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Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Buckinghamshire

Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Buckinghamshire

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.

In this section

Attractions

Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum

Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum

The furniture, ceramics, glass, household objects and decorations faithfully recreated the Regency style which Charles's parents would have favoured,...

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  1. Add Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum to your Itinerary

    Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Portsmouth

    Small terraced house of 1805 in which the famous novelist was born and lived for a short time. Restored and furnished to illustrate middle-class taste of the time.

  2. Add Isle of Wight Steam Railway to your Itinerary

    Isle of Wight Steam Railway

    Type

    Steam Railway

    Location

    HAVENSTREET

    Inspiring, Surprising and Award-Winning … Equally appealing to adults and families, your visit to The Isle of Wight Steam Railway will charm, engage and captivate, leaving you with some lasting memories of a special day out.

  3. Add Museum of Farnham to your Itinerary

    Museum of Farnham

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Farnham

    An award-winning museum with displays interpreting the history of the Farnham area. Willmer House is an C18th town house with a delightful walled garden.

  4. Add Windsor Castle to your Itinerary

    Windsor Castle

    Type

    Castle / Fort

    Location

    Windsor

    The oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and The Queen's favourite weekend home.

  5. 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.

  6. Add Manor Farm (Farm and Museum) to your Itinerary

    Manor Farm (Farm and Museum)

    Type

    Farm

    Location

    Southampton

    Traditional Hampshire farmstead - range of buildings, farm animals, machinery and equipment, pre-1950's farmhouse and 13thC church set for 1900 - living history site.

  7. Add Westbury Manor Museum to your Itinerary

    Westbury Manor Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Fareham

    An elegant 18thC building with a Victorian-style public garden at the rear. Displays tell the story of Fareham, using models, graphics and objects with a varied temporary exhibition gallery.

  8. 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.

  9. Add Andover Museum and The Museum of the Iron Age to your Itinerary

    Andover Museum and The Museum of the Iron Age

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Andover

    Andover Museum, from natural history to prehistory and local history something to interest everyone at this local museum.

  10. 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.