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3 Fantastic Free Museums in Kent


With International Museum Day taking place on Saturday 18th May 2019, we’ve rounded up a selection of the best museums in Kent for you to enjoy this weekend and all year round. From local Kentish history to interesting artefacts brought back from around the world, there’s so much history to discover in Kent’s museums. Best of all, admission to these historical and educational archives is completely free of charge!

What is International Museum Day?

Museums are cultural and historical hubs that serve to enrich, educate and inspire the world. Every year since 1977, the International Council Of Museums (ICOM) has celebrated International Museum Day to shed light on the value of museums within society. This day is designed to raise awareness of the fact that “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.”

With countries across the globe supporting International Museum Day every year, the events and activities can last anywhere from one day to an entire week! Last year, more than 37,000 museums took part in the awareness day from approximately 158 different countries. 

3 Free Museums in Kent

1) Maidstone Museum

With a diverse number of collections and artefacts on show (around 600,000 to give you an idea!), Maidstone Museum is a fantastic free day out right in the centre of the county town. The museum is home to both local and international historical displays, from ancient Egypt to fine art, providing a fascinating insight into history. 

Children will love exploring Maidstone Museum - especially because there’s a very exciting dinosaur display! The venue often runs events and exhibitions suited to families so be sure to check out the What’s On page.

From local history documenting Maidstone through the ages to a collection of natural history made up of over 20,000 different species of plants and animals, there’s a lot to discover in this hidden gem.

2) Rochester Guildhall Museum

Built in 1687, Rochester Guildhall Museum is just as impressive architecturally as its displays are. This 17th Century building has an impressive staircase and main hall leading to its collections of local history. 

Follow the timeline to discover Medway’s past, exploring a number of interactive features along the way including a full-size reconstruction of part of a Medway prison hulk! With models and paintings of Rochester Castle, 18th Century tools and a 200,000-year-old axe, there’s a variety of things to see at the Guildhall Museum. 

3) The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Canterbury

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge is situated right in the centre of historic Canterbury. This award-winning attraction is home to art galleries, exhibitions and educational programmes. 

The fascinating collection includes unique artefacts brought back from travels across other continents from some of Kent’s great explorers (including a mummified cat!). 

With a beautiful rainbow themed room filled with butterflies and birds of paradise and an interesting ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ in the Study Room, you’re bound to find plenty to explore at The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge! 

There are plenty of interesting museums to explore in Kent for free, so why not take the family out and take a step back in time this weekend? You’ll be amazed at what you discover!

On the lookout for more things to do in Kent without breaking the bank? Take a look at our pick of free days out in Kent for inspiration!

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