Important Museums and Libraries in the South West


Great for all the family, this museum boasts numerous interactive exhibits and activities aimed at all ages. All the fun of wacky science coupled with the wonders of the natural world are explored here; be sure to take a look at the futuristic, out of this world planetarium and the exhibition on the engineering antics of one of Britain’s most famous scientists, Brunel.

Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro

Featuring everything from Egyptian mummies to seal caves, this museum has something to interest everyone! Children will love the hands-on activities and displays as well as the packed holiday programme and drop in art club on Saturdays.

City Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol

This stunning building houses some exquisite pieces of art as well as an animal kingdom featuring a sea dinosaur. The museum has a wide range of activities and exhibitions on offer with a temporary exhibition programme that encompasses a diverse selection of artistic and historical collections.

Steam, Swindon

A collection of films, photographs and pictures relaying the interactive story of the Great Western Railway and the work of Brunel; a must for all railway enthusiasts and a great day out for the family.

The National Maritime Museum, Cornwall

This is an award-winning museum featuring a variety of exhibitions and displays on the history of sea-faring in the South West. There is a full programme of events, activities and talks designed to cater for all ages and get everyone involved.

Central Library, Bristol

This library features a vast range of books, journals and magazines as well as a disability resource centre and information about adult learning courses. There are also computers with printing and internet facilities in addition to photocopying, fax and laminating stations.

Oxford University Library

Oxfordshire sits at the edge of the South-Western regional library network and as a centre for academic excellence unsurprisingly boasts some of the most impressive libraries in the world.

The University of Oxford has over 100 specialist libraries ranging from health and science to law and history. Visitors are permitted to visit certain areas of the Bodleian Library, the U.K’s second largest library behind the British Library.