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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

Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower

Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower

Explosion! the Museum of Naval Firepower, is a hands on, interactive Museum set in the historic setting of a former gunpowder and munitions depot at...

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  1. Add Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower to your Itinerary

    Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Gosport

    The amazing story of naval firepower, from gunpowder to the Exocet, in an exciting visitor experience for all the family on the Gosport side of Portsmouth Harbour.

  2. 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.

  3. Willesborough Windmill

    Add Willesborough Windmill to your Itinerary

    Willesborough Windmill

    Type

    Heritage / Visitor Centre

    Location

    Ashford

    135 year old Smock Mill, in course of restoration. Miller's cottage, restored Hornsby 14hp gas oil engine which drives one pair of stones.

  4. Add Winchester's Military Museums to your Itinerary

    Winchester's Military Museums

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Winchester

    Five splendid military museums on an historic site with Visitor Centre, café displays and activities to interest all the family.

  5. Add Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Trust to your Itinerary

    Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Trust

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Ramsgate

    The Memorial Museum permanently houses splendid examples of two WW11 fighter aircraft, which served the Royal Air Force so well in so many areas of battle, both at home and overseas.

  6. Add Museum of Army Flying to your Itinerary

    Museum of Army Flying

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Stockbridge

    The Museum of Army Flying is an award-winning British military aviation museum about the history of flying in the British Army.

  7. Add Chiddingstone Castle to your Itinerary

    Chiddingstone Castle

    Type

    Historic House / Palace

    Location

    Edenbridge

    Home of the collections of Denys Eyre Bower: Japanese, Egyptian, Stuart and Buddhist art and antiquities, set in a stunning Gothic Revival Castle and grounds. Family activities and cafe/tea room also available.

  8. Add Butser Ancient Farm to your Itinerary

    Butser Ancient Farm

    Type

    Farm

    Location

    Waterlooville

    Butser Ancient Farm, nestled within the Southdowns National Park, is a wonderful outdoor space showcasing Ancient Britain through experimental archaeology.

  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 Maison Dieu to your Itinerary

    Maison Dieu

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Faversham

    An early 16thC timber-framed building incorporating fragments of a 13thC hospital and shelter for pilgrims. Displays of local history and archaeology.