National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum

London

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. 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

  2. The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Winchester

    Displays of campaigns over five continents, including a magnificent diorama of the Battle of Waterloo.

  3. Mercedes-Benz World

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Weybridge

  4. Royal Navy Submarine Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Gosport

    Get up close to HMS Alliance at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, the only remaining Second World War era submarine.

  5. 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.

  6. Margate Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Margate

    Margate Museum is opened by a group of volunteers called the Friends of Margate Museum who work with Thanet District Council to open Margate Museum on a regular basis.

  7. The 1642 Living History Village

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Rowner, Gosport

    A representational Hampshire village set in the year 1642. Timber and thatched buildings, occupants dressed and speak in 17thC style.

  8. The Queen’s House

    Type

    Type:

    Historic House / Palace

    Greenwich, London

    An exquisite architectural gem housing a world-class art collection. This former Royal residence is a treasure trove of beautiful architectural features.

  9. SS Shieldhall

    Type

    Type:

    Boat Trip

    Southampton

    Shieldhall was laid down in October 1954 and entered service in October 1955. Built by Lobnitz & Co of Renfrew, she is of special interest as she was built on older classic lines with a traditional wheelhouse, of riveted and welded construction with

  10. Action Stations at Boathouse 6

    Type

    Type:

    Event Venue

    HM Naval Base, Portsmouth

    Action Stations is a high-tech, interactive indoor attraction housed in Boathouse 6. The boathouse itself was built between 1845 and 1848, and features a unique series of physical challenges, simulators and technological experiments, which put…

  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. 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.

  13. Southsea Castle

    Type

    Type:

    Castle / Fort

    Southsea, Portsmouth

    Southsea Castle is now open to visitors (external areas and shop).

  14. 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.

  15. HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

    Type

    Type:

    Historic Ship

    HM Naval Base, Portsmouth

    There have been many celebrated warships in Britain’s naval history but HMS Victory can justifiably claim to be the most famous of them all. Having served as Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar.

  16. 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.

  17. Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Maidstone

    Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery is an exceptional regional museum housed in the gorgeous Chillington Manor, an Elizabethan manor house.

  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.

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