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Jane Austen House Museum

Jane Austen House Museum

Hampshire

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.

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Attractions

Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery

Maidstone Museum

Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery is an exceptional regional museum housed in the gorgeous Chillington Manor, an Elizabethan manor house. Come...

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  1. Add Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery to your Itinerary

    Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Maidstone

    Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery is an exceptional regional museum housed in the gorgeous Chillington Manor, an Elizabethan manor house.

  2. Add Hove Museum & Art Gallery to your Itinerary

    Hove Museum & Art Gallery

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Hove

    Hove Museum is one of the most family friendly and accessible museums in the south east. It also houses one of the finest craft collections in the country.

  3. Add Booth Museum of Natural History to your Itinerary

    Booth Museum of Natural History

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Brighton

    This fascinating museum houses exhibits that include hundreds of British birds displayed in recreated natural settings, insects from butterflies to beetles, a killer whale skeleton and dinosaur bones

  4. Add Bursledon Windmill to your Itinerary

    Bursledon Windmill

    Type

    Windmill

    Location

    Bursledon

    Bursledon Windmill is currently closed for restoration until November and so not currently open to the public.

  5. Red House Museum and Gardens

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Christchurch

    Relax in the aromatic walled Herb Garden featuring herbs and old-fashioned roses, and stroll through the woodland walk in the tranquil South Garden.

  6. Add St. Barbe Museum and Art Gallery to your Itinerary

    St. Barbe Museum and Art Gallery

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Lymington

    St. Barbe Museum explores the unique history of Lymington and the New Forest Coast.
    The colourful, hands-on displays provide a fascinating journey of discovery for all ages.

  7. Add Eastney Beam Engine House to your Itinerary

    Eastney Beam Engine House

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Southsea

    Eastney Beam Engine House contains a pair of James Watt beam engines and reciprocal pumps restored to their 1887 condition.

  8. Add Ramsgate Tunnels to your Itinerary

    Ramsgate Tunnels

    Type

    Historic Site

    Location

    Ramsgate

    Put on a hard hat and pick up a lantern for a guided tour of Ramsgate’s wartime tunnels.

  9. Add How we lived then Museum & Shop to your Itinerary

    How we lived then Museum & Shop

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Eastbourne

    See over 100,000 exhibits collected during the past 50 years, with room-settings, old shops and displays on four floors.

  10. Add Mercedes-Benz World to your Itinerary

    Mercedes-Benz World

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Weybridge

    A world that is all Mercedes-Benz. Thrilling driving experiences, fascinating attractions, fun for kids. Fine dining, exciting events and classic cars too.