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The best family days out in London and beyond rated by kids and teens

HMS Belfast

Official website Teen Approved

Average K-Rating based
on 4 K-Rating reviews

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HMS Belfast

KidRated’s HMS Belfast Top Tips:

  • Best for kids & teens: Steer the ship, or take control of a fleet of ships in the Ops room
  • Best for parents: The top decks give great views over the Thames
  • Top tip: Avoid the operating theatre if you’re squeamish

The H.M.S. Belfast was the largest, most powerful battle cruiser owned by the British Navy during World War Two and took part in combat until 1963.


The sailors’ hammocks, kitchen and dental surgery are all open for viewing over nine decks. The ship’s enthralling adventures at sea are explained in the Gun Turret Experience, a sailor’s story of the Battle of North Cape in 1943 which is recounted in the cramped gun turret with evocative imagery. Yeomen and volunteers are also on board for those who want to discover more.


There is also the chance to visit the interactive Operations Room. Take control of a fleet of ships against an authentic backdrop or salvage parts of a plane drowned in the sea – just don’t press the emergency button! Alternatively, those who prefer it can visit the upper decks and experience beautiful views along the Thames. You can even have a go sitting the Captain’s chair yourself.


The HMS Belfast feels like a 50-year-old time capsule. You’ll walk through it and it’ll seem as if the crew has just left everything behind and disappeared. The audioguide is very well done and the witness accounts are mesmerising. There are so many details about life on board to see, and you can immerse yourself forgetting for a moment that you are still in the middle of London.


Booking Advice:

  • Click Buy Tickets Now for great discounts
  • Right now you can save up to 25% on standard tickets
  • Combo tickets save you money and allow you to go to The Shard or Shakespeare’s Globe at the same time



The Queen’s Walk


Open daily from 10am-6pm except for 24, 25 and 26 December

Phone number:

+44 (0)20 7940 6300


How to get there:

For details, see website.

Teen Verdict

Family days out, attractions and things to do in London and beyond for kids, older kids and teenagers rated by kids and teens with KidRated


HSM Belfast was like a snapshot in time. I really enjoyed exploring this ship. It gave me such a good insight into not only the past but the runnings of a vessel that size. I also loved seeing the Thames from a new viewpoint than usual. The operating theatre was really cool to see but maybe skip it if medical dramas aren’t your thing.

Parent Point of View

Things to do, places to go for kids and teenagers - cool, academic, fun and entertaining in London and beyond with KidRated

Laura Porter

  • Use a small backpack or cross-body bag as you’ll need both hands for going down steps backwards.
  • Ask for the kids audio guide too so you can follow along together.
  • It’s hard to negotiate the steps with toddlers so wait to visit until they’re older.
  • HMS Belfast wasn’t built as a museum so you all need to look out for trip hazards.
  • Get some photo opportunities with the kids wearing the captain’s hat and ‘driving’ the ship.
  • Dine at the family-friendly cafe on HMS Belfast or, if it’s a weekday, go to the basement cafe in nearby City Hall which is well-priced.

You can find loads more information by Laura Porter at

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  1. Sue Baker

    My husband took my son and they were both buzzing on return. It was very interesting apparently with a lot of easily accessible interactive information points. Not too long a visit so a perfect thing for teenage boys to do with their Dad. Nice to walk along the river there too. Would highly recommend.

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