Beaulieu, Home of the National Motor Museum

Beaulieu, Home of the National Motor Museum

New Forest

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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: 118

, currently showing 1 to 20.

  1. 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.

  2. Westbury Manor Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Fareham

    An elegant 18thC building with a Victorian-style public garden at the rear. Displays tell the story of Fareham, using models, graphics and objects with a varied temporary exhibition gallery.

  3. Petworth House & Park

    Type

    Type:

    Historic House / Palace

    Petworth

    Explore this majestic mansion and beautiful landscaped deer park.

  4. Wings Aviation Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    HAYWARDS HEATH

    A fascinating in-sight into life during World War Two. Each artefact or item of memorabilia tells its own unique story set alongside the sounds & music of the times. History appears to come alive in this truly unique nostalgic experience.

  5. Southsea Castle

    Type

    Type:

    Castle / Fort

    Southsea, Portsmouth

    Visit Henry VIII's Southsea Castle, right along the water's edge.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Jane Austen’s House

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Alton

    Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, Hampshire is the picturesque country cottage where Jane Austen lived. It is the most treasured Austen site in the world. It was here that Jane’s genius flourished and where she wrote, revised and had published all her…

  9. Heaven Farm Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Uckfield

    Historic farm on A275, 1 mile south of Danehill near the Bluebell Railway and Sheffield Park Garden. Fishing, museum, nature trail and tea rooms.

  10. The True CRIME Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Hastings

    “A SHOCKING new attraction for everyone fascinated by the dark world of CRIME”

  11. Royal Armouries - Fort Nelson

    Type

    Type:

    Historic Site

    Fareham

    Fort Nelson is a superbly restored Victorian fort overlooking Portsmouth Harbour. It is home to the Royal Armouries national artillery collection with over 350 historic guns on display.

  12. Red House Museum and Gardens

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Christchurch

    Red House Museum and Gardens

  13. 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.

  14. Bexhill Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Bexhill-on-Sea

    It’s curious, it’s quirky, it’s packed to the rafters with diverse objects with a surprise in every cabinet and around every corner.

  15. The Brickworks Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Industrial Archaeology

    Bursledon

    Come and be amazed at the authentic sights, sounds and smells of the last steam-driven Victorian brickworks in the UK.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Army Flying Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Stockbridge

    The Museum of Army Flying is an award-winning British military aviation museum about the history of flying in the British Army.

  20. 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.

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