HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast
The Queen's Walk
Greater London



General Information


General Information

020 7940 6300


020 7403 0719

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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HMS Belfast was ordered by the Admiralty in 1936 and was built by Harland and Wolff at their dockyard in Belfast at a cost of just over £2 million. The vessel was launched by Mrs Neville Chamberlain, wife of the then Prime Minister, on St Patrick's Day, March 17 1938. HMS Belfast was commissioned into the Royal Navy on August 5 1939.

Now a branch of the Imperial War Museum, HMS Belfast has been carefully preserved to reflect the different decades of her service and the campaigns that she served in, from the Arctic Convoys and D-Day to the Korean War and the beginning of the Cold War.

HMS Belfast played an important role during the Second World War. She played a key role in the sinking of the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst and opened fire on the D-Day beaches at 05.30am, 6 June 1944, supporting the landing of British and Canadian troops on Gold and Juno beaches. D-Day ultimately provided the turning point in the Second World War and led to victory in Europe.

HMS Belfast weighs an incredible 11,553 tons or almost 12 million kilos, and at over 613ft/187m long is the length of nineteen London buses parked end to end. With its nine decks of living history, HMS Belfast appeals to all ages and provides hours of interest, from the Captain's Bridge down to the boiler and engine rooms way below the ship's waterline beneath the surface of the Thames.

Venue Type:

Museum, Ship or maritime heritage site

Opening hours

Open daily
Monday 4 November to February 10am – 5pm (last admission 4pm)
March to October 10am – 6pm (last admission 5pm)

Admission charges

Admission Prices

Adults £15.50
Child (under 16) Free
Concessions (Senior, Student, Disabled) £12.40
IWM Friends Free

Additional info

For more information, please view the HMS Belfast website:

Collection details

Weapons and War, Maritime

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Two girls participating in last year's Family Weekender

D-Day Family Weekender

  • 24 — 25 May 2014

On 6 June 1944, HMS Belfast reportedly fired the first shots on D-Day, the most significant campaign fought by the western Allies during the Second World War. To mark the 70th Anniversity of this historic event, families are invited to take part in a weekend of D-Day themed activities on board HMS Belfast.

Receive your mission as you board the ship and search for clues around the ship to learn about HMS Belfast's role in the D-Day campaign. Discover how sailors communicated at sea by simulating Morse code messages and watch our live radio team in action as they send messages across the globe from the ship's Bridge Wireless Office. Immerse yourself in the midst of a battle during the Second World War with the Gun Turret Experience, then step up to the roll of Captain and direct your own fleet on a convoy mission from the Operations Room, the nerve centre of the ship.

Drop-in at one of our free family activities - or both! Get messy at our Making Medals workshop and create your own plaster cast medal to commemorate servicemen and women who took part in Operation Overlord. If you're feeling more artistic, impress your friends and family at Tattoo T-Shirts by designing your very own t-shirt, inspired by traditional Navy tattoos, to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children


All activities are included in general admission


Making Medals

  • 24 May — 1 June 2014
  • 7 — 8 June 2014

Mark the 70th Anniversary of D-Day on board HMS Belfast. Learn about the role it played on that important day and make your own medal to commemorate the sailors, soldiers and airmen who took part in Operation Overlord - the largest naval, air and land operation in history.

This drop-in plaster casting activity is suitable for all ages. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get a bit messy!

Times: 11am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm daily

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children


This family activity is included in general admission


Girl participating in Cracking Codes

Cracking Codes

  • 12 — 13 July 2014

Can you decipher secret messages? Come and join in our family activity! Intercept messages, map hazards on our sea chart and even make up your own secret code.

To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, you'll learn about the skills intelligence officers had to have as well as some of the dangers that surrounded HMS Belfast at sea during this important battle of the Second World War.

This activity is in association with Maths on Toast who make community events where maths is fun.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children


Free family activity included in general admission


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.