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GO Museums in Brighton

Museums in Brighton The city of Brighton and Hove is packed to bursting with great museums, so while you're in the city why not try find out something fascinating at one of Brighton's museum.

For a start there’s the Booth Museum of Natural History [map], which has over half a million specimens and natural history literature extending back over three centuries. Exhibits here include hundreds of British birds displayed in recreated natural settings, insects, a killer whale skeleton and dinosaur bones. There are also a number of special displays throughout the year.

If it’s local history you’re after then head to Brighton Museum & Art Gallery [map], which has some great collections that reflect the historical and contemporary industries of the city. A recent £10 million redevelopment has transformed this museum into a state-of-the-art visitor attraction, which includes an art gallery, shop and café.

Being the city-on-the-sea means Brighton has a life-long connection with the fishing industry and this is depicted wonderfully at the Brighton Fishing Museum [map]. This nostalgic exhibition set amidst arches still used by working fishermen, also plays host to the annual Mackerel Fair and Blessing of the Nets in May.

Also focused on Brighton’s industry is the British Engineerium – Museum of Steam and Mechanical Antiquities [map] in Hove. This restored Victorian steam water-pumping station is crammed with gleaming models and full-size steam engines, craftsmen's tools, domestic gadgets, motorcycles and lawnmowers. This attraction also has the cool Giant’s Tool Box hands-on exhibition for children and a garden where you can enjoy a picnic.

If you venture the short distance to Hove then you should also pay a visit to the Hove Museum & Art Gallery [map], which has an interactive toy gallery, with a wizard's attic and a bedroom split by time, half modern-day and half Victorian.

Here Hove's role in the birth of cinema is also celebrated in the new film gallery with working optical toys, magic lanterns and cameras. This gallery features the work of pioneering Hove filmmakers of the 1890s and 1900s.

To learn more about the history of toys, check out the Brighton Toy and Model Museum [map] on Trafalgar Street, which displays soldiers, aeroplanes, dolls, teddy bears, buses, ships and one of the finest vintage 'O' gauge model railway layouts ever to be seen.

Not far from here you’ll find the National Working Museum of Penny Slot Machines [map], the UK's only public vintage penny arcade. There are more than 50 old machines dating from 1895 and 1945, including "What the Butler Saw", strength testers and fortune-tellers. All the games are played with old pennies, bought from a vintage booth.

Finally why not take the time to explore life in an old manor house at Preston Manor [map], which dates back to 1738. There are more than twenty rooms over four floors to visit, including the superbly renovated servants' quarters in the basement and the children's day nursery on the upper floor.

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