Thank you for booking your school visit to IWM London
IWM is committed to ensuring all school visits are supported as best as possible. Please review the information on this page ahead of your booked school visit and ensure you have completed the necessary preparations to help us make your experience a success. Our Public Engagement and Learning team look forward to welcoming you!
Prepare for your Visit: Essential Information and Checklist
In advance of your visit, please check and follow the steps below:
- Read the Terms and Conditions for your booking, particularly our Cancellations Policy. If you wish to cancel your booking must you must do so in writing to [email protected]. If there are any charged elements to your visit please be aware that cancellations made 28 days or less before the visit date will incur a 100% administration fee for which you will be invoiced.
- If your booking includes any entrance/session fees please check our Payment Options below and make suitable arrangements for payment.
- Check the schedule and timings sent on your Booking Confirmation email are correct and include any Learning Sessions you wish to attend. Any amendments should be requested by emailing [email protected]
- Teachers are advised to carry out a preliminary visit to complete their own Risk Assessment. To do this you may find the Risk Identification information useful.
- Ensure you have shared with us during your booking any important information on access needs for your group so we can best support your visit. You may find this additional information on Accessibility useful.
- Plan your journey to IWM London to allow sufficient time – further information on parking, public transport and arrival instructions can be found below.
- If you have booked any Learning Sessions, please read the relevant information for your session below and ensure all accompanying staff and pupils are prepared.
- Read the What to See information below and create a plan for your day to meet your students' needs. Download and print our Activity Sheets to inspire your visit. We recommend that large classes are broken into smaller groups within the galleries to ensure that students and other visitors all get the most out of their visit safely. Please ensure that your students are supervised in line with our Code of Conduct.
Information to help you plan your visit
Pay in advance of your visit:
A single payment for the whole group can be made using a credit/debit card by phoning our payment team Monday - Friday 9am – 4pm on 020 7416 5399. Please note once payment has been taken, the group numbers cannot be reduced, the date cannot be changed and payment cannot be refunded.
Pay by invoice:
We will send an invoice for the full cost of the visit or the relevant administration fee to your finance department following your visit. Payment may be made by BACS or cheque. Cheques must be made payable to Imperial War Museum Trading Co Ltd.
Visiting us by train
IWM London is easily accessible by public transport. Please visit the Transport for London and National Rail websites for further details.
Nearest tube stations
- Lambeth North (Bakerloo Line) is a 10 minute walk.
- Waterloo (Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee Line) is a 15 minute walk.
- Elephant and Castle (Northern and Bakerloo Line) is a 10 minute walk.
Nearest train stations
- London Waterloo and Waterloo East is a 15 minute walk.
- Elephant and Castle is a 15 minute walk.
Visiting us by bus
You can take any of the local bus routes, 159, 344 and 360.
Visiting us by car or coach
There are NCP car parks nearby in Waterloo and Elephant and Castle.
IWM London is within the London Congestion Charge zone. Please visit the Transport for London website for further details.
Visiting us by coach
There are metered coach bays located directly in front of the museum. Visit the TFL's coach parking map for more information.
Walking and cycling
See the Transport for London cycling website for details. The nearest Cycle Hire Scheme docking stations:
- Lambeth Road
- St George’s Road
Visit the Sustrans website for further information on London Cycle Routes.
- Groups must enter via the West Entrance which is situated on the right-hand side of the building.
- The West Entrance can get crowded quickly, so please arrive at the time specified on your booking confirmation.
- A teacher must sign in at the West Entrance and provide a contact number in case of emergency.
- There are toilets inside for schools to use on arrival.
There is a lot to see, and we recommend that you allow a minimum of two and a half hours for your visit. Please note there may be a charge for some of our special exhibitions.
- First World War Galleries
- Second World War Galleries
- Peace and Security: 1945 - 2014: Clusters of objects used to explore some key and often controversial episodes of recent history.
- The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes - the world's largest collection of Victoria Crosses, alongside a significant collection of George Crosses.
- Until 7 January 2024, Northern Ireland: Living with the Troubles explores multiple perspectives of individuals affected by the conflict (see downloadable Teacher Resource and Student Discussion Booklet here)
- Please note The Holocaust Galleries are only accessible to schools who have booked a Holocaust Learning Session.
Exhibitions may display material relating to the consequences of conflict. Teachers should consider what is age-appropriate for their students.
For further information visit our What's Here pages.
We have Visit Resources and Activity Sheets for primary and secondary school groups ready for you to print and download! We kindly ask that your students bring pencils to use within the museum rather than pens, to avoid any damage to exhibition spaces.
For safety reasons and to give children the best possible visit, all groups must follow the adult to child ratio in our Code of Conduct. We reserve the right to refuse admission to groups that do not meet the minimum ratio.
- For Primary aged students, there should be one teacher per ten students (1:10 ratio). Primary-aged students are required to be always within sight of an accompanying adult whilst at an IWM branch.
- For Secondary-aged students, there should be one teacher per fifteen students (1:15 ratio). Secondary-aged students may explore IWM branches independently so long as their behaviour is sensible and they are within hearing distance of an accompanying adult.
Please note, as a condition of your booking, your organisation will be liable for the cost of any damage to property resulting from reckless behaviour by members of your group, or from the negligence of responsible adults in regard to their supervision of the group. This property is not exclusive to, but includes, items in our collection or in our care (including large vehicles and aircraft), and those of our partners. It also includes buildings and other property belonging to IWM or our partners.
- We will take you to the bag room before you head to into the galleries – this room is not supervised so please take any valuables with you.
- We have limited cloakroom space so please consider leaving coats and bags on your coach.
- There are locker facilities which require a £1 coin. We are unable to store large items of luggage or suitcases and the nearest left luggage facility is at Waterloo Station.
- We have a packed lunchroom, which must be pre-booked. There is a café serving hot drinks and food throughout the day. Please note, IWM cafés are cashless, and therefore will not take cash as payment.
- Food and drink may only be consumed in the packed lunchroom or café.
- The lunchroom is along the corridor from the bag room.
- Multiple schools use the lunchroom throughout the day. Please go to the lunchroom at your allotted time.
- Our museum shops are open, and you are welcome to visit them in small groups. If you are interested in reserving Gift Bags to collect on the day, please let us know.
- Our museum shop provides a wide range of books, CDs, DVDs, clothing and accessories, posters and stationery, souvenirs and gift ideas.
- For our younger visitors we have an exciting range of games, toys and souvenirs as well as a selection of children's books. There are also educational resource materials and children's activity books on sale.
PLEASE NOTE: The gift shop is not always able to accept cash so please ask one of our volunteers or retail staff upon your arrival if you plan to visit the shop.
To make any changes to your booking or request specific information not available on our website, please contact our Customer Services team at [email protected] or on on 0207 416 5000.
Gift bags are available from the IWM London shop.
They cost £5 each and can be paid for in advance or invoiced afterwards.
Souvenir gift bag
- IWM London atrium postcard
- IWM London photo magnet
- Red IWM mini button badge
- IWM London mini notepad
- Red IWM London grip pen
Evacuee gift bag
- Evacuation Information postcard
- Identity Card booklet (facsimile)
- Evacuation coin set
- Egg bouncy ball
- Evacuee tag
On the Day of Your Visit
Late Arrival: If you are running late please call 07970894467 (or if not available
020 7416 5000).
Head to the West Entrance where groups will sign in with our Security team and must provide an emergency contact number for the School Visit Leader. Contact Details will be securely disposed of at the end of each day.
All supervising adults will be given an orange lanyard to make you easily identifiable to our staff during your visit – please return these at the West Entrance as you leave.
Schools Meet and Greet
The Public Engagement and Learning team provide a Schools Meet and Greet service delivered by a specially trained group of IWM volunteers. You will be greeted upon arrival, provided with essential practical information for a safe visit, and briefly introduced to the site to ensure you can find everything you need.
The Bag Room and Lunch Room are both located near the West Entrance, as well as Toilets and the Quiet Room which are all nearby upon arrival.
During your visit, look out for IWM Volunteers wearing red around the museum, who will be able to answer your questions and share their enthusiasm for IWM’s Collections.
Health and Safety
You will be given key information on Health and Safety upon arrival, including Fire Evacuation. Additional information is included in our Risk Identification which we recommend you read as part of your preparation. Please note that responsibility for group members remains with your group leaders at all times. Please ensure the group leader keeps their mobile phone on and audible at all times in case of emergency.
If you have booked any Learning Sessions please read the teacher information in advance and check your session timings carefully. Our facilitators leading the session will meet you at the pre-arranged Schools Meeting Point for your specific session. These are clearly marked and volunteers will be able to point them out to you on arrival.
Please note that responsibility for group members remains with your group leaders at all times and students should not be left unsupervised during the Learning Session.