It is, astonishingly, free to visit the IWM but donations are appreciated. As we walked around the corner from North Lambeth tube my five year old son started jumping up and down with excitement – ‘Mummy, those are the biggest guns I have EVER seen in my whole life!’. He was over-awed by the submarines, Spitfire, Sherman Tank, and Polaris missile on display, but gradually his questions became more philosophical, leading up to the real stumper “Why do we have war, Mum?”
The museum is certainly more thought-provoking than I expected. I noticed a group of people collected around a small black object, shaking their heads with bewilderment as they read the information next to it, and hesitating to move on. It was the “Little Boy” bomb, the same model as was detonated over Hiroshima. There is a Holocaust Exhibition at the top of the museum but it is not suitable for children.
A Tibetan Peace Garden, originally opened by the Dalai Lama, forms part of the beautifully kept gardens around this museum, and there is a park off to the side where you could take a picnic.
After visiting the museum we walked to the river and crossed at Westminster Bridge – my favourite view of London.