HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast was launched in 1938 and served with distinction in both the Second World War and the Korean War. She is now the only surviving example of the great fleets of big gun armoured warships built for the Royal Navy in the first half of the twentieth century. HMS Belfast is moored on the River Thames, with an idyllic location between London Bridge and Tower Bridge.

On 5 August 1939 HMS Belfast was commissioned into the Royal Navy and just a month later she was at war. On 21 November 1939, whilst leaving the Firth of Forth, HMS Belfast was severely damaged by a German magnetic mine, the damage was so severe that it was almost three years before she was fit for action again. She continued to serve in active military engagements until 1952, including participation in the destruction of the battle cruiser Scharnhorst the Normandy Landings and the Korean War. She remained in service until 1965.


Look out for…

  • Interactive Operations Room — experience the sights and sounds of controlling a fleet of ships
  • Gun Turret experience — discover what it would have been like to be in the midst of a battle
  • The Fo’c’sle at the bow of the ship — take in the fabulous view up the Thames
  • Boiler and engine Rooms — explore the powerful machines that drove the ship during operations across the world (access via steep ladder only)
  • Arctic messdeck — see the tightly packed hammocks where the sailors slept during the Arctic Convoys of the Second World War
  • Sailors’ stories — visit the Life at Sea exhibition or speak to one of our Yeomen or volunteers to find out more about those who lived and served aboard HMS Belfast

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All information is drawn from or provided by the museums 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.