Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

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The Royal Navy has a long and illustrious history. Our naval forces have been involved in numerous conflicts over the centuries, from the Battle of Trafalgar to the Battle of Jutland. Famous naval heroes include Vice-Admiral Fitzroy, Sir Francis Drake, and Admiral Lord Nelson. For anyone with an interest in naval history, the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is a fantastic day out.

Photo by Mark Ellam

Top-Rated Attraction in Portsmouth

The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is a working naval shipyard, but it also has a host of attractions for visitors, including historic ships and naval museums. If you want to learn more about the Royal Navy, it is a must-see attraction in Portsmouth.

TripAdvisor rates the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as one of the top attractions in the area. It’s suitable for the whole family, but dads, in particular, are likely to find it fascinating.

Top Attractions at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

The National Museum of the Royal Navy has been on-site for a hundred years. Like many museums, there is a lot more to see than a series of dry exhibits. Many of the displays are interactive, so you can get a real sense of important historical battles at sea. Top exhibits include a sail from the Battle of Trafalgar and the Wyllie Panorama.

The Mary Rose was one of Henry VIIIs best-loved ships. This 16th Century warship has been lovingly restored after it was recovered from the seabed in the Solent in 1982. The story of the Mary Rose and her epic 30-year history forms the heart of the fascinating Mary Rose attraction at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. You will need to book tickets to see the Mary Rose, but if you want to learn more about the ship, her crew, and life on board a Tudor warship, you can’t afford to miss out.

HMS Victory was the flagship of Admiral Lord Nelson. Nelson perished during the Battle of Trafalgar, but a visit on board the HMS Victory brings his life and adventures back to life. You can now pick up a hand-held audio guide to direct your tour of the ship. It’s the next best thing to being present at the Battle of Trafalgar!

HMS Warrior was the Royal Navy’s first ironclad warship. She was so fearsome when she first set sail that enemy fleets did not dare attempt to lure her into battle. In fact, despite her powerful arsenal of weapons, HMS Warrior never had to fire a single shot.

Other Fun Things to See and Do

Check out the new exhibition that tells the story of the Battle of Jutland, a short-lived battle that only lasted 36-hours and marked a major turning point in WW1. The Royal Navy Submarine Museum is also a top draw for all would-be submariners. Other attractions worth visiting include the Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower, Boathouse 4, and HMS M.33, the only survivor of the Gallipoli Campaign. You can also take a harbour tour of the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for a different perspective.

There are many special events at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard throughout the year, so check the calendar before you visit.

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