The UK’s long military history has been well documented throughout the ages. At its height the British Empire was a powerhouse and one of the largest that the world had ever seen – says a lot for a small island on the edge of the Atlantic.
Nowadays, the UK still plays a large part in world affairs, however though it’s not just as important as it once was, and the country still has some fantastic museums that showcase its might and power.
So, let’s take a closer look at some of the best on offer.
Royal Air Force Museum, London
The RAF Museum is one of the largest and most important museums in the country and showcases over 250 of the different aircraft used by the UK and also other nations since the incarnation of flight little over a century ago.
The museum, situated in Mill Hill, London showcases everything from Tornadoes and Spitfires to experimental aircraft such as the Bristol 188, as well as huge Lancaster Bombers.
Imperial War Museum, London
A fine museum by any stretch and one that’s set to be even more fantastic after its refurbishment – it reopens in July 2014.
Situated in Elephant and Castle, the Imperial War Museum showcases V2 rockets, WW1 tanks and even has a full size trench reconstruction. Listening to Dan Snow’s ‘How did so many soldiers survive the trenches?’ On the BBC iWonder app is well worth doing beforehand to put things into perspective.
Experiencing such The Imperial War Museum, particularly in light of the centenary of World War One makes a visit even more compelling. How do we remember World War One? – presented by Michael Portillo, created by the BBC with the help of the artists of Cliveconwayproductions is also more than a worthwhile listen too.
It’s set to be even better after its reopening and is a must for history and war buffs to take a trip to when in the capital.
London’s not the only capital with amazing museums.
Edinburgh’s National War Museum is home to a long history of military history and showcases over 400 years of Scottish army prowess proudly.
If you want to get a greater idea of Scotland’s importance in UK military history or just want to see Bob the Dog – a stuffed regimental pet of the Scots Fusilier Guards then you’re in the correct place.
Redoubt Fortress and Military Museum, Eastbourne, Sussex
This southern point fort in the UK was built to repel the forces of Napoleon and has recently been turned into a World War II museum.
There’s a whole host of great items to see, including a bugle from ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’, among other great additions to the collection.
Royal Naval Museum, Hampshire
In a lot of ways the Royal Naval Museum is the richest of all the war museums in the UK.
The fact that it’s home to a Life Mask taken from Admiral Nelson’s face and also a WWII enigma machine places it as certainly among the more interesting of the museums.
If that doesn’t work for you there’s also a Merlin helicopter simulator and a 74 gun ship to pique your interest.
Cormac Reynolds has written for a variety of travel sites in his time. He loves nothing more than seeing the world and trying the different foods in each country he visits.
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