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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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. St Margaret's Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Dover

    The museum features changing displays on local history including Ian Fleming and Noel Coward. Access is via the Tea Room.

  5. 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.

  6. Milestones Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museums & Galleries

    Basingstoke

    A trip to Milestones, Hampshire's living history museum in Basingstoke, brings the past to life. The museum is home to over 20,000 objects that were either made or used in Hampshire, and is a record of the county's social, industrial and transport…

  7. 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.

  8. Jane Austen's House Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Alton

    The novelist Jane Austen is known worldwide for her popular novels describing the society of pre-industrial England.

  9. Southsea Castle

    Type

    Type:

    Castle / Fort

    Southsea, Portsmouth

    Built in 1544, Southsea Castle was part of a series of fortifications constructed by Henry VIII around England's coasts.

  10. 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.

  11. Hastings Museum and Art Gallery

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Hastings

    Displays of dinosaurs, wildlife, Native Americans, paintings, ceramics, features on John Logie Baird and Robert Tressel, temporary exhibitions and the Durbar Hall.

  12. 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.

  13. Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Portsmouth

    Pay a visit to the small terraced house of 1805, in which the famous novelist Charles Dickens was born and lived for a short time.

  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. Portsmouth Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Portsmouth

    Portsmouth Museum is the museum of and for the people of Portsmouth with exciting and varied displays.

  16. 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.

  17. Flora Twort Gallery and Petersfield Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Petersfield

    A selection of fascinating paintings of local interest by local artist.

  18. 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.

  19. Lashenden Air Warfare Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Museum

    Ashford

    Lashenden Air Warfare Museum is on a World War II advanced landing ground used by the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943 with Spitfires and the United States 9th Air Force in 1944 with P51 Mustangs. It is the only advanced landing ground still in…

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