With military aircraft hanging overhead, army tanks flanking the central exhibition wall, and an evocative recreation of a World War I bunker to crawl through, London's Imperial War Museum (IWM) offers an all-encompassing introduction to Britain's war history. Thanks to a multi-million-dollar renovation in 2014, the site features a revamped WWI section with exhibits on the Eastern Front and the famous Christmas Truce of 1914, plus a completely redesigned World War II section.
Among the many highlights are the popular display on the 1916 Battle of the Somme; the moving Holocaust Exhibition; the Lord Ashcroft Gallery of Extraordinary Heroes, which honors some of Britain's greatest war heroes; and the Secret War Exhibit, which focuses on espionage and the covert operations of MI5 and MI6, plus a section devoted to cyber-terrorism.
The Imperial War Museum, located on Lambeth Road in south-central London, is open daily from 10am to 6pm. The nearest tube stations are Waterloo (Bakerloo, Jubilee, and Northern lines) and Elephant & Castle (Bakerloo and Northern lines). Admission is free, except for some temporary exhibitions.
Did you know? There are five branches of the Imperial War Museum (IWM) in the United Kingdom: IWM London, IWM North in Manchester, and IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire, plus the HMS Belfast and the Churchill War Rooms in London.