Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

We all had a fantastic time in Portsmouth last Saturday, exploring the Historic Dockyard and Spinnaker Tower.


We drove to Portsmouth and parked in the Historic Dockyard Car Park, which cost us £8 for 8 hours which I think is reasonable.

Historic Dockyard is a great day out for all the family. The girls really enjoyed going back in time, learning about Tudor life, exploring historical warships, enjoying a harbour tour and loved testing their skills in physical/stimulating challenges.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard holds 800 years of History, featuring the brand new Mary Rose Museum, World famous ships, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior (1860), National Museum of the Royal Navy, Action Stations and Harbour Tours.

When we arrived at the Historic Dockyard staff were very friendly and gave the girls a map each to help us find our way around. Isabelle and Scarlett loved their maps, they were little tour guides for the day.

New Mary Rose Museum

We started off at the new Mary Rose Museum when we arrived, as you have to book a timed slot, but you only have to do that here, you can visit all the other attractions at your own leisure. Isabelle really enjoyed the insights of Tudor Life, so did we all. Scarlett is only 3, she may not understand it all but she was really interested in everything asking us lots of questions about things around her.

There was so much to see at Mary Rose from personal belongings such as wooden bowls, leather shoes, musical instruments and ship’s objects such as longbows and coming face-face with crew members thank to forensic science.

The Tudor ship was raised from the seabed in 1982 and is the only  sixteenth century warship on display anywhere in the world. The new Museum built around her reunites with many of her 19,000 artefacts and crew. The new boat-shaped Museum shows the very best of 21st century architecture and construction. Around the boat are little viewing windows spread out at different heights along the corridor, which was perfect for the girls as they could see for themselves and didn’t have to be picked up.

fn2The Mary Rose Museum is nicely spaced out over different floors with access to lifts too. Very interesting and great fun for adults and children.

Action Station

The action Station brings the Royal Navy to you. The girls loved exploring, learning and testing their physical and stimulating skills in many challenges. With so many activities and games here there is something for children and adults to get involved in.

We went on a simulator ride with ‘Ride the Movie’, Wall climbling on one of Europe’s largest climbing towers, Isabelle and Scarlett flew a helicopter in the helicopter flight stimulation and so much more. We had lots of fun and put our skills to the test.

There are 27 activities in the interaction gallery where you can view the world how an astronaut would, discover the amazing magic planet which you are in control of. You can watch on at the moving global climate and temperature around the world. I have to say this was amazing, we were all intrigued.


HMS Victory 

HMS Victory is the oldest commissioned warship in the world and is currently undergoing a period of restoration and as visitors you have the unique opportunity to see this taking place. Her topmasts and rigging have been struck, or taken down, and her planking is under investigation. The last time HMS Victory was seen without her top masts was in 1944, so this is really your once in a lifetime chance to see HMS Victory under going maintenance.

It felt very surreal going on board this warship. To think this was once crowded, where over 800 men lived, worked and fought. The girls all of a sudden thought they were pirates when they stepped on board. Do take extra care when walking around as they had low ceilings and steep stairs.

Hosts were in different parts of the warship to answer any questions you may have and to share their knowledge, they were very kind and helpful.  When they saw the girls they would tell them interesting facts about what they were looking at. It was lovely and we have all come away learning something new.


HMS Warrior 1860

The world’s first iron-hulled, armoured warship powered by steam as well as sail is still a float in Portsmouth Habour. It was great to come on board this 19th century warship to see what life was like as a Victorian sailor.

We loved exploring this warship. Isabelle couldn’t take in how tiny some rooms were and couldn’t believe people actually lived there. It was a great insight and Isabelle wanted to learn more and more as the day went on.


The National Museum of the Royal Navy

The National Museum of the Royal Navy is one of the country’s leading maritime museums. It’s a lovely museum where you can see, touch, hear and even smell the history of the Royal Navy through a collection of artefacts and award-winning permanent exhibitions.

It’s the only museum devoted to the ships of the Royal Navy and the men and women who served in them. You can experience a fantastic walk-through which brings the Battle of Trafalgar vividly back to life.

This museum is a must, we found it fascinating walking around.


Harbour Tours 

The Harbour Tour was fantastic, we literally arrived 15 minutes before the tour sets off, which is every hour and the tour is around 45 minutes. The crew members like they have been throughout Historic Dockyard were lovely. We got the boat at midday, it wasn’t that busy but we did notice as the day went on the boat tours were slightly busier.

We were lucky enough to sit right at the front of the boat, we had two very happy girls. The harbour tour begins offering views of Britain’s modern frigates, destroyers and helicopter carriers, as well as historic buildings, sights and ships. There is a live commentary whilst your on the boat, we had a really good time.


The Historic Dockyard is an amazing place for the whole family to enjoy with plenty to see and do. We had an amazing day and will definitely be visiting again very soon.

What I think is an added bonus about visiting here is the tickers are valid for one year with unlimited entry with only some days excluded.

If you would like more information visit Historic Dockyard website

Like Historic Dockyard on facebook and/or follow @PompeyDockyard on twitter.

The Historic Dockyard is open daily Apr-Oct 10am-6pm, last tickets sold at 4.30pm; Nov-March10am-5.30pm last tickets sold at 4pm

Admission: All attractions £26 adults, £24.95 seniors, £19.75 children, under 5s free; single attraction tickets also available.

We also visited the Spinnaker Tower which is approximately a 5 minute walk away from the Historic Dockyard. You will find my Spinnaker Tower review here.

For more details about events, local attractions and where to stay, and a copy of the free visitor guide call the Portsmouth Visitor Information Service on 023 9282 6722 or email vis@portsmouthcc.gov.uk; details can also be found on Visit Portsmouth website.

Disclaimer: We were sent to the Historic Dockyard for the purpose of a review. My review is 100% honest and our my own thoughts.


  1. Susan Webb says:

    Looks like you all enjoyed your day x


  2. William Linda says:

    Took my daughter here, she went into school doing a presentation. We had a family fun day out. Glad to see you all had a great time.


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