Arts + Entertainment

Kent Museums

Museums are vitally important. They’re crucial to our understanding and learning because they can teach us about the past, bringing history to life in all kinds of different, exciting, sometimes even interactive ways. When we’re able to learn about what has been before, we can strive towards a better future.

Museums aren’t just about what has already happened, however, in some cases they are about what is to come – what the future holds. Other museums are collections of fantastic things – weird and wonderful; beautiful and precious. Whether you choose to look back on the past or forward to the future, a day out at a museum is always going to be both educational and informative, and there’s a healthy dose of fun thrown in too. Kent is a county packed full of some of the most intriguing, thought-provoking museums…here are some of our favourites.  

The Micro Museum

The Micro Museum offers a glimpse into our digital history and includes classic video games that can be played. You’ll see vintage computers and micro electronics too.

11 Church Hill, Ramsgate CT11 8RA

07876 271255

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

This museum is a special one. Once a real working dockyard, the Historic Dockyard Chatham is now home to many different ships, boats and even a submarine that visitors can explore. There are special events taking place throughout the year, and for drama fans you can even visit the set of the BBC’s Call The Midwife.

The Historic Dockyard, Chatham ME4 4TZ

01634 823800

The Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum

Housed at the historic Battle of Britain airfield in Manston, you can have the rare chance to see the Spitfire and Hurricanes that flew during World War II.

The Airfield, Manston Road, Ramsgate CT12 5DF

01843 821940

Dover Transport Museum

Dover Transport Museum is the only one of its kind in Kent, showcasing vintage transport that young and old enjoy in equal measure. To add to the great displays there are also lovely vintage shop fronts and a large model railway.

Willingdon Road, Whitfield, Dover CT16 2JX

01304 822409

RAF Manston History Museum

Manston has a fascinating, long and varied history when it comes to aircraft, and this museum details it all. This is the ideal place for history and transport enthusiasts to enjoy a day out.

Manston Road, Ramsgate CT12 5DF

01843 825224

Royal Engineers Museum

The Royal Engineers Museum is the largest military museum in Kent. It explains the story of the Royal Engineers over their 300 year history. Exhibits include 25 Victoria Crosses, Wellington’s map of Waterloo, Zulu shields and a massive V2 rocket.

Prince Arthur Road, Gillingham ME7 1UR

01634 822839

Rochester Guildhall Museum

The Guildhall Museum is housed in a stunning 17th-century building in Rochester. Inside you will find beautiful architecture and design and a fascinating timeline through Medway’s long history.

17 High Street, Rochester ME1 1PY

01634 332900

Dover Museum

Dover Museum delves into the local history and archaeology of the area. It also contains the remains of a 3,000-year-old bronze boat – quite a sight to see.

Market Square, Dover CT16 1PH

01304 201066


Margate Museum

Old prison cells mixed with local history – Margate Museum is wonderfully strange and extremely interesting.

Market Place, Margate CT9 1ER

01843 231213

The Powell-Cotton Museum

The Powell-Cotton Museum was created in 1896 in order for Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton to have somewhere to place his unusual natural history specimens and cultural objects. The museum remains just as interesting today as it ever was.

Quex Park, Park Lane, Birchington CT7 0BH

01843 842168

Sandwich Guildhall Museum

Sandwich Guildhall Museum is packed full of Roman relics, gold insignia and ancient coins, and tells the story of this wonderful Cinque town. This is where you will see the Charter of the Forest – the sister document to the Magna Carta – too.

Guildhall, Sandwich CT13 9AH

01304 617197

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge is part museum, part art gallery and is completely alive with history and artefacts from the ancient past as well as more recent exhibits. There is always plenty for the entire family to enjoy including children’s activities.

18 High Street, Canterbury CT1 2BD

01227 862162

Canterbury Roman Museum

© Canterbury Roman Museum

The Canterbury Roman Museum is, perhaps surprisingly given the county’s history, the only Roman Museum in Kent. Here you can see a beautiful example of a Roman mosaic and find out more about how the Romans lived and what they did to make Canterbury the town it is today.

Longmarket, 11A Butchery Lane, Canterbury CT1 2JR

01227 785575

Maidstone Museum

Maidstone Museum is an interactive space where you can find out more about Kent’s county town and how it became such an important place to live and work. There are talks to enjoy throughout the year and many of them are free.

St Faith’s Street, Maidstone ME14 1LH

01622 602838

The Kent Museum of Freemasonry

Although you may not think it due to the secretive nature of the Freemasons, this museum is actually open to all and offers a huge range of exhibits detailing the Masons past; it covers Masonic history throughout the ages.

St Peter’s Place, Canterbury CT1 2DA

01227 785625

The CM Booth Collection

The CM Booth Collection features a range of the most beautiful classic and vintage cars. The main feature has to be the unique collection of Morgan three-wheeled cars dating from 1909 to 1935.

63-67 High Street, Rolvenden TN17 4LP

01580 241234

Teapot Island

Teapot Island is the largest teapot museum in England; there are over 8,200 teapots to enjoy as well as more than 2,000 that teapot enthusiasts can actually buy. If you would prefer to design your own teapot, there is a paint your own studio on site too.

Hampstead Lane, Yalding ME18 6HG

01622 814541

Deal Maritime & Local History Museum

Stories of daring and exciting sea rescues form the backdrop of the Deal Maritime and Local History Museum, but there is a calmer side too explaining how Deal, Walmer and the surrounding area has changed over the centuries. You can see the Saxon King, built in 1891, and one of the Dunkirk ‘Little Ships’ as well as much more.

22 St George’s Road, Deal CT14 6BA

01304 372098

Walpole Bay Hotel Museum

It’s not every day you are able to stay in a hotel that includes its very own museum, but in Margate it’s possible. The Walpole Bay Hotel Museum offers a glimpse into an elegant past and shows visitors what it would have been like to stay in the hotel during the Victorian era.

Fifth Avenue, Cliftonville, Margate CT9 2JJ

01843 221703

The Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales is a different kind of museum, but a delightful one nonetheless. Here you can, along with a guide in the shape of headphones, walk through Chaucer’s England, listening to his stories and making your way from London to Canterbury, just as the pilgrims did.

St Margaret’s Street, Canterbury CT1 2TG

01227 696002

Kent Firefighting Museum

The Kent Firefighting Museum is always a popular choice for a day out. It hosts a number of displays showing historical firefighting equipment, photographs and records, and tells the story of firefighting in Kent. You can even sit in the front of a real fire engine.

Woodlands Garden Centre, Ash Lane, Ash, Nr Sevenoaks TN15 7EG

01474 854094

Dickens House Museum

When Charles Dickens visited Broadstairs he was immediately inspired, and the house that is now where the Dickens House Museum is situated in is where he visited when in town. It was the inspiration for Betsy Trotwood’s cottage in David Copperfield and is a fascinating insight into how the man worked.

2 Victoria Parade, Broadstairs CT10 1QS

01843 861232

Fleur De Lis Heritage Centre

Described as an Aladdin’s cave of treasures, the Fleur De Lis Heritage Centre follows Faversham’s history from the earliest archaeological finds through to the 21st century.

11-13 Preston Street, Faversham ME13 8NS

01795 534542

Huguenot Museum

The Huguenots are often see as the first refugees to flee to Britain in order to escape persecution in France (and at great risk to their own lives). This museum tells their story and shows the crafts, trades and skills that came with these brave people.

95 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX

01634 789347

The Seaside Museum

There is always a variety of exhibitions and artefacts to be seen at the Seaside Museum, which tells the history of Herne Bay. The exhibitions change regularly, so no two visits should ever be the same.

12 William Street, Herne Bay CT6 5EJ

01227 367368

The Shoreham Aircraft Museum

Founded in 1978 by local enthusiasts, the Shoreham Aircraft Museum is a fascinating reminder of the Battle of Britain and what the pilots faced. There are hundreds of artefacts to see including flying helmets and uniforms.

13 High Street, Shoreham TN14 7TB

01959 524416

St Margaret’s Museum

Focusing on the St Margaret’s area during World War II, St Margaret’s Museum is able to go into fascinating detail about how the environment, the economy and the people were affected during this time.

Beach Road, St Margaret’s at Cliffe, Dover CT15 6DZ

01304 853173

Ramsgate Maritime Museum

Describing the Maritime History of East Kent, the Ramsgate Maritime Museum is an evocative and thought-provoking place with plenty to see and do for all ages.

The Clock House, Pier Yard, Royal Harbour, Ramsgate CT11 8LS

01843 570622

Deal Timeball Tower Museum

The Deal Timeball itself is part of the Greenwich Mean Time system and is a maritime signal – it drops every day at 1pm, so be sure not to miss that when you’re visiting the museum. The museum itself covers the story of smuggling in the area, and goes back through 300 years of history.

Victoria Parade, Deal CT14 7BP

01304 362444

Kent & Sharpshooters Yeomanry Museum

The Kent & Sharpshooters Yeomanry Museum was originally housed at Squerryes Court in Westerham but as the collection grew it moved to Hever Castle. Here you can learn about the regiment and see exhibits from throughout its history.

Hever Castle, Hever Road, Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7NG

Finchcocks Living Museum of Music

Music is an important part of many people’s lives, and this unique museum showcases some fascinating and beautiful instruments from days gone by.

Waterdown House, 51 Frant Road, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5LE

01892 523203

Eden Valley Museum

The Eden Valley is a beautiful spot in West Kent and this museum brings its history to life thanks to an extensive collection of photographs and artefacts from social history.

72 High Street, Edenbridge TN8 5AR

01732 868102

Rose Street Cottage of Curiosities

Housed in one of the only remaining cottages that were built for the dockyard workers in the 18th century, the Rose Street Cottage of Curiosities is packed with unique artefacts that offer a peek into the Isle of Sheppey’s rich heritage.

10 Rose Street, Sheerness ME12 1AJ

07775 712306

Minster Abbey Gatehouse Museum

This lovely little museum displays objects from everyday life dating back to the Victorian era, as well as fossils, local art and local history. There is a small gift shop and café too.

Union Road, Minster-On-Sea, ME12 2HW

01795 872303

Tunbridge Wells Museum

The Tunbridge Wells Museum shares the story of Tunbridge Wells through art, archaeology, natural history, toys and much more.

Civic Centre, Mount Pleasant, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1JN

01892 554171

Colonel Stephens Railway Museum

Colonel Stephens built, managed and eventually operated 16 light railways in England, and this museum is testament to the hard work and dedication that he put into his work and his passion.

Tenterden Town Station, Station Road, Tenterden TN30 6HE

01580 765155

Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages

This museum offers an insight into how transport used to be and details what kinds of carriages would have been used in the past. See examples and artefacts of some of the oldest kinds of transport.

16 Mill Street, Maidstone ME15 6XT

01622 602838

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