HMS Victory

Top UK Maritime museums to explore with kids

As you are all well aware we do love our planes, trains and automobiles here.  But we also love ships of all shapes and sizes.  I have however realised that I’ve been a bit neglectful of actually writing up reviews for a number of our maritime related days out. So I’ve called on a few other bloggers to help fill in the gaps as I share some of the Top UK Maritime museums to explore with kids.  In this instance museums aren’t just buildings with exhibits inside, they are more often the vessels themselves and life aboard can be experienced first hand.

Top UK Maritime museums to explore with kids

The Cutty Sark at Greenwich is somewhere I remember visiting myself as a child and back in 2012 (pre-blog!) we spent time visiting with my son, who was nearly three.  It’s somewhere we’ll need to revisit as he has no memory of our previous trip.

Top UK Maritime museums to explore with kids

It’s well worth a visit and Megan at Truly Madly Kids has been more recently than us.  As my son was only really small when we visited Greenwich we didn’t even think to explore the National Maritime Museum, but after reading about the visit Emma at Bubba Blue and Me made, it’s definitely one for our to do list.

There are a few ships in London that we have often seen from the Thames but haven’t had a chance to step on deck.  Tracy at Pack the PJs recommends a visit to HMS Belfast.  Whilst Karen at Mini Travellers shares her experience of actually sleeping aboard the Golden Hinde!

I can still vividly remember visiting HMS Victory as a child and I was so excited to share my memories with my son when we visited the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard back in 2015.  We were all rather disappointed to find that the famous masts had been removed for restoration, but it gives us a good reason to return in future.

HMS Victory

Top UK Maritime museums to explore with kids

There’s so much more to see and do around the dockyard than just HMS Victory as you can see in Emma’s post. When both Emma and I visited Portsmouth Historic Dockyard a visit to the Mary Rose was included in your ticket.  I’m of an age where I can remember the wreck of this Tudor war ship being raised from the Solent.  It’s fascinated me ever since, and I can thoroughly recommend a visit.

Top UK Maritime museums to explore with kids

I’m not sure when it became the case, but now you have to purchase tickets separately for the Mary Rose although you do get a 10% discount if you’ve already purchased a Dockyard ticket.  You can see how much Sarah from Digital Motherhood enjoyed her visit, it’s the perfect place for a history lesson.

We visited Bristol a couple of years ago for my OH’s fiftieth birthday and top of our list of must visit attractions was SS Great Britain.  My son is a huge fan of Brunel and visiting his steam boat was a highlight.  I have absolutely no idea why I haven’t written a post about our visit as it’s one of the best museums we’ve been too.  It’s a fascinating place to explore.

SS Great Britain

Both Helen at Kiddy Charts and Nichola at Global Mouse Travels also rave about SS Great Britain, and if you’re visiting Bristol it’s definitely my number one of the top UK Maritime museums to explore with kids.

Somewhere else that’s worth visiting if you’re there is The Matthew.

The Matthew

We didn’t get to go onboard when we were in Bristol, but Lucy from The Parent Game shares her visit for us.

If you happen to be in Hull then Kirsty at The Money Saving Mum recommends their Maritime Museum. While Becky from The Thrifty Home recommends the Canalside Heritage Centre at Beeston Lock, Nottingham if you’re interested in learning more about canal boats.

For those of you visiting Kent then the Hastings Fishermen’s Museum is well worth a visit according to Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and it even includes a complete fishing boat inside.

Grace Darling is someone who both my son and I have learned about at school over the years.  We’ve not been to Northumberland, but hopefully we’ll get to Bamburgh and the Grace Darling Museum at some point.  In the meantime Natalie from Plutonium Sox shares her adventure for us.

Cornwall has so much to offer and somewhere that we have on our list for our next Cornish adventure is the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth.  Zena’s Suitcase shares her thoughts on why you should visit.

For families visiting Scotland then Louise at Little Hearts Big Love recommends a visit to Discovery Point in Dundee.  My son has been learning all about Shackleton and Scott at school, so I know he’d love to visit. Somewhere else that we’d have to include in any trip to Scotland would be a visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia which is berthed at Leith Docks.  Karen at Mini Travellers advises that the dock adjoins a shopping centre (The Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre). It is easily reached by car (20 minutes from Edinburgh city centre, with free parking).

I wish we’d spent more time on Anglesey when we visited North Wales last year.  I’m sure we’d have enjoyed the Holyhead Maritime Museum that Ella at Typical Mummy has recommended.

holyhead Maritime Museum

photo credit: Typical Mummy

Where would you recommend that I should add to this list of top UK Maritime museums to explore with kids? You might like to pin this list for future reference.

Top UK Maritime museums to explore with kids





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