Wartime London Tour: The City and Imperial War Museum

activities / History & culture

Tour description provided by Viator

In a period vehicle from the 1930s or 40s, explore the World War II sites of London with a professional guide, and see London like few visitors do! Discover the devastating effect World War II had on the city and find out what life was like during the Blitz, when the City of London took the brunt of the early bombing. Hear about how famous St Paul’s Cathedral became an icon of defiance with its extraordinary survival, and learn how and where an accidental dropping of bombs changed the course of the Battle of Britain and perhaps even the entire war.

If you’re a history buff, don’t miss this chance to see a different side of London, and dig deep into the city’s WWII past. With your guide, start your Wartime London tour in Victoria and heads toward the City of London, passing by Parliament Square, the Embankment and the scene of some of the heaviest WWII bombing.

As you get closer to the City, catch sight of the Aldwych, the site of one of London’s worst WWII incidents. See how the Central Church of the RAF still has scars of wartime damage, and see a number of London’s other churches that are still in ruins. You’ll also discover pieces of Roman London that were revealed by the destruction.

Next, visit the site where the very first bombs of the war landed on the City, and drive over one of London’s largest craters, which could easily have swallowed a double-decker bus.Cross London Bridge and compare today’s modern Docklands skyline to how it looked during the war. Then see the site of one of London’s most tragic air-raid shelter disasters. You’ll also hear about the remarkable saving of St Paul's Cathedral and its affect on local morale. Learn how two bomb-disposal experts risked their lives to ensure the cathedral’s survival.

Then enjoy a one-hour visit to the Imperial War Museum (free admission), where you can stick with your guide or walk around on your own. The museum brings to life some of the most important weapons and vehicles used during the war, including a Spitfire that saw action in the Battle of Britain.
As you head back to Victoria, see remnants of London’s emergency water supply system, designed to cope with fires, but with unexpected side effects.

An exclusive Wartime London pictorial guide is included, showing many of the WWII sites as they were then, compared with how they look today.

Do you want to enjoy a whole day of Wartime London history?
Upgrade to the full-day tour, which covers the above, as well as Westminster and the West End.

Please note: the Imperial War Museum is currently undergoing refurbishment to coincide with the Centenary of the First World War in 2014 and will be closed until July 1, 2014.

What's included

  • Professional guide
  • Live commentary on board
  • Imperial war museum free admission
  • National army museum free admission

What isn't included

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Gratuities (optional)