Fodor's Expert Review Royal Armouries
Occupying a redeveloped 13-acre dockland site 15 minutes from the city center, this National Museum of Arms and Armour now houses a collection that originally began in the reign of Elizabeth I, when selected objects were displayed at the Tower of London. Four collections (the 100 Years War, the Battle of Waterloo, Arms of the First World War, and Arms from the Tower) and five themed galleries (War, Tournament, Self-Defense, Hunting, and Oriental) trace the history of weaponry through some 8,500 objects. The state-of-the-art building is stunningly designed: see a full-sized elephant in armor, models of warriors on horseback, and floor-to-ceiling tents, as well as spirited interactive displays and live jousting demonstrations. Shoot a crossbow, direct operations on a battlefield, or experience an Elizabethan joust (around Easter and the end of August).