- Step back in time with the Milestones Museum and the three levels which display a realistic and interactive set of the streets of Victorian-era Hampshire
- Truly immerse yourself in history by chatting to the talented actors and shopkeepers spread across the streets.
- Check out the vintage vehicles stationed all around the museum and don’t forget to pop into the sweet shop to get some genuine tasty treats.
- Keep an eye out for the fun family events scheduled at the Milestones Museum of Living History.
If you’re looking for cultural things to do in Basingstoke, this is a must. Located in South East England, and first opening its doors in the year 2000, the Milestones Museum of Living History is dedicated to providing an immersive experience that teaches visitors all about Victorian life in England. Spread across three floors, this living museum has been built to replicate the streets of Hampshire in the 1800’s and invites guests to truly step back in time and experience what life was like in Britain over 150 years ago. This is one of the best Hampshire attractions for an educational and memorable day out with the whole family.
The Milestones Museum is truly a living piece of history, bringing the Victorian era back to life you will feel like you’re walking on to a film set. From the cobblestoned floor to the intricate shop windows and the actors stationed around the grounds in full 1800’s costume you will be truly immersed in the past. This experience is not only entertaining for the whole family, but it provides brilliant insight into local history, showing how the people of Hampshire used to live their lives and allowing the guest to get a taste of the culture from the past as well.
The shops are one of the greatest highlights of this interactive museum. They’re not just a stunning backdrop to the setup; visitors can go inside some of them to chat with the shopkeepers and have a look at the wares they sell. The extremely talented actors do not break character for a second, which makes visitors really feel like they’re bartering with the butcher for a better deal. The children will especially love the old sweets shop. Selling genuine Victorian era treats and hard-boiled candy, there is no better way to interact with the culture of the past than eating traditional food from then! If you start to feel thirsty, head on over to the Baverstocks Arms tavern to avail of some soft drinks, coffee or beer.
Engineering fans will love checking out the vintage vehicles that are stationed all across the Milestones Museum. From trams to steam wagons and motorbikes, the technology from the Industrial Revolution is alive and well in this museum.
Kids will love spending time on the vintage game machines in the Penny Arcade. Have a go on the fun amusement machines like the Grand National horse racing game or consult the stars with the puppet prophet Madame Zasha. Younger kids will find it entertaining comparing this technology to what they’re used to today and perhaps parents or grandparents will get a blast from the past seeing this nostalgic arcade in action.
This Basingstoke museum also holds events and family workshops across the year. Some past events include holding a vintage tea tent, Victorian arts and crafts workshops and a Food Adventure Trail. History doesn’t get more interactive and lively than this!
What to know before you go
- The Milestones Museum is open every Tuesday - Sunday from 10am - 4.45pm. The museum opens at 11am on weekends.
- Once you pay for your tickets, you can use them to visit the museum as many times as you like over the next year for no extra cost.
- The Milestones Café is located on site. Opening from 10am - 4.30pm visitors can buy a light, refreshing meal.
- There is outdoor seating for visitors who choose to bring a packed lunch.
- There are toilets, including wheelchair-accessible toilets, and baby changing facilities available on site.
- The Milestones Museum is wheelchair accessible with lifts on every floor. However, the Victorian and Georgian themed areas are fitted with cobblestone floors which may cause some discomfort for wheelchair users. There is a wheelchair renting service available; please call in advance if you wish to use it.
- There are audio guides available for visitors who may need them.
- Assistance dogs are welcome on site.
How to get there
- There is a shuttle service that runs from Basingstoke Railway Station and has a stop directly outside the museum.
- There is a car park on the grounds of the museum which visitors can avail of for free.