We are huge fans of the Imperial War Museum
Permanent exhibitions here are free to visit, and it’s a family friendly museum that genuinely has a lot to offer parents and children. It recently re-opened after a £40million re-vamp, and as regular visitors we were counting down the days. There is just so much to see there, whether you simply want to marvel at powerful machines, read up on poignant first-hand accounts from soldiers, or try on child-sized uniforms.
The new Norman Foster-designed atrium is impressive (or ‘awesome’, according to one of my sons). It’s four storeys of heavy metal depicting war in all its power – you’ll see missiles, jets, and even a boat bravely chugging towards Dunkirk.
In this centenary year, we were especially keen on visiting the WW1 Galleries. I wanted to spend longer reading, but the children were keen to get back to the tanks downstairs. Sadly, the trench recreations have been scaled back. One of our favourite places to visit, you really got a sense of the hell of trench warfare through the grim smells and realistic sound effects. Less terrifying now, and prettier on the eye, we miss the smellier, darker version.
There are free daily activities throughout the summer until 3 September. Plus a Peyton & Byrne café serving excellent coffee and cakes.
Imperial War Museum
Lambeth Rd, SE1 6HZ
Tel: 020 7416 5320