Solent Sky Museum
Including an original Spitfire, Sandringham flying boat, and 1920s seaplane, the Solent Sky Museum’s vintage collection encapsulates Southampton’s unique aviation history. A fun choice for aircraft experts and plane-crazy kids alike, the volunteer-run museum offers a personalized learning experience off the city’s beaten track.
Purchase tickets in advance, and dedicate at least two hours to your visit. Once inside, pose for pictures in cockpits, get an intimate glimpse of classic models, and learn more about the Solent’s industrial past from displays and on-site guides. Don’t miss the Hampshire Police and Fire Heritage Museum, located on the building’s second floor—the admission price gives you access to both collections.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Solent Sky Museum is a must for aviation enthusiasts and families with kids.
The museum is wheelchair-friendly, though access to the aircraft interiors isn’t possible for guests with mobility restrictions.
There’s a small gift shop on-site, as well as self-service refreshment facilities.
Nearby pubs provide plenty of lunch and dinner options.
How to Get There
Located just outside the city center, on the border of the Ocean Village and Chapel districts, the museum is a half-hour walk from Southampton Central station, or a 20-minute ride on the THREE, 17 Bluestar, or U1C bus service. Metered street parking is available directly outside the museum, though it’s typically limited to a 2-hour stay. Otherwise, head to one of the pay-for parking lots in the area.
When to Get There
The Solent is open every day, but closes a bit earlier than other city attractions—so best to go there first. Rarely crowded, the indoor museum is ideal for keeping kids (or adults) entertained on a rainy day.
Immerse Yourself in Maritime History
Southampton’s museums focus mostly on the city’s maritime legacy, as it was there that the Supermarine Spitfire was first produced in the 1930s, and the Titanic departed on her ill-fated maiden voyage in 1912. Another good choice for families and history buffs is the SeaCity Museum, where three main exhibitions depict Southampton’s seaport history: Southampton Stories, Gateway to the World, and the Titanic Story.
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