A guide to the Imperial War Museum


London is well-known for its array of incredible museums, and even amongst such great company, the Imperial War Museum stands out as one of the very best. In this brief guide, we'll take a closer look at the history of the museum, it's place in contemporary London, and what you can expect to see on your own visit...

What is the Imperial War Museum?

This popular museum is dedicated to exploring, rather than glorifying, warfare – and commemorating all those who fought in the many wars Britain has been involved in over the years.

Easily reached by guests at the Montcalm Hotel London, the museum welcomes visitors from all over the world each year, and acts as an important space for educating all ages on the experiences of ordinary people in warfare dating from WW1 to the present day.

Amongst the many subjects covered at the museum, exhibits explore how civilians coped during times of war and tell the stories of those involved in each conflict.

Key Exhibits

There are several exhibits at the museum sure to interest history fans or simply those with a keen desire to understand more about the history of Britain while staying at hotels in East London. Amongst the key exhibits to look out for, visitors can look forward to:

First World War Galleries – providing insight into life during WW1 through both field photography and images of domestic life during this difficult time in European history.

Holocaust Exhibition – this particular part of the museum has won several awards, and whilst it is certainly not suitable for younger visitors, it does paint a moving and memorable portrait for visitors to the Montcalm Hotel London.

Witness to War – this display will impress fans of aviation, as it demonstrates how planes played a key role in British combat, with both a Spitfire plane and a Harrier jet there for visitors to see up close.

A Family in Wartime – one of the most poignant exhibits at the museum, A Family in Wartime looks more closely at the ways an ordinary family in London coped with key areas of domestic wartime life, including everything from rationing to the rigours of helping the war effort.

Secret War - this exhibit looks at the role of spying during warfare, and examines some of the top-secret strategies deployed by spies of yesteryear.

Turning Points – looking at the years between 1934-1945, this is where you'll find the Enigma machine and plenty of items which help unlock the story of conflict during this time period.

How do I visit?

Visiting the Imperial War Museum is easy and free – after an extensive redevelopment in 2014, the museum has included more facilities, updated its exhibits and worked to ensure it’s an accessible space for all. There is a charge for some special exhibits. There is a cafe on-site, and museum also has its own gift shop, where visitors can purchase a range of DVDs, books and commemorative items. The property also has its own picnic room, ideal for families bringing their own food.

The Imperial War Museum opens each day between 10am – 6pm, including Bank Holidays.