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Beaulieu, Home of the National Motor Museum

Beaulieu, Home of the National Motor Museum

New Forest

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: 121

, currently showing 1 to 20.

  1. Willesborough Windmill

    Type

    Type:

    Heritage / Visitor Centre

    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.

  2. Huguenot Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Rochester

    The Huguenot Museum tells the story of Britain's first refugees: the skills they brought to the UK, their descendants, and relevance to the story of refugees today.

  3. Weald and Downland Open Air Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Chichester

    Come and discover rescued traditional rural buildings set in a beautiful landscape, which tell the stories of the men, women and children who lived and worked in them over a 950-year period.

  4. Butser Ancient Farm

    Type

    Type:

    Farm

    Waterlooville

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

  5. Cowes Maritime Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    WEST COWES

    Cowes Maritime Museum displays a selection of objects and images which help to tell the story of Cowes and its important maritime heritage.

  6. Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Brighton

    Brighton Museum has dynamic and innovative galleries - including fashion and style, 20th century art and design, and world art. There is a continuing programme of temporary exhibitions. Also a café, museum shop and education facilities.

  7. Booth Museum of Natural History

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    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

  8. Southampton Medieval Merchants House

    Type

    Type:

    Historic House / Palace

    Southampton

    Sensitive restoration has returned this house to its mid 14th century appearence steeped in atmosphere. It is easy to imagine the life of John Fortin, a wine trader, and his family who lived here c1290.

  9. Portsmouth Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Portsmouth

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

  10. Guildford Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Guildford

    Guildford Museum is a beautiful 17C building, adjacent to the castle grounds, housing archaeology, local history and needlework displays.

  11. Cumberland House Natural History Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Southsea, Portsmouth

    Portsmouth is a very special place for wildlife in Britain. It has many different habitats in a very small area, and at Portsmouth Natural History Museum you can explore them all.

  12. Chawton House

    Type

    Type:

    Historic House / Palace

    Alton

    Chawton House Library is an internationally respected research library with a unique collection of early English women's writing from 1600 to 1830. Access to the Library's collection is for the benefit of academics, scholars, students and the general

  13. Cogges Manor Farm Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Farm

    Witney

  14. Museum of Oxford

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Oxford

    History of the city and university. Discover the cities earliest residents, medieval crafts, civil war stories, famous literary connections and the growth of a modern city.

  15. Tudor House and Garden

    Type

    Type:

    Historic House / Palace

    Southampton

    Uncover over 800 years of history in the heart of Southampton’s Old Town. Tudor House and Garden gives visitors an insight in to the lives and times of its residents with informative displays and hands on interactive experiences.

  16. 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.

  17. St Augustine's Abbey

    Type

    Type:

    Abbey / Priory

    Canterbury

    This great Abbey, marking the rebirth of Christianity in southern England, was founded in AD 597 by St Augustine.

  18. Petworth Cottage Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Petworth

    Welcome to this Leconfield estate-worker's cottage once the home of Mrs Cummings, a seamstress at Petworth House. Furnished as in 1910 it has a ground floor scullery and sitting room, with a kettle boiling on the coal-fired range.

  19. Hastings Museum and Art Gallery

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Hastings

    Displays of dinosaurs, wildlife, Native Americans, paintings, ceramics, features on John Logie Baird and Robert Tressel, temporary exhibitions and the Durbar Hall.

  20. Cogges

    Type

    Type:

    Heritage / Visitor Centre

    Witney

    Everyone who visits Cogges for the first time is bowled over by its beauty. Visit a unique venue and heritage site with a fascinating story, set around a manor house and farm buildings, walled garden and orchard. Take welly walks around the island...

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