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Dinosaur Isle, Isle of Wight

Dinosaur Isle, Isle of Wight

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 than 300 options 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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  1. Add Mary Rose Museum to your Itinerary

    Mary Rose Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Portsmouth


    New £27m Mary Rose Museum open 31 May 2013: The famous Tudor warship to finally reveal all her secrets 500 years after she sank


    The ship that captured the world’s imagination when she was raised from the seabed in 1982 now has a museum built around her, reuniting the ship with its contents...

  2. Add Sittingbourne's Steam Railway to your Itinerary

    Sittingbourne's Steam Railway

    Type

    Railway

    Location

    Sittingbourne

    South East England's only preserved narrow-gauge former industrial railway and features the longest narrow-gauge viaduct in the country, museum and other attractions.

  3. Add Kent Life to your Itinerary

    Kent Life

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Maidstone

    Kent’s premier heritage farm park will soon be launched into a new era with several developments on the cards between April and July, including brand new costumed characters and a baa-rilliant Sheep Festival!

  4. 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.

  5. Add Museum of Army Chaplaincy to your Itinerary

    Museum of Army Chaplaincy

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Andover

    The Museum of Army Chaplaincy is a unique museum covering the story of Chaplains in the British Army since 1796.

  6. Add Otford Heritage Centre to your Itinerary

    Otford Heritage Centre

    Type

    Heritage / Visitor Centre

    Location

    Otford

    Models of Otford's Tudor Palace and 19th Century local aviators' glider compliment changing displays of the present and recent past,plus local geology and archeology, linked by the 56 foot illustrated timeline. Group visits by appointment.

  7. Add The Story Museum to your Itinerary

    The Story Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Oxford


    Our schools performances, exhibitions and workshops help children engage with and enjoy stories. Transforming your
    school into a ‘story museum’ for the day can be one of the most inexpensive, inclusive and powerful ways of stimulating everyone’s imaginations and supporting: speaking and...

  8. Add Oxford Bus Museum to your Itinerary

    Oxford Bus Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Long Hanborough

    As well as over 30 buses on display, there are other numerous exhibits adding a period feel. Visitors can enter several of the vehicles and on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month (April to October) there is a free vintage bus ride.

  9. 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. The engine house is open the last full weekend of every month.

  10. Add Portsmouth City Museum to your Itinerary

    Portsmouth City Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Portsmouth

    The City Museum is the Museum of and for the people of Portsmouth with exciting and varied displays.