13 Best Museums to Visit in the UK

We've picked out some of our favourite museums you should consider visiting during your next UK holiday. Discover the 13 best museums in the UK below...

13 Best Museums to Visit in the UK
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We've picked out some of our favourite museums you should consider visiting during your next UK holiday. Discover the 13 best museums in the UK below...
Museum touring is a fan favourite for tourists when visiting a new country or city for the first time. It's the best way to discover the history and culture of a place.
That's why we've picked out some of our favourite museums you should consider visiting during your next UK holiday.
Discover the 13 best museums in the UK below...

Natural History Museum, London

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We couldn’t start a list of the best museums in the UK without mentioning the Natural History Museum. Labelled the second most visited UK museum in 2020, with over 1,200,000 visits, this exhibit tells the detailed story of life on earth.
From the smallest insects to the incredible collection of the dinosaurs, it’s home to 80 million items spread across five collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology.

York Castle Museum, York

This award-winning museum delves into the most recent 400-year history of the city. Step into the Victorian era with a look at Kirkgate, the iconic recreation of a classic Victorian street. Journey through the York Castle Prison which tells the story of infamous residents and their dark and brutal past - and perhaps the most legendary of them all - highwayman, Dick Turpin.

Quaker Tapestry Museum, Kendal

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The Quaker Tapestry Museum is a unique experience which explores the Quaker's influence on the modern world. Set in an original Georgian Meeting House, there are over 40 embroidered panels which recount Quaker stories of the last 350 years. Through the industrial revolution, the abolition of slavery, astronomy and ecology.

National Railway Museum, York

The National Railway Museum is the ideal attraction when looking for a day trip in York. Here, you’ll discover the past, present and even the future of railways, including the world’s fastest steam locomotive, Mallard.
This museum outlines 200 years' worth of history and recounts how railways have shaped the world we live in today. Step into the miniature railway for a true railway experience and take a tour of the world’s finest collection of royal carriages.
After all that, you can enjoy a tasty lunch at one of two onsite cafés.

Titanic Belfast, Belfast

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The RMS Titanic is famous for being the largest ship afloat in 1912 and its subsequent sinking after striking an iceberg. The Titanic was built in Belfast and is now home to the Titanic Belfast museum and is perhaps the most accurate retelling of the iconic story we’ve all come to know.
During the tour, you’ll learn how and why the ship was built, the tragic personal stories from survivors and the departed, as well as the tales of what happened in the final hours before it sank.
There’s so much more to the story than you could imagine, and you’ll discover it all here at the Titanic Belfast museum.

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, St Ives

The perfect spot for any Cornish holiday is a trip to St Ives and the beautiful Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gardens. Barbara Hepworth was an English artist from the West Riding of Yorkshire who moved to Cornwall during the outbreak of the second world war.
The museum showcases Trewyn Studios, where Hepworth worked on her art, alongside the perfectly manicured gardens she drew inspiration from.

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

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Relive Shakespeare’s love story by visiting Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife and where the famous playwright himself spent time during the early years of their relationship.
With original furniture, acres of stunning cottage gardens and orchards, plus five centuries' worth of stories spanning across 13 generations. You can even explore the sculpture trail inspired by Shakespeare’s plays.

Liverpool War Museum, Liverpool

Western Approaches, better known as Liverpool War Museum, was the location of Combined Operations in 1941 due to German aircraft and U-boats attacking ships. This was the very location strategic planning took place to defend convoys and attach U-boats.
The staff at Western Approaches Command was largely women, who volunteered their time to aid the war effort by decoding incoming signals or acting as radio and teleprinter operators.
After the war in 1945, it fell into disuse until it was reopened in 1993 as a museum. Since then, the bunker has been restored to its original state and stands as a memorial to those who died to save Europe.

National Museum Cardiff, Wales

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Source: Ham II - (CC BY-SA 3.0)
A visit to the National Museum Cardiff brings culture and science to life.
Taking a walk through the first floor will bring you past their stunning art collections, from paintings and drawings to sculptures and ceramics.
Explore the Evolution of Wales gallery which features real meteorites, dinosaurs, woolly mammoths and even moon rocks.
From there, you can journey through the natural history galleries which hold many animals, birds and insects, including the world’s largest leather back turtle.

Deva Roman Discovery Centre, Chester

Take a trip to the cathedral city of Chester where the Deva Roman Discovery Centre is located. Discover the city’s fascinating Roman history with a self-guided tour through archaeological remains which span over 2,000 years.
Get involved with onsite activities, interactive displays and learn how the Roman’s used to live, relax and battle. There’s even real archaeology on site!
See the video below for a sneak peak at what you can expect from a visit to this unique museum:

Lead Mining Museum, Dumfries and Galloway

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Immerse yourself into the world of 18th century lead mining by taking a tour through the Lead Mining Museum, a not-for-profit registered charity. This is the only underground mine tour in Scotland and is the perfect chance to get a glimpse of the miners’ cottages and The Miners’ Library which was set up by the workers themselves.
Obtain a gold panning license from reception, along with the necessary equipment and their friendly onsite team will teach you the basics of gold panning. You may just uncover some genuine gold yourself!
There’s also an onsite tea room for visitors to enjoy after their tour is complete.

Sammy Miller Museum, Hampshire

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For a truly unique experience, Sammy Miller Museum is one of the world’s best motorcycle museums, with a large collection of restored motorcycles. Here, you’ll discover just under 500 bikes, including factory racers and exotic prototypes, most of which are in full working condition. This is the perfect stop for bike lovers to explore.
Stop off at the Bashley Manor Tearooms for some lunch, or explore the three craft and gift shops.
Perfect for charity fundraising, corporate retreats, families and is completely dog friendly.

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

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The National Museum of Scotland is a staple attraction when visiting Edinburgh. Their aim is to preserve the past and present culture of Scotland’s heritage, from decorative art to scientific displays.
Start your adventure in the Grand Gallery where you’ll happen upon the skull of Moby the whale, or the Giant Deer skeleton. Or take a tour of Scotland’s history with Celtic, Roman and Viking artefacts on display, including the Lewis chess pieces as seen in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone!
Visiting the museum today would also allow you to see the exhibitions of FlightWar and Rural Life, something the whole family can enjoy.
Do you enjoy visiting cultural and historical attractions in the UK? We’ve got a wealth of experiences for you to discover, check out our selection below.
Jennie Byrne

Written by

Jennie Byrne

Head of Content