Military museums & War memorials

London’s military history spans 2,000 years, encompassing the Roman fort by the Museum of London, the 1,000 year old Tower of London, right up to the Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast from World War II. Check out our calendar of military events in London and parades taking place in London.

London Pass gives you cheap entry, free entry, or a free guided toursor guidebook at 60+ attractions

Top 10 military attractions The ten best military attractionsChurchill War Rooms
Tower of London
RAF Museum
Chatham Dockyard
Imperial War Museum
HMS Belfast
Ceremony of the Keys
Bletchley Park
Changing the Guard
National Army Museum

Recommendations Craig recommends… My favourite parades are Changing the Guard, the Ceremony of the Keys, Trooping the Colour and Remembrance Day.

Apsley House

Apsley House was where the Duke of Wellington lived after his victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, and is filled with his war memorabilia.

Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park was a top-secret facility where Alan Turing worked to crack the German Enigma codes during the darkest days of World War II.

Bomber Command Memorial

This war memorial remembers the pilots of all nations who lost their lives flying on dangerous bombing campaigns.

Cenotaph

The Cenotaph stands in the centre of Whitehall, and is the focus of the annual Remembrance Day Parade when veterans march past and salute.

Ceremony of the Keys

The Yeoman Warders have kept up this ceremony for 700 years. You can watch them lock up the gates of the Tower of London every night.

Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace

This popular parade takes place on Buckingham Palace’s forecourt with marching bands and shouting sergeants.

Changing the Guard at Horse Guards

Watch the Household Cavalry change with the soldiers on Horse Guards Parade and outside the horse-boxes on Whitehall.

Chatham Dockyard

This historic dockyard has lots of boats you can walk around: a 19th-century sloop, a World War II destroyer and even a cold war submarine.

Churchill War Rooms

The underground bunker beneath Whitehall where Winston Churchill directed the war still looks exactly the same as when they closed it on VE day.

Dismounting Ceremony

Every day at 4 o’clock the Household Cavalry’s mounted soldiers leave the horse-boxes on Whitehall and enter the barracks after a quick inspection.

Guards’ Museum

Learn the history of the Foot Guards’ five regiments: the Coldstream Guards, Grenadier Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards and Welsh Guards.

HMS Belfast

This Second World War cruiser moored next to Tower Bridge allows you to go aboard and explore all the decks, including the bridge and missile room.

Household Cavalry Museum

The highlight of this museum is a window into the stable where they groom the Household Cavalry horses before a parade.

Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum tells the story of the British army from the early days of the British Empire right up to the modern wars in Afghanistan.

National Army Museum

The National Army Museum focuses on the land forces of the British military from the English Civil War right up to World War II and beyond.

National Maritime Museum

Greenwich has had a long association with the sea, and the National Maritime Museum tells the story of the British navy.

RAF Museum

The RAF Museum has more planes than an airport! You can see everything from a Spitfire and Lancaster Bomber to a colossal Vulcan bomber.

Remembrance Day Parade

The Remembrance Day Parade is a chance for the country to honour the fallen soldiers of all Commonwealth wars.

State Opening of Parliament

The Household Cavalry leads the Queen to Parliament so she can read out the government’s program for the coming year.

Tower of London

This World Heritage Site is famous for the Crown Jewels, Traitor’s Gate, the grisly executions on Tower Green, and the 1,000-year-old White Tower.

Trooping the Colour

This annual parade is held to celebrate the Queen’s birthday with military bands, marching soldiers and a flypast over Buckingham Palace’s balcony.
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