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8 Museums Less Than Two Hours From London

London is a huge tourist destination. People from all over the world visit the city and millions also call the metropolitan area their home. If you're visiting, or just live there and want a change of scenery, try taking a day and checking out one of these museums that are all less than 2 hours from the city.

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Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

Brighton Museums / Via

Brighton is only an hour away from London. It's a perfect day trip! The Brighton Museum and Art Gallery has many different exhibits, ranging from film innovation to pottery to fine art and more. It's located in the heart of the Royal Pavilion so if you get tired of art, the beautiful Royal Pavilion garden is right outside. The museum is also five minutes from the beach if you need a bit of sun before heading back to London.


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Canterbury is also an hour away from London. Here, there are three museums right next to each other. On your trip to Canterbury, you can visit The Beaney, the Canterbury Roman Museum, and the Canterbury Heritage Museum. The Beaney also doubles as a library. It has permanent and temporary exhibitions as well as gallery space. The Roman Museum houses Roman artifacts found in Kent during the late 1800s through mid 1900s. The Heritage Museum is in a building built in 1373 and has exhibits beginning with the mammoth age and ending with WWII bombings. Make a day of it and visit all three!

Amberly Museum and Heritage Center

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This museum, located in Amberly, is 80 minutes outside of London. It is great for a family day trip. The kids will love riding on the vintage trains and buses and if you plan your trip in advance, the museum may have activities for children to do. The museum location was once a quarry for chalk and lime. Today, you can see buildings and equipment that were used long ago. The museum also has traditional craftsmen working to keep old skills alive. You can watch potters, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, and more all at work.

National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth

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This Royal Navy museum in Portsmouth is 100 minutes away from London. Here, you can visit three different attractions - The National Museum of the Royal Navy, HMS Victory, and the HMS M.33. The museum has several galleries and a sail from the HMS Victory from the Battle of Trafalgar. The HMS M.33 is also nearby. It was launched in 1915 and is one of the only ships still available to the public from WWI. You can even see the HMS Victory on your day trip to Portsmouth. She was launched in 1765. You can actually board and tour the boat! Kids will love it.

Bletchley Park

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Bletchley Park is in Milton Keynes, just 50 minutes from London. It housed the code-breakers of World War II. Even if you're not a World War II buff, visiting Bletchley Park should be on your list. It's less than an hour from London and worth the visit. You may remember learning about Alan Turing in the recent blockbuster film "The Imitation Game." The movie won several awards. The movie is about Turing's life at Bletchley Park creating the code-breaking machine "enigma." At Bletchley Park, you can tour the museum and see a both original and recreated items that helped the Allies win World War II. They even have the first computer, as pictured above. They called it Colossus.

Oxford Natural History Museum

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This museum, 75 minutes from London, holds the University of Oxford’s natural history collection. They divide their collection into two categories. Life and Earth. They also bring in exhibits throughout the year. Their most famous attractions include dinosaurs, Dodo birds, and the swifts that nest in the museum tower. You can view the swifts via webcam when they’re nesting.

Brookland's Museum

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Brookland's, located in Weybridge, is an hour from London. It is considered the birthplace of British Motorsports and Aviation. The museum was formed after it was announced that the land would be sold. Instead, a 99-year lease was formed by groups who didn't want that to happen. You can see collections from Brookland's history ranging from cycling to aviation and flying to motor racing and more. Kids will love seeing the old planes and cars on their day trip to Weybridge! They even have the supersonic famous airliner 'Concorde' that you can virtually fly!

Roald Dahl Museum

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The Roald Dahl Museum in Buckinghamshire is 45 minutes away from London and barely a decade old. The grand opening was in 2005. Children will love seeing their favorite books come to life. The outside is painted with characters and phrases from his stories and the inside is full of fun activities for children that will help their imagination grow.

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