Southend Central Museum and Planetarium

Central Museum
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The Central Museum is situated in Victoria Avenue, and houses the Planetarium and principal artefact store.

The Central Museum was opened in April 1981, in a magnificent Edwardian library building. The displays tell the story of the natural and human history of south east Essex.

The Southend Planetarium is the only public Planetarium facility in the south-east, outside of London. It presents a range of talks about astronomy and the night sky. All our presentations are given live, giving plenty of opportunity for any questions you may wish to ask, and are generally suitable for ages 7 to adult.

Planetarium Shows run on Saturdays, at 11.00am, 2.00pm and 3.00pm. In school holidays, shows run Tues - Sat at 11am, 2pm and 3pm. We recommend contacting us to confirm seat availability and current programme.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

See also

Opening hours

Tues - Sat
10.00 - 17.00

Admission charges

Entry to the Central Museum is free.
There is a small charge to visit the Planetarium, which is located inside the museum:
Adults: £4.60
Children/OAPs: £3.60
Family ticket (2+3): £15.50

Getting there

By Car
Central Museum is on Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, positioned between Beecroft Art Gallery and Southend Victoria Rail Station. Driving on the A127 towards Southend (on Princes Avenue), turn right onto Victoria Avenue at the Cuckoo Corner roundabout. Go straight over two junctions: You will pass Priory Park and Prittlewell Church on your left. After passing the Civic Centre and Courthouse buildings on your left, take the next left onto Gt. Eastern Avenue. Take the first right and bend right, up the ramp, into the public car park. The car park is Pay & Display. Beecroft Art Gallery is to your left as you exit the car park - Central Museum is the next building.
Please note, access by foot from the Pay & Display car park is by steps only. Disabled parking is available behind Central Museum: When you turn right into the car park, instead of bending right up the ramp into the P&D park, continue straight, behind the gallery and into the Museum parking area at the very end of the road.

By Rail
The nearest station is Southend Victoria, on the Liverpool Street line from London. As you exit the station, turn right onto Victoria Avenue. You will see Central Museum immediately on your right.
If you are arriving at Southend Central, on the London Fenchurch Street line, the museum is roughly a 5-10 minute walk away. Exit the station and once on the High Street, turn left. Continue straight to the end, taking the path between the Odeon and New Look towards Southend Victoria Station. Cross the road, carrying straight past the station and Central Museum will be immediately on your right.

By Bus
Multiple bus routes run regularly, with a major bus stop adjacent to Southend Victoria Station.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Weapons and War, Natural Sciences, Costume and Textiles, Fine Art, Medicine, Music, Coins and Medals, Science and Technology, Social History, Land Transport

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Southend at War

Southend at War!

  • 8 April 2017 10am-4pm

Hear the stories and experiences of local Southenders, both young and old, throughout the Second World War. Handle original objects, look through local images and have a go at making your own commemorative medal.

Drop-in Event

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Entry: Free | Activities: £2.50

Website

http://www.southendmuseums.co.uk/whats_on/event/Southend-at-War

Seafront at war

Seafront at War!

  • 24 June 2017 11am-1pm, 2-4pm

These walks take place along Southend seafront.

Meeting Point: Outside the Cliffs Pavilion.

Travel along the seafront exploring and discovering Southend's military past during WW1 and WW2. Learn about evacuated children from the militarised town. What was HMS Westcliff and HMS Leigh? What was the Battle of the Thames? Walk with us and find out!

Two session times: 11:00 & 14:00

Tickets: £4 each

Book your place at www.southendlam.eventbrite.com

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Tickets: £4.00

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/seafront-at-war-tickets-30884278709

Stories in the Sky

Stories in the Sky

  • 25 July 2017 11-11:45am
  • 8 August 2017 11-11:45am
  • 22 August 2017 11-11:45am

Discover the fascinating stories behind the constellations in the sky at night! Why is Cancer the crab among the stars? Why are Orion and Scorpius so far from each other?

Talks suitable for children aged 3+

Talks approximately 45 minutes

Please note: the planetarium is located on the first floor of Southend Central Museum and only accessible via stairs.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • Family friendly

Admission

Tickets: £4
Book now at: www.southendlam.eventbrite.com

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/stories-in-the-sky-tickets-31752338098

Space Plus

Space Plus

  • 1 August 2017 11am-12:30pm, 3-4:30pm
  • 15 August 2017 11am-12:30pm, 3-4:30pm
  • 29 August 2017 11am-12:30pm, 3-4:30pm

Learn about space in our planetarium, handle actual meteorites and discover the size of the Solar System in our space workshop!

Suitable for ages 7+ (children under 7 will not be admitted)

Planetarium Show approx. 45 minutes
Handling Session approx. 15-30 minutes

Please note Southend Planetarium is located upstairs in the Central Museum, and is only accessible via stairs.

For queries about content suitability please call 01702 212345.
Booking closes 24 hours before the sessions begin.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 11-13
  • 16-17
  • Family friendly

Admission

Tickets: £6.00
Book now at: www.southendlam.eventbrite.com

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/space-plus-tickets-32322596757

Getting there

By Car
Central Museum is on Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, positioned between Beecroft Art Gallery and Southend Victoria Rail Station. Driving on the A127 towards Southend (on Princes Avenue), turn right onto Victoria Avenue at the Cuckoo Corner roundabout. Go straight over two junctions: You will pass Priory Park and Prittlewell Church on your left. After passing the Civic Centre and Courthouse buildings on your left, take the next left onto Gt. Eastern Avenue. Take the first right and bend right, up the ramp, into the public car park. The car park is Pay & Display. Beecroft Art Gallery is to your left as you exit the car park - Central Museum is the next building.
Please note, access by foot from the Pay & Display car park is by steps only. Disabled parking is available behind Central Museum: When you turn right into the car park, instead of bending right up the ramp into the P&D park, continue straight, behind the gallery and into the Museum parking area at the very end of the road.

By Rail
The nearest station is Southend Victoria, on the Liverpool Street line from London. As you exit the station, turn right onto Victoria Avenue. You will see Central Museum immediately on your right.
If you are arriving at Southend Central, on the London Fenchurch Street line, the museum is roughly a 5-10 minute walk away. Exit the station and once on the High Street, turn left. Continue straight to the end, taking the path between the Odeon and New Look towards Southend Victoria Station. Cross the road, carrying straight past the station and Central Museum will be immediately on your right.

By Bus
Multiple bus routes run regularly, with a major bus stop adjacent to Southend Victoria Station.

Southend Central Museum and Planetarium
Victoria Avenue
Southend-on-Sea
Essex
SS2 6EW
England

Website

www.southendmuseums.co.uk

E-mail

museums@southend.gov.uk

Telephone

01702 212345

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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