HMS Belfast: Britain’s Modern Might

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Britain’s military history often dwells on the historic grandeur of its imperial heyday, but the HMS Belfast is a captivating example of its modern might. Done up in subdued turquoise and steel dazzle camouflage – designed to confuse enemies by masking the ship’s velocity and size – this light cruiser saw significant action during D-Day and the Korean conflict, now standing as a prime example of England’s ongoing naval prowess. As part of the Imperial War Museums, it makes a fantastic family day destination, so take your kids down the gangplank and start with a group photo in front of the life preserver bearing the ship’s name. Your little sailors will squeal with delight as you work your way through the ship’s nine decks, its daily rituals brought to life with realistic dioramas and audio snippets.  Watch them recreate the rowdy games of the mess hall, and listen in on the day-to-day grumblings in the kitchen, mail room, and even the resident dentist’s office. Then descend the narrow steel staircases to an operation room that’s been maintained in a state of full functionality, the radar still pinging quietly as it scours the ocean for enemy ships. After your kids have taken turns controlling the Belfast’s movements, return to the fo’c’sle (sailor slang for the forecastle, or front of the ship) and feast your eyes on the artillery still pointed skyward, ready to take out any airborne attackers. Let the kids admire them from a distance. After all, you wouldn’t want them to release a long-chambered volley at the unfortunately-named Cannon Street, located right in the line of fire.

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HMS Belfast

London SE1 2JH

44 20 7940 6300

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