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: 122

, currently showing 1 to 20.

  1. Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

    Type

    Type:

    Science Centre

    Morn Hill, Winchester

    Winchester Science Centre is more than a day out. It’s a chance to spark your children’s curiosity in science which could lead them on an exciting journey for life! Situated in the stunning South Downs National Park, this exciting family destination…

  2. 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.

  3. Sandwich Guildhall Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Sandwich

    Museum telling the story of Sandwich from early medieval times.  There are many illustrative panels relating to the town’s history with artefacts dating back to the early 13th century.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Rye Heritage Centre

    Type

    Type:

    Heritage / Visitor Centre

    RYE

    Housed in a converted Victorian sail loft at the foot of Mermaid Street, Rye Heritage Centre is the home of the unique ‘Story of Rye’ Town Model Sound and Light Show- a delightful scale model of the town that plays a 20 minute show bringing the…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Amberley Industrial Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Arundel

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

  10. Guildhall Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Rochester

    Discover the history of Medway from pre-historic times to the present day at the Guildhall Museum in Rochester.

  11. 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.

  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. Bursledon Windmill

    Type

    Type:

    Windmill

    Bursledon

    Bursledon Windmill is currently closed for restoration until November and so not currently open to the public.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. C M Booth Collection of Historic Vehicles

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Rolvenden

    Unique collection of Morgan 3-wheel cars, eleven from 1913-1935, plus 1904 Humber Tricar, 1929 Morris van, 1929 Ford model A, 1936 Bampton caravan, early cycles, motorcycles, toy and model cars and motoring memorabilia.

  18. Dinosaur Isle

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Sandown

    In a spectacular pterosaur shaped building on Sandown’s blue flag beach walk back through fossilised time and meet life sized replica dinosaurs

  19. HMS M.33 at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

    Type

    Type:

    Historic Ship

    HM Naval Base, Portsmouth

    HMS M.33 is not only the sole remaining British veteran of the bloody Dardanelles Campaign of 1915-1916, but also of the Russian Civil War which followed. The ship is one of just three British warships from World War I still in existence.

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