From the aquatic wonders of Brighton Fishing Museum, to the military heritage displayed at Tangmere Museum, Sussex is bursting with artefacts and relics to delight enthusiasts of any topic. The South Coast gives London a run for its money with a selection of museums that rival the capital’s notorious and innovative exhibitions. The selection spans the coast and includes some notable examples of great British cultural institutions, including the De La Warr Pavilion and Eastbourne’s Redoubt Fortress.
Bexhill Museum has been newly refurbished and extended, and now houses an enviable variety of displays and exhibitions. Whether you’re a costume connoisseur or a motor racing expert, there’s a gallery for everyone. The museum first opened in 1914, showcasing a variety of tropical shells. Visitors can now explore natural history, local arts, crafts and dinosaur fossils.
For those who love to explore the culture of other lands, Hastings Museum is worth a visit for the spectacular Durbar Hall: a reconstructed palace in tribute to the Indian subcontinent. Hastings Museum is also well known for its wildlife collections, with displays specialising in the animals and birds found in the area, including the grey owl.
Worthing Museum holds a diverse mix of displays, including one of the largest costume collections in England, and some stunning fine art exhibitions. For a trip down memory lane, there is also a marvellous collection of toys and dolls that will have everyone reminiscing about their first teddy bear. The museum also holds a variety of events throughout the year helping visitors to explore some of the exhibitions in depth. These include workshops and talks on subjects including historic dolls' houses and even origami.
Just a short distance away, set in 40 acres of rolling Sussex countryside is the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. This museum boasts a beautiful setting and an outstanding collection of national importance. The speciality here is the fine selection of historic buildings, from cottages that are over ten centuries old, to barns filled with archaic farming instruments. There’s a vast amount of space at Weald and Downland, so there's plenty to explore, and it’s a great place for kids to run around and interact with the various displays and demonstrations.
Arundel, Littlehampton, Rustington and Chichester also have significant local history museums of note. In fact, it’s virtually impossible to visit a town in Sussex without coming across a reputable museum brimming with history and culture.