micbinks - UK holiday, leisure & tourist attraction images

UK Tourist & Leisure Attractions - IWM

Belinda and Mike - follow our tourist travels in the UK

Imperial War Museum (IWM), London

Our first visit in 2008 was to the renowned Imperial War Museum in London where we toured the various galleries of intriguing military exhibits and viewed the impressive collections of wartime related hardware and material.  We also visited the 'For Your Eyes Only' exhibition taking place at the IWM at the time.

Outside the Imperial War Museum in London
Quite an imposing sight on arrival at the Imperial War Museum with those two huge guns pointing out!  The IWM is in Lambeth just south of the Thames, nearest tube is Lambeth North.  The museum entrance...

The Imperial War Museum's Large Exhibits Gallery
...led into the main Large Exhibits Gallery with lots of awesome aircraft suspended overhead plus there were tanks, rockets and other weapons and historic military vehicle collections.

Large guns at the Imperial War Museum
Up in the elevated galley at the Imperial War Museum, we found these big guns seemingly taking aim at those combat aircraft in the Large Exhibits Gallery!

Bomber aircraft fuselage at the IWM
Here's the front bit of a Lancaster bomber which we took a peek in the cockpit - and noticed the pretty basic levels of comfort for the brave aircrew.

The V2 rocket in the Large Exhibits Gallery
The Large Exhibits Gallery had a V2 rocket and a very old London bus.  The queue down there was for tickets for the temporary Ian Fleming exhibition.

Imperial War Museum, London: Large Exhibits Gallery
Now looking to the other side of the Imperial War Museum's Large Exhibits Gallery and a navy rocket, some more air weapons, tanks and aircraft.  Onto...

IWM catering
...the museum's cafe, which was adequate but not too exciting.  There's an extensive park area outside for picnicking on a suitable day, sadly the London weather wasn't very inviting on our visit to the IWM.

Talks and demonstrations at the Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum ran talks throughout the day.  We also visited the interesting 'For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond' exhibition, devoted to the life and work of James Bond's creator.

German Enigma machine in the Secret War Gallery at the IWM
Next venturing into the museum's fascinating Secret War Gallery at the IWM we found an original German Enigma cipher machine used for sending secret coded messages during WWll.

Film equipment used by soldiers during WWll
We discovered that during wars regular soldiers were tasked with recording the battles on film.  Here's the sort of kit they used, somewhat crude by today's standards of course!  And no, Mike doesn't want one, he's very happy with his modern digital camcorder.  It was quite amazing to realise that that bulky beast of a camera had to be lugged around during combat!

Imperial War Museum display stands
More gallery areas at the Imperial War Museum in London; this shot shows an example of the various displays.  It all appeared well planned and the right mood created by appropriate lighting.  IWM weblinks for our visit are in our UK tourist resources.

Imperial War Museum: First World War Gallery
In the First World War Gallery there was a gripping walk-through re-creation of a front line trench on the Somme with effective lighting, sound and smell effects.  This section was similar to the one at the Tank Museum we'd previously visited.

Second World War Gallery at the Imperial War Museum, London
In the IWM's Second World War Gallery we learnt how wartime pilots navigated to their target using what seemed like some pretty hit and miss techniques.

Exhibits in the Second World War Gallery at the IWM
Also in the Second World War Gallery Belinda admired the men in uniform with their huge weapons!  The Blitz Experience was particularly captivating here.

Imperial War Museum: looking at the large exhibits
We also toured the extensive Holocaust Exhibition which was rather shocking, sad and moving.  Here's some more of the exhibits in the Large Exhibits Gallery on our way out.  Our conclusion? - the Imperial War Museum is well worth visiting!

Tourists with cameras at the Imperial War Museum
Typical tourists taking pictures of everything!  We certainly enjoyed London's impressive Imperial War Museum, if visiting allow a full day as we ran out of time to see everything (but we did go to the Ian Fleming exhibition too).  IWM entrance is free.

Also of interest: visits to Churchill War Rooms, Imperial War Museum Duxford, RAF Museum Hendon,
Fleet Air Arm Museum
and Bletchley Park WW2 Codebreaking museum.