500px Photo ID: 117415347 - Travel to London - Imperial War Museum (IWM)

Samu Koski / 500px

Imperial War Museum

Top choice in Brixton, Peckham & South London

Fronted by an intimidating pair of 15-inch naval guns and a piece of the Berlin Wall, this riveting museum is housed in what was the Bethlem Royal Hospital, a psychiatric facility also known as Bedlam. Although the museum’s focus is on military action involving British or Commonwealth troops, largely during the 20th century, it also covers war in the wider sense. Must-see exhibits include the state-of-the-art First World War galleries and Witnesses to War in the forecourt and atrium.

In Witnesses to War, you'll find huge remnants of war, from a Battle of Britain Spitfire and a towering German V-2 rocket to a Reuters Land Rover damaged by rocket attack in Gaza in 2006.

The 1st-floor exhibition Turning Points: 1934–1945 takes a look at WWII through a series of poignant objects, including the casing made for the 'Little Boy' atomic bomb and a trunk sent by Jewish parents to their children who had already escaped from Nazi persecution to the UK. Peace and Security: 1945–2014 on the 2nd floor dives into more recent events. The 3rd floor is given over to Curiosities of War, a mix of unexpected creations and artefacts from times of conflict, and temporary exhibitions.

One of the most challenging sections is the extensive and harrowing The Holocaust exhibition (not recommended for children under 14); its entrance is on the 4th floor.

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