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A selection of top Museums in the UK, perfect for family days out…

The UK is home to a rich array of museums that cater to diverse interests. So much history, education and exploration into our heritage makes a perfect family day out. Wherever you are this Summer, here are some of the top museums you should consider visiting:


British Museum:

Highlights: Rosetta Stone, Elgin Marbles, Egyptian mummies.

Specialty: Human history, art, and culture.

Natural History Museum:

Highlights: Dinosaur skeletons, Blue Whale model, Darwin Centre.

Specialty: Natural history, biodiversity.

Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A):

Highlights: Fashion and textiles, decorative arts, sculpture.

Specialty: Art and design.

Tate Modern:

Highlights: Contemporary and modern art, installations, Picasso and Warhol works.

Specialty: Modern art.

Science Museum:

Highlights: Space exploration, medical history, technology and engineering.

Specialty: Science and innovation.

Royal Air Force Museum London

Highlights: Aircraft Collection, Interactive Exhibits, historical Exhibits,

Speciality: Memorials and artifacts, Education and Activities.

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Highlights: Egyptian mummies, Pre-Raphaelite paintings, Asian art.

Specialty: Art and archaeology.


Hollytrees Museum Colchester

Highlights: Collections including toys, art, costume and clocks. Discover what family life was like for the rich and poor.

Speciality: Natural history.

Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich

Highlights: Explore the period rooms from the Tudor kitchen to the Georgian saloon, gaze at the fine collection of art from Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable.

Speciality:  Tudor


Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG)

Highlights: Pre-Raphaelite collection, Staffordshire Hoard, Birmingham history.

Specialty: Art and local history.

Description: Known for its extensive art collection, including works from the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and a significant collection of artifacts from Birmingham’s history.

Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum

Highlights: Interactive science exhibits, Spitfire gallery, planetarium.

Specialty: Science and technology.

Description: An interactive museum with exhibits on a range of scientific topics, from steam engines to outer space. It is particularly family-friendly with many hands-on activities.

Museum of the Jewellery Quarter

Highlights: Preserved jewellery factory, guided tours, local crafts.

Specialty: Jewellery making and industrial heritage.

Description: A time capsule of a traditional jewellery workshop, offering guided tours that show how jewellery was made using traditional methods.

Soho House Museum

Highlights: Home of industrialist Matthew Boulton, Georgian architecture, period furnishings.

Specialty: Industrial history and Georgian lifestyle.

Description: The former home of Matthew Boulton, a key figure in the Industrial Revolution, showcasing his contributions to science and industry.

British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire

Highlights: Extensive Car Collection with over 300 classic, vintage, and modern cars. Vehicles from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust collection.

Speciality:  Interactive Exhibits. The Collections Centre: Houses the reserve collection of cars not on permanent display. Themed Galleries: The Royal Cars: Vehicles used by the British Royal Family. Concept Cars: Unique prototypes and design studies from the British automotive industry. Motorsport: Celebrating British achievements in motorsport with iconic racing cars.

North West

Museum of Liverpool:

Highlights: City’s maritime history, social history, cultural heritage.

Specialty: Local history.

Tate Liverpool:

Highlights: Modern and contemporary art, special exhibitions.

Specialty: Modern art.

Manchester Museum:

Highlights: Archaeology, anthropology, natural history.

Specialty: Diverse collections from different eras and regions.

Science and Industry Museum:

Highlights: Industrial revolution, technological advancements, interactive exhibits.

Specialty: Science, industry, and technology.

North East

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

Highlights: Recreated 19th and early 20th-century villages and towns.

Specialty: Open-air museum focusing on everyday life in the North East during the Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian periods.

The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead 

Highlights: Rotating exhibitions of contemporary art from international artists. Workshops and events for all ages.

Specialty: Contemporary visual arts.

Discovery Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne

Highlights: Turbinia, the world’s first steam turbine-powered ship. Local history exhibits including the Newcastle Story.Science Maze with hands-on science and technology exhibits.

Specialty: Science, technology, and local history.

The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham

Highlights: A diverse collection of European fine and decorative arts. The Silver Swan, an 18th-century automaton. Regularly changing exhibitions and family activities.

Specialty: Art and decorative arts.

Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne

Highlights: Natural history collections including a T. rex skeleton. Ancient Egyptian mummies. Roman artifacts from the nearby Hadrian’s Wall.

Specialty: Natural history, archaeology, and ethnography.

National Glass Centre, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear

Highlights: Glass-blowing demonstrations and workshops. Exhibitions showcasing contemporary glass art. Interactive displays about the history and techniques of glassmaking.

Specialty: Glass art and history of glassmaking.

Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience, Hartlepool, County Durham

Highlights: HMS Trincomalee, Britain’s oldest warship still afloat. Recreated 18th-century seaport with period buildings and ships. Maritime exhibits and interactive displays.

Specialty: Maritime history.

Woodhorn Museum, Ashington, Northumberland

Highlights: Coal mining heritage of Northumberland. Art collection from the Ashington Group, known as the “Pitmen Painters.” Interactive exhibits about the social history of mining communities.

Specialty: Industrial heritage and local history.

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear

Highlights: Local history and natural history exhibits. Art gallery with works by L.S. Lowry. Winter Gardens with exotic plants and a treetop walkway.

Specialty: Local history, art, and natural sciences.

Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields

Highlights: Standing above the entrance to the River Tyne, Arbeia guarded the main sea route to Hadrian’s Wall. It was a key garrison and military supply base to other forts along the Wall and is an important part of the history of Roman Britain.

Speciality: Roman history

Segedunum Roman Fort, Wallsend

Highlights: where Hadrian’s Wall begins and ends. Hadrian’s Wall, the great frontier of the Roman Empire, began on the banks of the River Tyne in Wallsend. It ran for 73 miles across Northern Britain from the mouth of the River Tyne to the Solway Firth. Discover the history and get amazing views across the site from the viewing platform.

Speciality: Roman history


National Museum of Scotland:

Highlights: Scottish history, natural world, science and technology.

Specialty: Scottish heritage and global collections.

Scottish National Gallery:

Highlights: Works by Rembrandt, Turner, Van Gogh, Scottish artists.

Specialty: Fine art.


National Museum Cardiff:

Highlights: Art, geology, archaeology, natural history.

Specialty: Welsh art and history, natural sciences.

These museums not only provide a deep dive into history, art, and science but also offer unique exhibits and educational programs that appeal to a wide range of interests. A perfect family day out.


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