Museums, galleries and libraries

Museums, galleries and libraries

Immerse yourself in other worlds and cultures, become an expert for a day on the Egyptians or vintage aeroplanes, and stare amazed at art exhibitions the world comes to see. Museums and art galleries in England take you to faraway places. You get to peek into distant lives by travelling just a few footsteps. At the last count there were around 1,600 museums in England, catering to almost every interest you can imagine. Many of them are housed in buildings as impressive as the collections within.

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Enjoy splendiferous fun at the Roald Dahl Museum

Ever wondered where Charlie and the Chocolate Factory started or what a Bogtrotter cake might taste like? This family-friendly museum has answers for children and adults of all ages.

Location: Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire

 

Get on board at the National Railway Museum

The world's largest railway museum is home to a staggering collection of restored locomotives, including the fastest steam engine of all time.

Location: York, North Yorkshire

 

Rainy Day Activities: Step back in time at York Castle Museum

Travel back in time on a rainy day at this trend-setting museum, which transports visitors back through 300 years of history.

Location: York, North Yorkshire

 

Rainy Day Activities: Explore history at Winchester’s Military Museums

Broaden your knowledge of the British Army and the various battles fought throughout history at Winchester’s six Military Museums.

Location: Winchester, Hampshire

 

Travel back in time at Milestones Museum

A trip to Milestones 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 history.

Location: Basingstoke, Hampshire

 

Rainy Day Activities: Get hands on at the National Football Museum

Explore the world's largest football collection, learn about the history and culture of England's national sport and take part in other footy-related indoor activities at Manchester's National Football Museum.

Location: Manchester, Greater Manchester

 

Visit Europe's largest library

The Library of Birmingham houses a million printed volumes, the largest number held by any public library in the UK.

Location: Birmingham, West Midlands

 

Nine floors of silver-screens

A visit to the National Media Museum is a must if you love photography, film, television, animation, gaming or the internet.

Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire

 

Rainy Day Activities: Discover military history at The Royal Armouries

Britain’s national museum of arms and armour is home to a fascinating and unique collection, including the only existing suit of armour built for an elephant.

Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire

 

Rainy Day Activities: See famous works in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum

With numerous famous artworks and historical artefacts on display, the award-winning Royal Albert Memorial Museum is a must-see indoor attraction in the heart of Exeter.

Location: Exeter, Devon

 

Rainy Day Activities: Visit the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford

All the great civilizations of the world are represented in the Ashmolean Museum’s collections; escape the rain for a whole day, or pop in for five minutes for a quick browse.

Location: Oxford, Oxfordshire

 

Meet the Romans at Wroxeter Roman City

See the city that the Romans built for us - once the fourth largest city in Roman Britain.

Location: Wroxeter, Shropshire

 

Rainy Day Activities: Sunderland Museum

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens is a great place for the whole family to spend the day – and it’s free.

Location: Sunderland, Tyne and Wear

 
A family watching chocolate being made at Cadbury World, Birmingham.

Go chocolate crazy at Cadbury World

A must-visit destination for chocoholics of all ages, Cadbury World in Bourneville near Birmingham is full of fun indoor activities and things to do when it rains.

Location: Birmingham, West Midlands

 

Rainy Day Activities: Meet a mummy at the Hands on History Museum

Converted from the oldest secular building in Hull, the Hands on History Museum provides a fascinating insight into history from across the globe.

Location: Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire

 

Rainy Day Activities: Explore Earth and space at Liverpool’s World Museum

Need ideas on things to do when it rains? Visit one of North West England’s oldest museums and get a hands-on look at our planet from the oceans to the stars.

Location: Liverpool, Merseyside

 

Rainy Day Activities: Get spooked at Tudor World

Delve into Tudor life with a series of rainy day activities at this interactive indoor museum, found in one of England's most haunted buildings.

Location: Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire

 

Rainy Day Activities: Explore Oxford's Museum of Natural History

Delve into Oxford University’s scientific archives, housed inside one of the city's most beautiful neo-Gothic buildings.

Location: Oxford, Oxfordshire

 

Rainy Day Activities: Beware the animal mummies at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

From Egyptian relics and biplanes, to works of art and stuffed deer, there’s something to excite everyone at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.

Location: Bristol

 

Rainy Day Activities: Explore mining history at Woodhorn Museum

Explore hundreds of years of mining heritage at this unique museum in Northumberland, built from what was once the largest pit village in the world.

Location: Ashington, Northumberland

 

Rainy Day Activities: Step into history in the Churchill War Rooms

Delve underground into Churchill’s War Cabinet Rooms and uncover the secret location which housed the Prime Minister during WWII.

Location: Westminster, London

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