Places of interest to visit in Britain with a military theme, including museums managed by one of the armed services.

Eden Camp

Eden Camp, Malton, North Yorkshire

In 1942, someone at the War Office decided they needed a prisoner of war camp just outside Malton, in North Yorkshire.  (“I say, Carruthers, we really could do with a nice new prison camp.  Any ideas?”  “I know just the place, sir…”).  It is now a museum, almost exclusively dedicated to the Second World War.  …

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Cannock Chase War Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice, Cannock Chase, military cemetery

The Cross of Sacrifice instantly identifies a Commonwealth War Graves cemetery.  Beautifully tended, as they all are, the information panel tells you that this one contains 383 burials from the First World War, 97 Commonwealth – mainly New Zealanders – and 286 Germans.  There are also three burials from the Second World War. Shortly after …

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Brocolitia Mithraeum

Brocolitia Mithraeum

This is the skeletal remains of the Temple of Mithras, just outside the Roman fort of Brocolitia on Hadrian’s Wall.  The fort, also sometimes called ‘Carrawburgh’ is only visible as lumps in the ground; this is not a place for those cursed with a short attention span.  I visited at dusk on a bleak day …

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Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker

Radiation Warning

Scattered about Britain (and, presumably, the world) are a number of sites, some open to the public, which had a role in the Cold War.  The “secret nuclear bunker” at Kelvedon Hatch in Essex was built in the early 1950s as an operations centre for a huge radar and command/control project known as ROTOR.  It …

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Imperial War Museum

IWM London, P51 Mustang

I can’t remember how many times I’ve visited the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth.  The entrance is a statement, dominated by two massive gun barrels pointing straight at you, with the classical lines of a 19th century cupola-topped former hospital in the background.  The guns are 15” barrels from Royal Navy battleships, HMS Roberts (on …

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Visit the Tower of London

Tower of London

The Tower of London has been sitting on the north bank of the Thames, watching the tides of a great city ebb and flow, for around a thousand years.  The city has grown up around it and it is part of it; it is impossible to imagine London without the Tower.  Think of all that …

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Richmond Castle

Richmond Castle high above the river Swale

It’s almost worth the journey to Richmond Castle in Yorkshire, just to get some photos.  It was a dubious bonus to meet someone who could have been transported there by aliens, and odd to discover that it had to wait until the 20th century to become really famous. Richmond Castle is a massive fortress built …

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Deutsche Soldatenfriedhof, Cannock Chase

German Military Cemetery at Cannock Chase

Almost 5,000 German and Austrian war dead, 2,143 from the First World War and 2,797 from the Second, lie in peace in Cannock Chase, an area of outstanding natural beauty in rural Staffordshire.  Some died trying to kill our parents or grandparents from the skies; others were washed ashore from ships; and some were prisoners …

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Hive Beach at Burton Bradstock

Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock

Burton Bradstock was on the List of Places to See in Dorset.  The National Trust guidebook tempted us to visit the beach which, as you may have gathered, is not called Burton Bradstock at all.  Burton Bradstock is a ridiculously pretty looking village and the beach, Hive Beach, is a little farther on.  Unfortunately, it …

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