularly know as the Sikorski Institute, this is an organisation for the Polish community in United Kingdom. This institute came into existence after the Second World War in the memory and honour of the Polish armed forces in the West and to their contribution in the Second world war. It displays and preserves the documents, uniforms, works of art and literature and other records of the Polish soldiers and army.
Where: 20 Princes Gate, Knightsbridge, London SW7 1PT
Timings: Tuesday- Thursday 2 pm to 4 pm
The Household Cavalry Museum:
This iconic museum celebrates the history and accomplishments of the Household Cavalry. Showcasing uniforms, workshops, the horses and the life of the regiment who guard the Queen, it is a must visit museum while you are in London. Here you can even try the guard’s uniform and helmets and click memorable pictures.
Where: Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX
Timings: Monday 10am-6pm, Tuesday- Thursday 10 am to 5 pm, Friday closed
Buckingham Palace, The Churchill War Rooms:
This is a part of the Imperial war museum where you can discover the Cabinet War Rooms and the underground headquarters where Churchill was given shelter and from where he run his wartime government during the Blitz. It’s a great place to learn about that time and enjoy the interactive museum.
Where: Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AQ
Timings: Monday- Sunday 9:30 am to 6 pm with extra 45 minutes from July – August
To be close to these amazing military attractions and enjoy a comfortable and luxurious stay you must book your stay at the Piccadilly West End Hotel. It’s location and closeness to transport links makes exploring attraction super easy. Offering several modern amenities and comforting facilities you will have a great time booking this accommodation on your trip to London.