Museums in Hampshire
Historic sites and museums in Hampshire have something for all ages, with plenty to keep the family entertained.
If you like aircraft, ships, outer space, local history, literature, castles, Roman villas or Iron Age forts it's all here in Hampshire.
Travel back in time at Milestones, Hampshire's Living History Museum in Basingstoke, where costumed actors help bring the streets of old to life and you can peruse the shops of yesteryear.
In the stunning Peninsula Barracks in Winchester you’ll find Winchester's Military Museums. This is an outstanding collection of five of the British Army's finest regiments including the Gurkha Museum and Horse Power - the Museum of the King's Royal Hussars.
Get ready for big bangs at Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower at Gosport.
In this award-winning, hands-on museum you can see the exciting big guns, torpedoes and missiles that have played such an important part in UK heritage.
If Mr Darcy gets your pulse racing, visit Jane Austen’s House Museum at Chawton, and stand behind the small table where the famous novelist wrote her popular works.
Some of Jane Austen’s clothes and jewellery are also on display and you can walk in the garden which she found so peaceful and inspiring.
For more museums in Hampshire, try the Royal Navy Submarine Museum at Gosport.
Here you can go on board Britain’s only surviving World War II ocean-going submarine and hear submariners’ compelling stories about life beneath the waves.
Visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and see Henry VIII’s flagship the Mary Rose, Nelson’s battleship the HMS Victory and Queen Victoria’s HMS Warrior 1860.
At the SeaCity museum in Southampton, find out how the Titanic disaster affected the lives of 500 families in the city.
Experience the sights and sounds of Southampton’s port in 1912, when it was home to 23 steamship companies such as White Star Line and Union Castle.
If you love cars old and new, visit the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.
At Beaulieu you can find out about the history of motoring, from modern rally cars and F1 Grand Prix to Top Gear, James Bond and Del Boy’s Reliant Regal.
The family will also enjoy Palace House, the home of the Montagu family, historic Beaulieu Abbey and numerous other attractions such as a monorail ride and mini driving circuit for children.
Family Friendly Hampshire Museums
Once more on the literary trail, you can visit Selborne to see the historic house and garden which was home to naturalist and writer Gilbert White.
Here you’ll also find an exhibition devoted to explorer Frank Oates, otherwise known as Capt Lawrence Oates of Antarctic fame.
For a different Hampshire museums experience, why not travel by steam or heritage diesel train on the Watercress Line through the beautiful Hampshire countryside.
In Test Valley, you can visit the oldest working silk mill in Britain, Whitchurch Silk Mill, or explore the beautiful architecture of Romsey Abbey, one of the largest parish churches in England.
One of Hampshire's jewels in the crown is Winchester's 13th century Great Hall and the greatest symbol of medieval mythology, 'The Round Table of King Arthur'.
Winchester Cathedral boasts the longest nave in Europe, an ancient library and an atmospheric Norman crypt which houses the Sound II statue by Antony Gormley.
The medieval Hospital of St Cross in Winchester is a hidden gem nestling in the water meadows alongside the River Itchen, while tranquil Netley Abbey near Southampton has the extensive ruins of a 13th century Cistercian abbey.
If you would like any further tourism recommendations during your stay in Hampshire then there are a variety of different Tourist Information Centres you can visit anytime where our friendly staff will be more than happy to help you out.
Some of the things you can expect from our Tourist Information Centres include:
- A guide to the best things to do including visitor attractions and places to visit
- Useful accommodation and booking advice for hotels, B&Bs, holiday cottages and camping and caravan sites
- A what's on guide including information on the latest events and festivals
- Food and drink recommendations including restaurants, pubs and farmers' markets to visit
- Advice on walking, cycling, golf, fishing and horse riding locations
- Heritage information including guides to our stately homes, gardens and landmarks
- Advice and background information on different towns and villages in the region
- Transport, travel advice and information
- A wide range of maps, guides, books and brochures
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Beaulieu featuring the world famous National Motor Museum, Palace House home of the Montagu family and Abbey Ruins containing an exhibition of monastic life.
HM Naval Base, Portsmouth
Visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for a truly memorable family day out!
Discover the many stories of Basing House, a nationally important historical site. This magnificent attraction dates from the Norman period and was the site of the largest private house in Tudor England.
Discover Basingstoke and Deane's past, from the rich archaeological heritage beneath our feet right up to the modern day.
Five splendid military museums on an historic site with Visitor Centre, café displays and activities to interest all the family.
Winchester Museums headquarters, located in the Guildhall, above the Tourist Information Centre, is where curators and staff are based.
The art gallery attracts art-lovers, curious amateurs as well as those who simply enjoy the atmosphere of a gallery.
Displays of campaigns over five continents, including a magnificent diorama of the Battle of Waterloo.
Experience the golden age of steam! Whether you are taking a trip down memory lane or making new ones, sit back, relax and travel ten miles through the heart of quintessential English countryside by steam train. Our fares give you all day unlimited travel, so you can explore each of our four...
The story of the County Regiment of Hampshire, its Regular, Militia and Volunteers from 1702.