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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: 122

, currently showing 1 to 20.

  1. West Berkshire Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Newbury

    The museum has benefitted from an amazing £2.26 million transformation which includes restoration of the historic Cloth Hall and Corn Stores, creation of a new link building and visitor facilities, and complete refurbishment of all display and...

  2. Leeds Castle

    Type

    Type:

    Castle / Fort

    Maidstone

    Set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland, Leeds Castle is the perfect backdrop to your day out. The historic castle, glorious gardens, attractions and programme of events awaits visitors.

  3. Redoubt Fortress & Military Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Eastbourne

    An impressive Napoleonic circular brick fortress which provides the perfect home for the largest military museum in the South East.

  4. Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    GREAT MISSENDEN

    The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, in Great Missenden is where Roald Dahl (1916-1990) lived and wrote many of his well-loved books. This great little award-winning Museum, aimed at 6 to 12 year olds and their families, has fun galleries.

  5. 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.

  6. Cutty Sark

    Type

    Type:

    Historic Site

    London

    One of the world’s most famous ships, Cutty Sark tea clipper has been beautifully restored and is full of fun and exciting things to see and do.

  7. 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.

  8. Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Basingstoke

    Discover Basingstoke and Deane’s past, from the rich archaeological heritage beneath our feet right up to the modern day.

  9. Eastney Beam Engine House

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Eastney, Southsea

    Eastney Beam Engine House will be open free of charge on certain weekends. There will be some restrictions on access and the engines will not be in steam. Keep checking back for updated openings.

  10. Aldershot Military Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museums & Galleries

    Aldershot

    Housed in the only surviving brick-built barrack blocks left in Aldershot, Aldershot Military Museum tells the story of daily life for both soldier and civilian in the town since 1854. 

  11. Maidenhead Heritage Centre

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Maidenhead

    Fly a Spitfire simulator at this local museum which covers local history from the Romans to Racing Cars!

  12. Ramsgate Tunnels

    Type

    Type:

    Historic Site

    Ramsgate

    Put on a hard hat and pick up a lantern for a guided tour of Ramsgate’s wartime tunnels.

  13. Canterbury Tales

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Canterbury

    Step into medieval Canterbury and accompany Geoffrey Chaucer and his colourful characters on their magical pilgrimage from London to Canterbury.

  14. Arundel Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Arundel

    Arundel Museum is the south coast’s newest museum, revealing the story of the historic town of Arundel.

  15. 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.

  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. Kraft Village

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    High Wycombe

    Kraft Village
    High Wycombe Chair Making Museum exhibits tools used in making 4,700
    chairs a day in 1875. Brief demo of shave horse and pole lathe,exhibit of Windsor chairs
    Kraftinwood Woodturning Workshop. Large Contemporary Art Gallery
    Artist...

  18. HMS Warrior at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

    Type

    Type:

    Historic Ship

    HM Naval Base, Portsmouth

    HMS Warrior 1860 was Britain’s first iron-hulled, armoured warship and the pride of Queen Victoria’s Fleet. On her first voyage, HMS Warrior caused a sensation; people crowded to see her and she was considered invincible.

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