Imperial War Museum
London SE1 6HZ
TfL Fare Zone 1
The Imperial War Museum (IWM) has 5 branches throughout England and this building in Lambeth is the headquarters. The Museum has remarkable exhibits from the First and Second World Wars and more recent conflicts.
Exhibits vary from complete aircraft suspended in the Large Exhibits Gallery to a collection of Victoria Cross and George Cross Medals. There are displays where visitors can experience The Blitz or Trench Warfare, see a V2 Rocket, hear recordings from the sound archive, see the tools of espionage, and drawings and paintings from the battlefields.
There is a great deal to see so allow at least 2 hours for a visit.
Other IWM branches in London are the light cruiser HMS Belfast, moored on the River Thames opposite The Tower of London and the Churchill War Rooms in Whitehall.
The IMW’s extensive collections are displayed in the following Galleries:
Large Exhibits Gallery
Military, naval and air weapons from the First and Second World Wars. Includes a British 9.2 Howitzer, a Mark V tank 1918, a M4 Sherman tank; a First World War gun from the German submarine U98, an Italian ‘human torpedo’ underwater craft and the smallest surviving fishing boat to take part in the Dunkirk evacuation.
Suspended from the ceiling can be seen a Sopwith Camel 2F1, A Supermarine Spitfire, a North-American Mustang, a Heinkel 162, a V2 Rocket, a ‘Little Boy’ atomic bomb casing and a Polaris Missile.
The First World War Galleries
All aspects of the war including the complex politics, the Western Front, The Trench Experience, and the development of aerial warfare.
The Second World War Galleries
Covers all the theatres of war, the Blitzkrieg, the Battle of Britain, The Home Front, and the Japanese surrender.
Conflicts since 1945
Britain’s modern armed forces since joining NATO.
The Holocaust Exhibition
A stark and harrowing exhibition of the methods used to persecute and slaughter the Jews and other groups during the Second World War.
Crimes against Humanity
Genocide and Ethnic conflict.
Reveals the secret world of spying, covert operations and British special operations, MI5 and MI6. On display is an original German Enigma cipher machine and code books. There is special equipment used in the recent Falklands and Gulf Wars and a reconstruction of Operation 'Nimrod', the SAS operation to release hostages held in the Iranian Embassy in London in 1980.
The Art Galleries
- The Victoria Cross and George Cross Galleries:
The centrepiece of the display is the 13-pounder 'Nery' gun and the three VC's won by its crew during the Battle of Mons.
- Monty: Master of the Battlefield
Documents the life and career of Field Marshal Montgomery including the Battle of El Alamein.
Plan Your Visit
Open all year except 24, 25 and 26 December: Daily 10:00 – 18:00 hours.
Free, however some special exhibitions may attract an entrance fee.
Fully accessible – there are lifts to all floors. Enter via the Park Entrance to the right of the building, just follow the signs. The Café is located on the ground floor.
Audio descriptive guides for the First World War Galleries, The Lord Ashcroft Gallery and The Holocaust Exhibition are available from the Information Desk on Level 0.”
A licensed café is located on the ground floor. Serves hot meals, sandwiches, hot and cold drinks, pastries and cakes. Open 10:00 – 17:30 hours.
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)2074 165 000
TfL Fare Zone 1 Transport for London Journey Planner
- By Underground
Lambeth North Station Bakerloo Line
Waterloo Station Bakerloo, Northern, and Jubilee Lines.
Elephant & Castle Station Bakerloo and Northern Lines
- By Bus
Local bus routes are: 159, 344 and 360
Bus stops are very close to the Museum.
We recommend that you use the 'Journey Planner' on the Transport for London weblink above.
- By Car
The Museum is within the Congestion Charge Zone so driving to the Museum is not recommended.
Google Maps - Imperial War Museum, Lambeth