HMS Belfast

January 18, 2008 at 10:29 pm | Posted in General, London, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | 1 Comment
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At the end of Autum my housemates and I ventured down to the Thames to check out the historic HMS Belfast. Now that the Cutty Sark is down HMS Belfast has secured the monopoly on the historic ship market. Unless you count The Golden Hind.

Belfast (8) Belfast (43)

My housemates and I made our way down south bank of the Thames in the late afternoon to the floating museum that is the Belfast. After paying a somewhat hefty £10.30 adult entry free (including free audio guide) we walked over the walkway to the ship itself.

Belfast (35)

As the audio tour began so too did the difficulties. Apparently not all of the guides are the same. My virtual guide was a woman with a penchant for talking whereas my housemates had a male speaker who was faster and then there was the ‘for more press …’ addendums. Perhaps the attendant heard my accent and decided I needed the English for Australian edition?

Belfast (15) Belfast (27)

The tour and ship itself was pretty interesting. The tight, bare corridors with their mannequins and props attempted to highlight the existence and working life of the Belfast’s sailors. The ‘ground’ deck was quite dull but as you progress deeper into the bowels of the ship, through areas such as the engine room and armory, the scale of the ship and its human inhabitants began to take shape.

After going under the water line you return to the main deck and into the tower (?) where you’ll get views of the Thames and a sense of the command and control functions housed within. Oh and you can sit in the Captain’s chair and look out onto the river. Like a real captain!

Lastly, the ship has a few resident cats which you may see and presumably if you’re allergic you may need to check with the attendants.

Belfast (44)

HMS Belfast is fun to wander around and there is extensive information but the primary drawback is there is only so much time you can spend in any of the rooms whereas the audio guides with or without the additional content usually exceed the amount of time I was willing to spend and pacing ad nauseum around the same small room is not my idea of enjoyable.

For navy buffs a trip to HMS Belfast would be hard to miss but for everyone else it’s not a guaranteed success.

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  1. […] there was more to see on either bank and across the river with London Bridge, St Paul’s and HMS Belfast to name a […]


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