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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. Manor Farm (Farm and Museum)

    Type

    Type:

    Farm

    Southampton

    Traditional Hampshire farmstead - range of buildings, farm animals, machinery and equipment, pre-1950's farmhouse and 13thC church set for 1900 - living history site.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Rockbourne Roman Villa

    Type

    Type:

    Historic Site

    Fordingbridge

    Situated in picturesque and peaceful south west Hampshire, Rockbourne Roman Villa is the largest known Roman villa in the area. The villa once stood in the centre of a large farming estate, and its history spans the period from the Iron Age to the…

  5. Twyford Waterworks

    Type

    Type:

    Heritage / Visitor Centre

    Winchester

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Dover Museum and Bronze Age Boat Gallery

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Dover

    Dover Museum, the district's largest and most varied museum, has a range of fascinating real objects, models and original pictures showing the history and archaeology of Dover.

  9. 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

  10. Haslemere Educational Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Haslemere


    An award winning Museum in the heart of Haslemere with remarkable collections of natural history, human history and geology.

  11. Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Gilbert White's House & Garden and The Oates Collection

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Alton

    Historic house and garden, home of Gilbert White, author of 'The Natural History of Selborne'. Exhibition on Frank Oates, explorer and Capt Lawrence Oates of Antarctic fame.

  14. Queens Park Arts Centre & Limelight Theatre

    Type

    Type:

    Arts Centre

    Aylesbury

    Offering over 70 weekly arts and crafts workshops, live comedy, music and theatre as well as exhibitions and demonstrations, Queens Park Arts Centre and Limelight Theatre has something for everyone.

  15. 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.

  16. Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    near Arundel

    Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre is a 36 acre open-air site dedicated to preserving the industrial heritage of the south east.

  17. Hollycombe - Steam in the Country

    Type

    Type:

    Funfair

    Liphook

    Hollycombe Steam in the Country offers visitors a nostalgic look at how the Victorians and Edwardians used steam as an instrument of work and play, featuring a number of popular fairground rides and sideshows of the period.

  18. 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.

  19. Rural Life Centre

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Farnham

    The Rural Life Centre is a museum of past village life covering the years from 1750 to 1960. It is set in over ten acres of garden and woodland and housed in purpose-built and reconstructed buildings including a chapel, village hall, cricket…

  20. Winchester's Military Museums

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Winchester

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