A family exploring HMS Belfast

School trips, youth and adult groups can discover the unique historic environment on board HMS Belfast with a self-guided visit. 

A self-guided visit to HMS Belfast is suitable for ages 7+ (Key Stage 2 above) and may support various areas of study including: 

  • The Second World War
  • Arctic Convoys
  • The Korean War
  • The River Thames

When you book a self-guided school visit your group will be given audio guides and teachers and group leaders are provided with a printed resource to support exploration of the ship.

An average school visit is approximately 90 minutes and while on board, visitors can enjoy an enriching self-guided experience and discover what life was like for the crew at war and at sea.

Adult leaders must stay with their students at all times while on board.

Things to explore

Sea Legs activity on HMS Belfast

As part of your self-guided visit to HMS Belfast you can explore:

  • The Gun Turret Experience - Find out what it was like to be in the heart of battle, during the sinking of the Scharnhorst
  • The Operations Room - Simulated radars, equipment lights and a touchscreen plotting table bring a naval operation to life
  • The Arctic Mess Deck - Where men slept and spent their spare time during the Second World War Arctic Convoys
  • Below the Water line – descend to huge boiler and engine rooms
  • Climb to the uppermost decks for amazing views across the Thames

For further information visit our What's Here page.

Accessibility at HMS Belfast

Two decks on HMS Belfast can be accessed on board without needing to climb up or down ladders. However, there are other areas below deck that may be unsuitable for those with restricted mobility, wheelchair users and prams. 

Please visit our accessibility page for more information. 

Audio guides

Audio guides are included in your admission price and you can choose between a variety of languages, (available in English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Mandarin, Polish, Russian and Spanish

An audio guide highlight tour of HMS Belfast provides insight into this historic ship. Hear battle stories from the Second World War and beyond – the convoys in icy arctic conditions, the bombardment of German defences on D-Day and the 404 days spent patrolling waters during the Korean War.

Visitors aged under 12 are provided with a Family audio guide.

    Gift bags

    Gift bags are available from the HMS Belfast shop. These can be reserved when booking your visit.

    They cost £5 each and can be paid for in advance or invoiced afterwards.

    • HMS Belfast gift bag contents - HMS Belfast postcard, HMS Belfast photo magnet, Red IWM mini button badge, HMS Belfast mini notepad, Red HMS Belfast grip pen

      Souvenir gift bag

      • HMS Belfast postcard
      • HMS Belfast photo magnet
      • Red IWM mini button badge
      • HMS Belfast mini notepad
      • Red HMS Belfast grip pen


      Planning your visit

      We encourage teachers and other visitors to conduct pre-visit planning. To request two free group leader pre-visit tickets please email: [email protected].

      Further information to help plan your visit to HMS Belfast is available on our Terms and Conditions page

      Book your self-guided visit

      To book your self-guided visit to HMS Belfast you will need to fill in a visit request form, this is available on our Plan and book a school visit to HMS Belfast page. 

      For further information please contact: [email protected].

      More information

      For more information on self-guided visits to HMS Belfast, please contact us here.

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