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The five best maritime museums in the UK

Marine Heritage 29th May 2013

There’s nothing we boaty types like more than exploring the rich history that surrounds our favourite pursuit. Fortunately, the UK is home to some truly great maritime museums so if you find yourself nearby, make sure you check out what we think are the best maritime museums in the UK.

5. Aberdeen Maritime Museum

This award-winning museum is the perfect place to learn about the history of the North Sea and the offshore oil industry. Located near to Aberdeen’s bustling centre, it’s easy to get to – and free to get in!

There are plenty of interactive displays to explore and the members of staff are friendly and willing to answer any questions you might have. There is something for all ages here and it certainly offers more than its compact size might suggest. http://www.aagm.co.uk/

4. Lancaster Maritime Museum

Based in a truly stunning location, the Lancaster Maritime Museum is perfect for those with a particular interest in 18th-century maritime history.

Admiring the local Georgian architecture adds bonus value to the trip. Within the museum, you can investigate the museum’s two beautiful buildings and learn all about Lancaster’s golden age. The exhibits are well laid out and there are plenty of attractions to keep you occupied for a couple of hours.

The friendly members of staff take particular delight in getting the kids involved in the interactive exhibits. Make sure you head up to the top floor to watch the video. http://www.lancaster.gov.uk/sports-and-leisure/museums/maritime-museum/

3. National Maritime Museum, Cornwall

Most seafarers don’t need much of an excuse to head down to Cornwall. But the NMM in Falmouth is one more to add to the collection!

With a firm focus on engaging all who pass through its doors, this museum is packed with attractions and enticing stories behind every exhibit. Visitors can easily while away an afternoon exploring the interactive exhibits and popping down to the under-sea-level basement to watch passing fish through the big windows. http://www.nmmc.co.uk/

2. Merseyside Maritime Museum

Liverpool’s offering was opened back in 1980 and has since been expanded due to popular demand. Based on the city’s famous Albert Dock, the maritime history of the entire area is brought to life for you to explore.

With Liverpool being something of a shipping gateway to the world, there is plenty of interesting historical knowledge to be gained from a visit to the museum. http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/

1. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Arguably the leader of the pack, our number one spot goes to the NMM in Greenwich. Part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage site, the entire area on which the museum sits is steeped in nautical history.

Visitors should allow several hours to fully explore everything the NMM Greenwich has to offer. If you’re taking the kids along, there’s a dedicated space in which they can interact and learn about maritime history. Make sure you take the time to stand on the Meridien Line at Longitude 0° and don’t forget to go and admire the outfit that Horatio Nelson himself wore at the Battle of Trafalgar. http://www1.rmg.co.uk/

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