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Royal Observatory

Royal Observatory

Greenwich

Museums

If you haven’t been to a museum in years for fear of drab venues and broken pots in glass cases, you may be interested to hear that museums in England have been transported into the 21st century. Prepare yourself for a surprise as the South East has some of the most dynamic museums in England, with more hundreds across the region.

In place of stuffy rooms and wardens shushing for quiet, you’ll find inspirational and interactive spaces with engaging and accessible exhibits from retro cars to animatronics. Whether you’re into heritage, maritime, wildlife, or sport, you’re bound to find a museum that’s right up your street.

The South East is home to two brilliant Dockyards: Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in Hampshire and The Historic Dockyard Chatham in Kent. Discover maritime history onboard some of the most famous war ships in British Naval history and find out what life was like for sailors in years gone by.

Car enthusiasts won’t want to miss the world-famous National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in Hampshire’s New Forest. See one of the largest car collections held by any of the museums in England, with 250 cars of every age including land speed record-breakers Golden Arrow and Bluebird.

Many of Britain’s best-loved authors lived in the South East and found the region inspirational for their work. Explore the Jane Austen House Museum in Hampshire, the  house where Jane Austen wrote some of her famous novels, and visit the many locations in Kent that tell of the life and works of Charles Dickens, such as the Guildhall Museum in Rochester and the Dickens House Museum.

Other museums in the South East that will help expand your curiosity include the Ashmolean Museum and the River & Rowing Museum, both in Oxfordshire; Mercedes-Benz World in Surrey; Dinosaur Isle on the Isle of Wight; The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Buckinghamshire; and The Look Out Discovery Centre in Berkshire.

If your South East of England break involves a day trip to London we can highly recommend the Cutty Sark, Royal Observatory Greenwich and the National Maritime Museum.

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Attractions

Huguenot Museum

Huguenot Museum

The Huguenot Museum tells the story of Britain's first refugees: the skills they brought to the UK, their descendants, and relevance to the story of...

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  1. Add Huguenot Museum to your Itinerary

    Huguenot Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Rochester

    The Huguenot Museum tells the story of Britain's first refugees: the skills they brought to the UK, their descendants, and relevance to the story of refugees today.

  2. Add Royal Armouries  - Fort Nelson to your Itinerary

    Royal Armouries - Fort Nelson

    Type

    Historic Site

    Location

    Fareham

    Fort Nelson is a superbly restored Victorian fort overlooking Portsmouth Harbour. It is home to the Royal Armouries national artillery collection with over 350 historic guns on display.

  3. Add National Maritime Museum to your Itinerary

    National Maritime Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Greenwich, London

    The world’s largest maritime museum, filled with inspirational stories of exploration and adventure at sea. Critically acclaimed temporary exhibitions (ticketed). General admission free.

  4. Add Petworth Cottage Museum to your Itinerary

    Petworth Cottage Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Petworth

    Welcome to this Leconfield estate-worker's cottage once the home of Mrs Cummings, a seamstress at Petworth House. Furnished as in 1910 it has a ground floor scullery and sitting room, with a kettle boiling on the coal-fired range.

  5. Add Aldershot Military Museum to your Itinerary

    Aldershot Military Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Aldershot

    A look behind the scenes at 150 years of life in home of British Army. Victorian barrack room, uniforms and equipment. Local history gallery. Military vehicle gallery.

  6. Add Winchester City Mill & Shop to your Itinerary

    Winchester City Mill & Shop

    Type

    Water Mill

    Location

    Winchester

    A Millennium of milling history. Rebuilt in 1744 on an earlier medieval site, the working watermill spans the River Itchen. Flour making demonstrations take place on Saturdays and Sundays.

  7. Add Kraft Village to your Itinerary

    Kraft Village

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    High Wycombe

    Kraft Village
    High Wycombe Chair Making Museum exhibits tools used in making 4,700
    chairs a day in 1875. Brief demo of shave horse and pole lathe,exhibit of Windsor chairs
    Kraftinwood Woodturning Workshop. Large Contemporary Art Gallery
    Artist studios
    Browse the craft gift shop

  8. Add The Novium Museum & Chichester TIC to your Itinerary

    The Novium Museum & Chichester TIC

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Chichester

    Built above the remains of the Roman bath house, The Novium Museum offers three floors of interactive exhibitions, tourism services, shop and café.

  9. Add The Hop Farm Family Park to your Itinerary

    The Hop Farm Family Park

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Paddock Wood

    A collection of well-preserved Victorian oast houses, home to the Hop Story Museum and the famous grey and black shire horses. 'Decades experience,' Indoor adventure playground and nature trail.

  10. Add Museum of Oxford to your Itinerary

    Museum of Oxford

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Oxford

    History of the city and university. Discover the cities earliest residents, medieval crafts, civil war stories, famous literary connections and the growth of a modern city.