Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park

World War II codebreaking

Museums

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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 fun museums in England, with 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, art, science, maritime, or wildlife, you're bound to find something right up your street.

Types of museum

The featured museums in the counties of South East England demonstrate the sheer variety of interest on offer and a more detailed list of museums in South East England can be located through the map at the bottom of this page.

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's House 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.

Museums in London

Museums in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

Museums in Buckinghamshire

Museums in Oxfordshire

Museums in Surrey

Museums in Kent

Museums in Berkshire

Museums in Sussex

Museums Near Me

Use the 'Map View' button below to find museums near you in South East England including dozens of local museums showcasing their town's proud history. Check individual listings to see which museums are open today.

Number of results:

Number of results: 122

, currently showing 1 to 20.

  1. Royal Engineers Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Gillingham

    There is something for all the family. Zulu War items, Boer War, World Wars I and II, planes, trains, tanks, bridges, bombs, 25 galleries.

  2. Museum of English Rural Life

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Reading

    The Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL) is England’s most extensive museum dedicated to farming, food, craft, rural life and countryside issues.

  3. Army Medical Services Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Aldershot

    The museum tells the story of military medicine, nursing, dental and veterinary science from 1660 until today.

  4. Turner’s House

    Type

    Type:

    Historic House / Palace

    TWICKENHAM

    In 1813 England’s great landscape painter JMW Turner built a small villa, on a large plot near the Thames at Twickenham. Here, the painter became an architect, guided by the hand of his friend John Soane. Following its careful conservation, Turner’s…

  5. Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Gosport

    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 Priddy’s Hard, on the Gosport side of Portsmouth Harbour.

  6. Hastings Museum and Art Gallery

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Hastings

    Hastings Digital Museum is publishing a daily programme of downloadable resources for children and families, recordings of regular activities like Starlings Music Group, and opportunities for discussion.

  7. Paradise Park

    Type

    Type:

    Theme Park

    Newhaven

    Find out why Paradise Park is the perfect day out for all ages with images, essential information & the fascinating world of animals from millions of years ago

  8. Royal Armouries - Fort Nelson

    Type

    Type:

    Historic Site

    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.

  9. Forest Arts Centre

    Type

    Type:

    Heritage / Visitor Centre

    New Milton

    Forest Arts Centre is the leading venue for live arts events in the New Forest. A former military drill hall in New Milton, it has a 146 capacity air-conditioned theatre, dance studio, workshop room and licensed café-bar with gallery space.

  10. The Hop Farm Family Park

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    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.

  11. The D-Day Story

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Portsmouth

    The D-Day Story is the only museum in the UK dedicated to the Allied Invasion in June 1944. It tells the unique personal stories behind this epic event.

  12. The Gurkha Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Winchester

    The Gurkha Museum takes you on a journey of discovery through the history of Gurkhas in British service.

  13. City Space at Winchester Discovery Centre

    Type

    Type:

    Arts Centre

    Winchester

    A vibrant and versatile gallery space hosting a changing programme of exhibits to celebrate the best of Winchester's thriving arts and heritage scene.

  14. Wallingford Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Wallingford

    Wallingford Museum is a colourful, delightfully intimate and family friendly local history museum, housed on two floors of this medieval oak-beamed building in the heart of Wallingford in Oxfordshire.

  15. Cumberland House Natural History Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Southsea, Portsmouth

    Portsmouth Natural History Museum is currently closed owing to latest guidelines following the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

  16. River & Rowing Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Henley-on-Thames

    Inspiring, entertaining and interactive...we're so much more than a Museum!

  17. Maidstone Carriage Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    MAIDSTONE

    Maidstone Carriage Musuem is home to a unique collection of horse-drawn vehicles & transport curiosities. More than 60 vehicles displayed, from grand carriages & ornate sleighs to antique sedan chairs & Victorian cabs, even an original ice

  18. Eastleigh Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museums & Galleries

    Eastleigh

    Take a tour through Eastleigh's past and discover what life was like in the 1930s; displays include recreations of a local engine driver's home.

  19. The Mary Rose Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    HM Naval Base, Portsmouth

    Explore the remains of Henry VIII’s favourite ship, recovered from the seabed in one of the most challenging archaeological excavations of all time. From the large bronze and iron guns to personal items like wooden bowls, tiny dice and nit combs,…

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