The entry price includes the use of a free audio guide to give you information about HMS Belfast during your visit. The audio guide is available in English, French, German and Spanish.
The style of the ship makes access below decks impossible for wheelchair users and other with restricted mobility. There is a wheelchair lift from the gangway onto the quarterdeck. Wheelchairs are also available on loan. Accessible toilets are available at the front and rear of the ship.
There is a minimum height restriction of 4 feet for anyone wanting to visit the engine room. The only way into this area is via vertical ladders and very narrow walkways and it is not suitable for small children or anyone with restricted mobility for health and safety reasons.
Areas accessible for wheelchair users
Modifications have been made where possible to the main deck allowing some access for wheelchair users. This area was the main route for passage through the ship and housed the living quarters, the laundry, the chapel, the bakery, the galley and prep areas, the petty officers mess, the sick bay, dental surgery and the mess decks
HMS Belfast on D-Day
The ship is one of the three ships that remain of the bombardment fleet that gave support to the Normandy landings in June 1944. HMS Belfast supported troops landing onto Gold and Juno beaches. The ships role was to eliminate the German gun battery at La Marefontaine. The successful bombardment meant the German battery was unable to defend the beaches.
Not the first ship to open fire
Several veterans from the ship believe they were the first to open fire on the 6th of June. In the ships diary it is recorded that another ship opened fire at 0523 and the first salvo from HMS Belfast began at 0527.
An unexpected casualty
The vibrations felt through the ship when the guns were firing resulted in the crew’s toilets cracking.
Taking on the wounded
With a fully equipped sick bay the ship began receiving wounded soldiers at 1pm that afternoon. During the quieter periods of fighting the ship’s crew was sent ashore to assist in clearing the beaches. The ship remained in Normandy for 33 days supporting the landings and in that time fired more than 4000 6-inch shells and 1000 4-inch shells. The Normandy campaign was the final time that HMS Belfast fired her guns during the Second World War.