Our 7 Favourite Museums With Amazing Outdoor Spaces


The Muddy Puddles Team are an outdoorsy gang but we also love to visit a museum or two! Discover our favourite outdoor museums in the UK.

A family trip to the museum is a wonderful way to combine outdoor adventure with learning new things and has lots of other benefits – from boosting language development to encouraging new ideas. We wouldn’t be Muddy Puddles, of course, if we didn’t have a slight preference for museums with brilliant outdoor spaces!

Read on if you’re looking for exciting activities for this weekend, and discover our top 7 outdoor museums to visit with your children.

outdoor museums

1) Horniman Museum and Gardens, London

The Horniman Museum in Forest Hill is a brilliant anthropological museum with lovely landscaped gardens where your little ones can run freely, explore and take part in lots of exciting, family-friendly activities such as nature trails or craft workshops. Don’t forget to visit the Aquarium, the lovely Butterfly House and the breath-taking 16 acres of Gardens, perfect for spotting wildlife or just relaxing. Before leaving, say hello to the famous stuffed walrus – you surely won’t miss this giant as it’s sitting in the very centre of the main exhibition hall!

2) Beamish – The Living Museum of the North, County Durham

Beamish, the world-famous open-air museum, is the perfect place to discover what life was like in North East England during the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s. It’s a fascinating living museum set in 300 acres so prepare to walk a lot! Head to Beamish to spend an exciting day out with your family – visit the 1900s Town, discover the 1900s Pit Village, explore the 1900s colliery, see Rowley Station as it looked it Edwardian times and, last but not least, visit the 1940s farm. The museum is huge and walking from one section to another might take some time. Make sure you bring waterproof jackets and wellies – we all know how unpredictable British weather can be.

3) Weald & Downland Living Museum, Chichester, West Sussex

The Weald and Downland Living Museum is an open-air museum with a 40-acre site where you can discover rescued rural buildings and learn more about how people lived and worked. There are more than 50 buildings to visit – shops, workers’ cottages, a watermill and many more. Lots of fun family-friendly activities await you and your little ones. Your children are welcome to explore the new woodland playground, meet traditional breed farm animals, learn how the watermill works and more.

4) Natural History Museum, London

Natural History museum is the perfect place to discover the urban flora and fauna. Visit the Wildlife Garden. The Garden is home to more than 3,000 species and it’s hard to believe it’s located in central London! Look out for dragonflies flying around the ponds, spot some unknown and beautiful flowers and finish your day with a visit to the museum.

5) Black Country Living Museum, West Midlands

The Black Country Living Museum is a fantastic 26-acre open-air museum located in the centre of the Black Country, 10 miles from Birmingham. Built on the former industrial land, the museum tells the story of the industrial revolution and includes over 50 buildings and objects such as school, shops or preserved mine shafts. The museum is a brilliant outdoor attraction for the whole family. Meet the staff dressed in period costumes, discover the original period shops and houses, take part in the exciting live demonstrations and explore the underground drift mine.

outdoor museums

6) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Head to V&A to discover the world of decorative arts and design (the Museum is home to more than 2.3 million objects!) and let your children burn off energy in the fantastic and spacious courtyard. Enjoy the brilliant wading pool on a warmer day or have a snack at the courtyard café.

7) Tyneham Village, Dorset

Tyneham, an abandoned village located on the Dorset coastline, is not a museum as such but it’s well worth visiting. Evacuated by the army in 1943, Tyneham has remained a ghost town ever since, frozen in time and simply fascinating. Visit the intact church and schoolhouse to learn more about the life of the evacuated villagers. Finish your day with a picnic at Worbarrow Bay located 1 mile (walking) from Tyneham Village.

What are your favourite outdoor museums in the UK? Leave us a comment below.

Looking for other brilliant weekend ideas? Try a family-friendly walk or visit a farm park.